Why Virtual Office Services are Essential in Coworking
Original article can be found here by Lucy Allen.
As the landscape for virtual offices and meeting space becomes more competitive, workspace operators have a unique opportunity to generate additional business by introducing a virtual office product as part of their workspace offerings.
According to Davinci Virtual Office Solutions, virtual office and meeting space income now comprise almost 20 percent of flexible workspace industry revenue.
Firstly, Let’s Start with what Virtual Offices are?
Virtual offices provide mobile employees, remote workers, freelancers, independent professionals and small to mid-size companies with a great business address without the overhead of permanent office space. A virtual office also allows for mail receipt and mail forwarding, access to temporary office space and conference rooms, phone answering, business amenities and more. Essentially, virtual offices provide the best elements of a physical office space without the overheads while offering more flexibility.
As technology advances, specifically virtual reality, virtual coworking also is likely to become even more popular. Many experts are predicting that future coworking spaces will more than likely choose to include this type of virtual element. As a result, coworking space operators are embracing the virtual office trend to expand their offerings, create additional income streams and differentiate in an increasingly crowded workspace industry.
Virtual coworking spaces provide many of the same benefits as physical coworking spaces but without being in the same place. Those who use a virtual coworking space get the sense of community and more without constant interruptions or having to go to a specific location.
There are many benefits associated with virtual offices for both operators and their members. We explore these below and underpin the reasons why you should consider introducing it into your flexible workspace offering.
Companies and Tenants are Demanding Flexibility
One of the factors driving this virtual workplace transformation are the changing dynamics of the workforce. Gone are the days of the standard 9 – 5 working hours, 5 days a week. Companies are abandoning the concept of workers sitting behind desks in permanent office spaces for 8 hours a day in favour of a virtual, more mobile environment. Workers may go to the company office for one or two days a week, work from a third workplace another day, and work from their home office or mobile for the remainder of the week. Flexible workspace operators can take advantage of the rise in demand for mobility and cater to these requirements in order to increase customer retention and advocacy.
The ability to tap into this mobile anywhere, anytime approach requires great productivity and communications applications, and on-demand workspace products and services. An effective way to provide this mobility in your workspace is by adopting a softphone app. A softphone is a software application on a computer or mobile device that is used to make phone calls over the Internet. A softphone allows tenants to stay connected from wherever they are whilst paying local fees. At the same time, you the operator benefit from an extra income stream and delivering a better member experience.
Increase Revenue Whilst your Customers Reduce Overheads
Businesses and entrepreneurs can leverage virtual office and meeting space solutions because of benefits such as low-entry costs and minimal overheads without sacrificing their company image and professionalism. Small businesses spend almost 10% of their revenue on office space, and this does not include the overhead of a receptionist. Virtual offices offer them the chance to reduce their expenditures and reinvest back into their business on things such as marketing initiatives, technology and enhanced customer experiences. It also allows them to have a professional business address without the expensive associated cost.
You on the other hand can generate greater revenues from the ability to increase the number of members whilst not worrying if you have space or a desk in your workspace to accommodate them. It’s important to still provide the option of meeting rooms and various services to virtual users when required, which again creates an additional income stream and a potential up-sell opportunity.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
Martin Senn, CEO and Co-Founder of Davinci Virtual Office Solutions, states “virtual office clients represent qualified traffic to any workspace. They also book on-demand meeting space and day offices, which means they bring in fresh eyes into the location. If handled and serviced correctly, these visitors can turn into tenants or coworking members themselves. It’s important to nurture the virtual office business and make sure you are delivering an excellent member experience to encourage repeat business and customer advocacy.”
Customer service is at the heart of any flexible workspace and can make all the difference when it comes to tenants choosing which space to occupy. Going the extra mile with a hospitality focus and offering a virtual office package can set your flexible workspace apart from competition.
Keep your Tenants Coming Back for More
As obvious as it sounds, if you keep your tenants happy this will positively impact your business performance and reputation. Introducing a virtual office package to your coworking spaces brings many benefits to your tenants and potential customers, including but not limited to:
• Reduced costs
• Forming part of a community
• No distractions
• Increased productivity
• Reduced commute time
• Better work-life balance
Drive More Value to Your Members and Your Bottom Line
You can create additional revenue streams with a range of virtual office offerings, According to Davinici Virtual Office Solutions, the top 3 popular add-on services for virtual office products are: mail forwarding, lobby / directory listing and incorporation services. The below products and services should also be considered:
• Business address
• Mail collection / Mail scanning
• Live phone answering service – Don’t miss a beat. Customers on the road or busy working on a project can have professional receptionists answer, forward calls to a mobile or take messages
• Meeting room and day office rental
• Virtual phone number
• That’s the virtual office services sorted, but you also need to make sure these services are easy for occupiers to consume and pay for. Provide more options and flexibility for your customers by providing the option of paying with credits.
Credits in coworking spaces are essentially virtual money that tenants can use to book desks and meeting rooms as well as any other products or services operators offer. Make it easy and frictionless for your members to consume your services. This slick and efficient process won’t go unnoticed by customers. It may even encourage them to purchase additional services in the future.
Getting Started with Virtual Office Services
A growing number of coworking spaces are jumping on the bandwagon and incorporating virtual offices into their IT services proposition and workspace offering. Operate, the workspace management software built by essensys, makes it easy to promote your virtual offices with the Davinci Virtual integration. With the Davinci Virtual integration you can advertise your virtual office spaces to a wide audience and maximise exposure.
Davinci Virtual Office Solutions is the global provider of business addresses, live answering services and meeting spaces. Every year, Davinci provisions thousands of virtual office clients and meeting space reservations in the U.S. alone. Take advantage of this and enjoy the benefits by joining their Preferred Partner Network. Get started and discover more here.