Back in the 80s or the 90s, working on our toes in an enclosed office space and having heaps of files stacked to work upon was considered all in a day’s work. That was our way of taking the company higher even as we somehow managed our work-life balance! But, this idea has now taken a back seat.
Millennials prefer working remotely, rather than being glued to their desks. Even budding entrepreneurs, or well established businesses today have the concept of Virtual Offices, in which they can work remotely and still expand their businesses globally.
Virtual offices differ from serviced offices/business centres as the former intends to provide a virtual business address along with a few services (ranging from company to company) at a fee. Its notion was seen to emerge from the Industrial Revolution, when working styles were largely modified. One can say this notion may have come about from a combination of technological innovation and the digital age.
According to a publication, approximately 1.7 million companies are registered in India. However, of these, only 1.13 million were active by the end of October. Behind a company's non-functionality or dormant status lies numerous reasons that lead to such circumstances, most of which are related directly or indirectly to funding.
Setting up a business space or serviced office space involves a lot of investment for resources, services etc, and even more in maintaining the same. Due to which, it is absolutely beneficial for one to rather invest in a virtual office space. It saves a lot of investment in lease, utilities, hardware and interiors, allowing one to invest more in their employees.
Although the concept of virtual office is at a nascent stage in India, it is expected to grow at a rate of 21-25 percent every year. I believe a virtual office space is a huge benefit for small enterprises, medium sized companies, and professionals like CAs, lawyers or even freelancers.
It provides them with a premium virtual business address at metro cities. And, this business address can easily be used by the company to conduct meetings, and can also be used on the company's letterheads and other documents. It further allows an establishment to enjoy the luxuries (services) of a traditional office space while having the flexibility to work on their own terms.
Virtual offices are advantageous as they give a company the buffer time needed to decide on expansion. It, however, also offers a wide range of additional benefits such as:
- Cost saving: They are not just customisable, but also do not require any investment on interiors, housekeeping, security, full-time staff or a long-term lease. Thus leaving a lot of scope for investment in other necessary things such as human resources, expansion plans and more.
- Professional business address: A virtual office space renders prime office addresses to organisations at well-known locations. This ensures an added bonus for the image of the organisation for its clients.
- Prime mailing address: One can have countless benefits from this prime mailing address - ranging from a refined, professional business address, to the flexibility of receiving and forwarding all mails to this address or to clients.
- Professional telephone response: Also, having a local dedicated phone number and a professional receptionist service answering calls in the name of one’s business elevates the overall perception.
- Quality reception services: Virtual offices also provide professional reception services that would receive and sign for any mails or parcels received at the business address.
- Meeting rooms and office spaces: Top-notch virtual office space providers also provide meeting rooms on rent at the same business address. Additionally, one can also opt to rent office spaces to begin with.
With a virtual office space, a budding enterprise, travelling executives, or project based organisations are sure to benefit too as it promotes the perks of a traditional office space without the need to make a stringent financial commitment. Although, apart from this, one is free to opt for bundles of services that are available at a pay-per-use scheme. Apart from this, other advantages of virtual offices would be:
- Instant availability
- Growth flexibility and opportunity to expand gradually at the same business address
- Ease of administration
Furthermore, there's no doubt that traditional workspaces are working well as bigger organisations see benefit in having people work in their office spaces. But, coworking space and virtual office spaces are sure to continue growing as more workers aim for a work-life balance. Although, taking into consideration the fact that most small establishments opt for co-working space, or virtual office spaces, but that also builds up ample competition for other budding enterprises. Meanwhile, enterprises will continue to strive for a global reach at a minimal cost along with the resource and capital benefits of remote workforce, with the flexibility to control their business without any geographical constraints.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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