28 January, 2019
Thinking of starting a new business but 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 its advantages?
Keep reading to find out.
What is Virtual Office Space?
Virtual office space (VOS) is the 21st century’s solution to the issues of physical offices.
Demand often outweighs supply when it comes to affordable, high-quality, and well-situated office space. We’ve already seen just how expensive it is to rent office space in London. It’s the same story elsewhere in the UK too.
This is where VOS comes in.
Essentially, VOS offers all the benefits of a physical space, with less of the baggage. Office meets internet: rooms and buildings are swapped for virtual environments.
You pay instead for services such as a postal address, business phone number, and discounted meeting room access. Business is conducted online. Conference calls are made through Skype. You and your colleagues work remotely, from anywhere that works best.
In so doing, you swap the confines of a physical address for the freedom of remote work, without sacrificing the credibility of your company.
Sounds good, right? It gets better…
6 Key Advantages of a Virtual Office
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.
1. You Get the Best of Both Worlds
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.
2. You Save Money
The financial savings of VOS are one of its greatest 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.
3. Flexibility at the Core
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.
4. There Are No Long-term Commitments
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.
5. You Access Affordable Prestige
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.
6. You Avoid the Mundanities of Physical Office Space
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.
Time to Wrap Up
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.