5 Ways Your Business Can Benefit From a Virtual Office

Thanks to the rise in remote working, virtual office spaces are more viable than ever.

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By Chris Porteous Originally published

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The term "virtual office" might have sounded strange a few years ago, but today the concept is fairly standard. A company may not have a fixed address but still function as a provider of goods and services. Because of the rise of telecommuting and remote working, there's less need for a business to operate from a traditional brick-and-mortar location.

Startup businesses especially stand to benefit from the flexibility of virtual office spaces. Many startups are operating on shoestring budgets and don't have the funds for a professional corporate set up, complete with a secretary and meeting room. Virtual offices give them a chance to maintain a professional atmosphere while remaining within budget. In this article, we'll look at a few ways that a virtual office can benefit any business, not just startups.

Related: 5 Ways to Build Your Virtual Office

1. Virtual offices have low overhead costs

Business Wire reports that most companies spend anywhere from 15% to a whopping 46% of their money on office rent. For most businesses, an office space is about more than just a physical location. It is a place their clients can get to quickly, where they can hold meetings and conferences while offering the professional corporate environment that many big-ticket clients appreciate.

Virtual offices can provide a lot of the same benefits. The address can still be that of a corporate building, meaning clients won't have to send checks to your personal home address. Yet they cost far less than purchasing a building or having one constructed. Rent in the bustling part of a city can be expensive. In the early days of launching a business, especially when wiggle room for funds is limited, the money you save with a virtual office can help keep the business afloat.

Related: Making the Switch to a Virtual Office Painless

2. Virtual offices are more environmentally sensitive

Businesses may talk a big game about being environmentally sensitive, but how many take the responsibility seriously? Offices can be one of the largest sources of waste — even smaller companies throw out a massive amount of paper and other materials. When you consider the volume of carbon emissions from office employees who drive or bus into work each day, the impact a small company can have on climate change can be shocking.

Virtual offices don't have these issues. Workers can remotely connect to the office and immediately begin working. There is less of an impact from fossil fuels and less waste of organic materials. Virtual offices also utilize electronic documents, which are less likely to be misplaced and require fewer resources to produce.

3. Virtual office employees often enjoy working from home

Developing a remote work arrangement with an employer can be an excellent perk. Buffer's 2019 study into the state of remote work found far more remote employees were satisfied with their work-life balance than those who went into an office. As a perk, remote work has much to recommend it — and with employers getting more competitive, it may become even more critical. Offering remote work might help companies recruit the best talent, as most employees will see it as desirable.

4. More motivated employees

Virtual offices allow for more flexible management of workloads. Employees can better manage their workload by distributing their to-do's throughout the day and not spending too much time engrossed in a single task. The result is a more efficient workforce, with employees able to consistently hit deadlines. Motivation rises when employees empower themselves to make their own schedules. They no longer work because they "have to" finish a task, but because they're invested in its completion. This can make a big difference in how they view their employment and employer.

Related: How to Lead in the Virtual Office

5. Happier staff

A virtual office is often highly desirable for staff, whereas brick-and-mortar offices have several drawbacks when it comes to keeping employees happy. A company many try to entice its employees with extra perks, but the root of employee unhappiness is often motivation and a desire to keep performing. Virtual offices cater to the business, but they also offer employees a unique way to work. With so many people now acclimated to remote working, they likely view virtual offices as a benefit — which promotes a happier, more productive staff.

Not Just For Startups Anymore

Virtual offices have seen a massive rise in popularity. In these tough economic times, businesses have realized they need to reconsider their spending. If a business can eliminate 15% of its expenses, it has more leeway when it comes to turning a profit. Keeping employees happy is also a concern, and a virtual office provides desirable perks, resulting in more content, productive employees. Startups may have popularized the concept of virtual offices; but as more businesses recognize the benefits, virtual offices are on track to become the norm rather than the exception.

Chris Porteous

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

High Performance Growth Marketer

Chris Porteous is CEO of SearchEye, which offers unbundled digital marketing projects for clients and agencies across the globe.

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