Working from a virtual office: benefits and pitfalls

By:

Date: 13 April 2022

Representation of virtual office

Every business wants to achieve the maximum profit for the minimum investment. To do this, you need to take your work seriously, hire employees with relevant experience and qualities, improve your business knowledge and acumen, but also keep an eye on the economic and business trends.

One of these trends is move to permanent or hybrid remote working. Of course, it's not possible for every business that provides services to the public or selling goods to operate with employees working remotely without reducing efficiency. However, there are many industries where business owners can reap huge benefits from this approach. If you can operate from the cheapest virtual office address, your business can benefit from reduced overheads.

Read on to discover if you need a virtual office, how to get the most out of this trend and when a virtual office have the biggest positive impact on a business.

When is a virtual office needed?

A virtual office is not suitable for all employers, companies, and employees. However, during the pandemic, this method of working won the hearts of many business owners who instantly understood how to get the most out of a virtual office and when to use one.

Cost savings for small businesses

For small businesses with limited budgets, a virtual office can solve several problems at once. Firstly, you can forget about the huge expenses associated with of renting office space. For example, Hoxton Mix offers a complete virtual office package in the centre of London for £25. Imagine how much it would cost to rent sufficient office space for all your employees in central London! Office space in the West End reaches in excess of £120 per sq/ft.

Not only can you avoid sky-high business rental prices by opting for a virtual office, you also avoid having to pay business rates and all the other charges associated with having physical premises. This can amount to an enormous saving for businesses with limited funds.

For a start up business or enterprise, this option is simply unthinkable. It's highly unlikely your turnover would support those costs. Moreover, that money would be better invested in growing your business.

Get access to regional and international markets

Do you want to explore other markets without investing vast sums? You can achieve this by opening a virtual office as your headquarters in another country. You will receive both legal and postal addresses allowing you to receive bills and other correspondence in another country. Digitisation of papers sent to your private address or email can be handled by your company secretary.

Companies with remote employees

If your employees can work remotely, it makes no sense to rent costly business premises. Remote working was growing in popularity before the pandemic even hit. It is easier than ever to set up communication channels between colleagues. Zoom, Telegram, Viber and other messenger services make it possible to bring colleagues together so that they get almost the same experience as when communicating face-to-face. Moreover, most instant messengers are free to use.

How to organise work in a virtual office

Organising work in a virtual office is much the same as when working together in a physical office. You will need all the same elements but in a slightly different format.

1. Planning

For the optimal operation of any business, it is important to create a clear, step-by-step strategy. Each step should be assigned to a specific employee or team. If you have a project manager, then they should be responsible for the work of each employee in the team and the timely fulfilment of targets. If there is no such person, you, as the owner of the business, will have to take on this task.

2. Employee control

In order to ensure that the tasks are completed on time, it's necessary to use a  modern CRM systems. Such systems allow you to track the progress of each employee. This is important because most tasks are interrelated meaning a whole chain of tasks can depend on the timely completion of just one task. Failure to meet one deadline mean a whole project misses its delivery deadline, damaging your company's reputation.

3. Constant communication

There's no excuse for communication breakdowns between employees. As previously mentioned, there's a huge number of instant messengers that also offer group call functionality. What's more, you can be linked all the time, as these messenger apps require very little beyond a modern phone, computer, or laptop.

Main pitfalls

There are always pitfalls to consider with any strategic change of direction and moving  employees to a remote working model or using a virtual office are no exception.

The first problem relates to employee motivation and productivity, although this will not affect every employee. Some remote workers will be very happy about the opportunity to work remotely, while others may find it more challenging. To avoid possible problems, you need to consider carefully which jobs and employees are suitable for remote working and check in with employees regularly to ensure everything is working as expected and that employees are happy with the arrangement.

Another consideration is that the use of virtual offices is not legal in every country. You should familiarise yourself with the laws of the country in which you intend opening such an office.

You also need to take into account that the virtual office, although it is called that, has little in common with cloud offices. When using a virtual office, you will have a real legal and postal address, which is the fundamental difference.

Copyright 2022. Article was made possible by site supporter Hoxtonmix.

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.