Five Businesses That Can Benefit from a Virtual Office
February 8, 2021 by Lee Mulkowsky
In the past year, many businesses have realized that much of what they thought they needed in order to survive and thrive — a dedicated office suite, onsite employees, full-time reception staff — is, in fact, fungible. Instead of a costly, multi-year lease or property mortgage, companies have turned to virtual offices and remote work.
Rather than have 9-to-5 workers in adjacent cubicles or offices 40 hours a week, businesses have had to allow teams to do their jobs from home — and productivity hasn’t suffered. Instead of a single employee functioning as an in-person receptionist, entities have turned to the professional answering services of virtual-office-solutions providers — and no client or prospect has been any the wiser.
For these reasons and more, organizations from a wide array of industries are deciding to stick with virtual offices. In the following sections, we discuss five types of businesses that can benefit greatly from virtual-office use — in the COVID-19 era and beyond.
If there’s any business built for the sleek agility of virtual offices, it has to be tech.
“Tech is uniquely positioned to take advantage of working conditions turned upside down and sideways because it has the technical resources to support a decentralized workforce, and a significant slice of its employees already worked remotely,” Jon Swartz writes in a piece for Market Watch.
No one knows better than tech, either, the increased efficiency that industrial advancements have wrought for the knowledge workforce. And few other industries better understand how much flexibility in work — be it location, scheduling, or something else — affects productivity.
“Many [technology] companies are learning that their workers are just as or even more productive working from home,” Andy Challenger, senior vice president at staffing company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a recent Associated Press piece by Barbara Ortutay.
Even the giants in this space — Google, Facebook, Apple, and the like — have come to understand how valuable remote work (or a ‘hybrid’ of remote work, comprising virtual-office services and in-office time) is to employees.
“Such a shift might … amount to a repudiation of the notion that creative work demands corporate campuses reminiscent of college, with free food, ping pong tables, and open office plans designed to encourage unplanned interactions,” Ortutay writes.
Selling online is a competitive business, particularly for those just starting out. But with hundreds of millions of web shoppers out there, it’s a pool into which many entrepreneurs decide to dip their toes.
With a range of affordable membership plans, a virtual-office-services provider such as Metro Offices can make a centrally located, well-regarded business address, mail service, and business-line answering all a reality for the e-commerce newbie.
If the online seller believes they don’t need a live professional picking up their company phone, they ought to think again.
According to a blog post from drop-shipping-services company Dropified: “While there are a number of effective ways to communicate with your customers, such as online chat, email, and messenger for Instagram and Facebook, a study by Google showed that 57% of the reasons customers have called a business is because they wanted to talk to a real person.”
Any business that’s just opened its (virtual) doors needs to be mindful of the company budget. And chances are, if the business in question is a startup, it’s operating with very thin margins. Enter top-of-the-line virtual-office services, whose physical-address, phone-answering, and coworking spaces will give a startup all the perks of a traditional office setup without all the cost and commitment.
At Metro Offices, we give members their pick of nine impressive DC and Washington-area business-district address for their business cards; professional, personalized phone answering that never goes to voicemail during business hours; and the option to come in and use any of our clean, frequently sanitized workspaces, huddle areas, or conference rooms.
That business-card address could do a startup more favors than its owners might realize. “Using a separate physical address as your organization’s address can make your company look more legitimate and encourage others to do business with you,” a blog post from document-filing service company IncFile.com reads, in part. “From a customer’s perspective, the image of you operating out of your dining room, or from your laptop on the sofa, might make your organization seem less professional. A physical business address that’s not the same as your residence can boost your credibility and professionalism and build trust with your customers, suppliers, and partners.”
Those who are self-employed and take work from multiple clients, often at the same time, are prime virtual-office-services users. They’re paying for all expenses themselves, so a budget-conscious line item for office services, such as those offered by virtual-office-services providers, makes perfect slim-budget sense.
A virtual office will also go a long way toward securing a freelancer’s privacy, especially if they want to register their business.
“Since most people who run their businesses from home don’t have any other street address [at which] to register their business … they simply use their home address,” a blog post from logosbynick.com reads, in part. “The problem with doing that, though, is that business addresses are public information, meaning your home address becomes widely known and publicly available for anyone to look up.”
Because they spend so much time out in the field — showing properties, hosting open houses, and so on — real-estate agents are another excellent candidate group for virtual-office membership. For those times they do require a quiet desk space to work, they can use rentable-by-the-hour, lockable offices available at top office-services providers such as Metro Offices.
For the remainder of the time that they’re at home or on the go, real-estate agents can rest assured their mail is getting handled by a team of professionals. Those in real estate tend to receive a high volume of mail — why not let someone else (somewhere else) sort through it? A top virtual-office-services provider will let members know via email or app and photo what mail they’ve received to their business address, and they’ll do with it what you ask: store it, shred it, or forward it.
Need virtual-office-space services? In and around DC, look no further than Metro Offices. Browse our locations today.
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