29 June, 2022
Thinking of starting a new business but do the costs concern you? Learn what is virtual office space and the advantages that save you money in the UK.
The average cost of rented office space in London is between £650-1400 per person.
That’s a lot of money. Especially for a start-up, or sole-trader, in the initial stages of their business. The financial commitments required to work in the UK’s biggest city can be a significant hindrance to a business’ potential success.
This is one reason why some people are turning to virtual office spaces as an alternative.
Simply, actual office space is often out of reach and too risky for new businesses.
Instead, working remotely, via a virtual office, is becoming the preferred model of conducting business. But why?
What is a virtual office space? And what are the advantages and the benefits of a virtual office?
Keep reading to find out.
Virtual business solutions can be beneficial for anyone or any company that prefers remote work but wishes to maintain certain aspects of a traditional workspace. And with one in five people in the UK wanting to work full-time remotely, it’s not surprising that virtual offices have become more prevalent across different industry segments:
Now we know what it is, let’s consider the advantages of virtual office space over conventional offices.
There are many to choose from. We’ve narrowed it down to the main ones.
The address and business phone number of an actual office space create a professional image for your business.
But, as we’ve seen, it comes at a cost.
Virtual office spaces offer the same outward appearance of professionality that physical spaces provide. You get an office address, but you don’t work there. You get a phone number, but it’s forwarded to your personal line.
The benefits of a physical address are there, with less of the hassle.
The financial savings of VOS are one of its greatest virtual office benefits.
This can be especially helpful to small businesses and start-ups. Costs are always an issue for anyone in the initial stages of business. The hefty price of office floor space and the rental commitments that usually go with it can be a heavy burden on beginning-stage businesses.
Sure, you have to pay for virtual office services. But it’s nothing like the thousands of pounds required for physical space.
Then there are the savings on bill payments, overheads, avoided maintenance costs, and savings on meeting room costs.
Flexibility is another major plus-point of VOS.
You aren’t restricted to one place to conduct business. Utilising a virtual office means you can work anywhere, and at any time. And that same goes for your workforce. Your employees will value the ability to choose when and where they work.
You don’t need to be in the office to do your work. Instead, the office comes with you. This enables you to fit your work around other commitments and work at a time that suits you.
Physical office space usually comes attached to lease agreements.
To rent a property, you’re required to commit to a 6, or 12-month tenancy, for example. This can be tricky for small businesses.
Unpredictability is often at the heart of start-ups. Indeed, up to 90% of start-ups fail. Those lengthy rental agreements can be a worrying thought for a small business. If the business does fail, then who’s gonna pay the rent?
VOS solves this issue. There’s no rental agreement, and therefore no commitment required.
Remember how a virtual business office will use a virtual office address?
Well, these addresses are often in prestigious parts of your city of choice. For all intents and purposes, your business appears to be in one of the hottest and trendiest parts of town.
In reality, the price of actual office space in these areas may be far out of reach.
But buying an address here creates the same prestige as if you were actually there. The image and brand of your business benefits. And you simply pay for a mail forwarding service to deliver your letters from the virtual address to your door.
The problems with physical offices don’t stop at the costs involved.
There are all sorts of other considerations. Think about the cleaning, the maintenance, and the inevitable building issues (blocked drains, leaky rooves…). Then there’s the workplace politics. The gossip around the water cooler, the rumours spread between desks, and so on.
VOS successfully protects you from such unexpected, day-to-day issues.
One of the virtual office benefits that often gets overlooked is employee comfort. For one, working remotely allows them to ditch the daily commute, offering them huge potential time savings. For example, it can free their mornings for a fitness class and their evenings for more time with family.
Having no set job location means that employees can craft their own perfect workstations, arrange a co-working space with their friends, or even become digital nomads.
Location-based SEO - also known as geolocation SEO or geo-targeting - helps you generate more traffic from a specific location. You want your company to be associated with one specific address (preferably in a prime location). For example, if you want to rank higher in London, the address you display on your website should be in London.
Your workforce can be scattered all over the world - the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, South Africa - but your address will remain the same.
As a final reason to get a virtual office, we want to highlight scalability and financial security. Almost every business has plans for future growth. But instead of spending your resources on renting bigger premises, you can set up a virtual office and invest the funds elsewhere.
You can expand your team without the limitations of physical spaces or having to fully relocate to another area. And if you’re testing new markets, you can open up a virtual office address in that location without spiralling overheads!
Having a virtual office in London carries all the benefits of any virtual office - like no long-term commitments, cost savings, and flexibility. But there are some bonus perks, and here are three of them.
The location of a business affects how people perceive it. London is viewed as one of the world leaders in commerce, finance, real estate, and many other industries. So, by launching a virtual office in East London, you instantly become associated with the city’s image of success.
That kind of first impression can bring you a lot of customers and prospective business contacts.
If your brand name alone doesn’t carry enough credibility, a well-respected address can. Imagine a scenario: a potential customer finds their way onto your website. Even though they don’t recognise the company name, they might scroll down the page and see a fancy London address, reassuring them that only a reliable business could be located in the heart of the city.
You can also get the same boost of business authority through the Google My Business information box.
Perhaps you have one of those businesses that don’t need a permanent physical office space. Most of the time, having Zoom meetings and submitting forms online is enough. But there comes a time - once a month or even once a year - when you need an office for that incredibly important meeting.
One of the greatest benefits of a virtual office service is the option to temporarily bring your business offline. With us, you can rent a meeting room in London’s dynamic technology hub and impress your business partners.
For affordable virtual office services, look no further than The Hoxton Mix. We encompass all the benefits of virtual office space and then some more!
There you have it: an answer to the question ‘what is virtual office space?’
VOS is the answer to problematic physical spaces. You say goodbye to a physical space. Instead, helped by services like a virtual office address and a business phone number, you conduct your business virtually, online while maintaining a credible, professional image for your business.
The advantages to virtual office space are numerous.
Where good physical offices are expensive and hard to come by, virtual office spaces are an increasingly popular alternative.
It’s the best of both worlds: a business image at a fraction of the price, with the flexibility to work wherever and whenever with no long-term commitments. Then there’s the potential to gain a prestigious business location while avoiding the day-to-day mundanities of physical office space.
A virtual office is a great arrangement from the employees’ and employers’ perspectives. Employees save time and money on commuting, increase their productivity, and enjoy work flexibility. Employers reduce overhead costs, get access to worldwide talent, and make stress-free expansions.
There are, of course, both benefits and disadvantages of virtual offices. Without a physical desk space and an office environment, employees may have a harder time socialising and team-building. They may also get distracted and disorganised without a formal structure.
The three top advantages of a virtual office in London are that you can make a great first impression, increase your credibility, and improve your availability.
Not at all! Pick the plan that suits your business needs the most, apply online, and have your office ready within the same day. Convenience is just one of the many advantages of using a virtual office.