3/31/2021

What Does a Virtual Office Mean? An Intro for Entrepreneurs

A virtual office provides entrepreneurs with the flexibility to work remotely but maintain many of the capabilities of a permanent workspace. Virtual offices were certainly on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth trajectory accelerated over the past year, and forecasts post-pandemic reveal continued growth.

What Does a Virtual Office Mean

Virtual offices are defined in different ways. Typically, virtual offices are provided by providers of coworking spaces and flex offices. But the different services of a virtual office consist of different elements such as business addresses, phone services, virtual assistants, day offices, lobby registries, and rented conference rooms. Entrepreneurs use virtual offices in different ways—as a primary address listing for their business, a location for receiving mail, a temporary office in a new location, a coworking space to be used on an as-needed basis, and location with rented conference rooms for client meetings. 

What Services Are Included or Added Onto a Virtual Office

Virtual offices include various services, and some providers like Davinci Virtual add other services to their virtual office offerings. The following are core capabilities:

• Professional business addresses. Entrepreneurs should not use their home addresses for the business license and registration—for liability and privacy considerations to effective listings on search engines and internet directories. A professional business address is needed instead.

• Mail forwarding and receipt services. Along with the professional business address, entrepreneurs need mail forwarding and receipt services. Either pick up your mail at the virtual office address, or have it forwarded on a scheduled basis to wherever you are at.

• Lobby directory listing. An official lobby directory demonstrates business presence and builds confidence in your company. A lobby directory listing enables an entrepreneur to get mapped online, market his or her company address, and demonstrate the validity of his or her business.

• Incorporation and registered agent. Some providers of coworking include registration agent and business formation services. This simplifies what can be a complex process, enabling entrepreneurs to focus on running their businesses while ensuring their personal investments and finances are separate from their business finances. 

The aforementioned are core virtual office capabilities. Additional features that often come with virtual offices include:

• Lobby greeters. Virtual office providers often include lobby greeters. These professionals welcome visitors and provide assistance. 

• Meeting spaces. Virtual offices also come with meeting spaces that entrepreneurs can use for client meetings. Entrepreneurs should check to make sure the meeting spaces come with state-of-the-art presentation and collaboration tools. 

• Day offices. Coworking space facilitates collaboration and networking opportunities. Day offices, which can be reserved by the hour, half day, or full day, give entrepreneurs a chance to focus on work projects and to conduct confidential conversations and meetings in private. 

• Business services. Entrepreneurs are busy and don’t have time for photocopying, faxing, printing, and mailing. This is where business services can provide support.

Who Can Use a Virtual Office

Entrepreneurs and businesses across numerous industries use virtual offices. Lawyer entrepreneurs benefit from a professional address and a place for confidential work and interactions, and a meeting rooms for taking dispositions. Consultants who leverage virtual offices leverage lobby greeters or live receptionists to answer incoming calls, focus on important project deliverables, and hold collaborative meetings with clients. Accountants rid themselves of expensive, long-term office leases, benefit from business services, and tap lobby greeters to help clients get settled and ready for meetings. The list of potential users of virtual offices can be much longer—startups, marketing agencies, charities, and relators, among others.

Benefits and Advantages of a Virtual Office

There are numerous benefits and advantages of a virtual office. Following are some of the key areas for entrepreneurs:

Lower Cost

Entrepreneurs can spend a substantial amount of their income on permanent office leases. Estimates range from 15% to 46%. Even if an entrepreneur spends a significant amount of time in virtual office workspace, the cost will be less than an office lease and moreover there is no office lock.

Reduced Environmental Footprint

Studies show that virtual office space produces significantly less carbon than permanent office space per occupant. As most entrepreneurs who use virtual offices also work from home, this reduces the amount of time they spend commuting to office locations and further reduces their environmental footprint.

Improved Work-Life Balance

Workers with hybrid work arrangements that involve a combination of time spent in virtual offices and working from home offices have better work-life balances. Entrepreneurs with better work-life balances are also healthier. 

Realizing the Benefits of the Virtual Office

While some entrepreneurs thrive when working from home offices five days a week, many encounter loneliness and experience distractions and interruptions. This is where virtual offices can add value. Coworking spaces and day offices afford entrepreneurs with a professional space away from their home office and an opportunity to interact with other business professionals.

Second, virtual offices give entrepreneurs the ability to tap business services that come with special expertise and enable them to focus on running their business. Third, virtual offices enhance entrepreneurial brand awareness—whether professional addresses, lobby greeters, or meeting rooms with state-of-the-art presentation and collaboration tools. Finally, virtual offices enable entrepreneurs to avoid lease lock by giving them the flexibility to use workspace when they need it on demand. This includes the ability to use virtual office space in different locations. 

Davinci Virtual Offices are a great option for organizations seeking virtual office space, offering entrepreneurs over 1,500 locations worldwide from which to choose. 

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