Due to office automation, the idea of virtual offices has become immensely popular during the last decade.
Also, living in the era of Artificial intelligence, where all the communication can easily be done digitally and all the essential files are stored in the cloud, working through a traditional office is not an intuitive option anymore.
The idea of virtual office was effectively started by entrepreneur Ralph Gregory in 1994 when he established ‘Virtual office Inc.’ in the United States.
With the evolution in technology and communication mediums, these virtual offices have gained momentum among small businesses and freelancers.
But like any work arrangement having a virtual business address has its pros and cons.
Virtual Business Address
A virtual business address is a physical street address that provides companies with a prestigious mailing address allowing them to work remotely without having to rent an actual office.
This remote location also known as a virtual office enables employees to work from home providing a range of functions accessible through the internet.
So, not only are you provided with a business address but other services like mail opening and scanning, calls and voice mails, receptionists, and conference rooms are also covered if you require them.
Nonetheless, there are some drawbacks of transitioning virtual which need definite clarification.
Advantages of a Virtual Office
Here are some benefits of having a virtual business address:
Professional Business Address
Having a prestigious mailing address gives the impression to your customers that you take your business seriously.
There’s nothing worse than giving out a post office address or residential address as your mailing address. Although as a small business you could be bound to working from home but spending a few extra bucks to get a virtual business address makes a huge difference in the long run.
Enormous cost saving
Another significant benefit of having a virtual business address is the cost that it saves. For a traditional office, it could take thousands of dollars renting an office, furnishing it, paying the bills, and getting a team to handle your work.
But virtual offices typically cover all these services within $40, so the rest of your precious money could be invested in flourishing your business.
As the time spent on commuting and managing a traditional office is eliminated, the same time can be devoted to crafting new plans for your company.
These hours can also let you indulge in your hobbies, spend time with family, or could even get a few extra hours of sleep.
Virtual office solutions provide different combinations of services with varying price ranges.
You can book meeting rooms at the same place where your virtual business address is located.
Mail receiving, mail scanning, and shredding call receiving and voicemails are some basic services you can get in your plan. But make sure to buy as many services as your business requires at the moment.
One of the biggest perks of having a virtual business address is the feasibility you get through it.
Through a virtual setup, you don’t get confined to work for certain hours like a 9-5 job and get to structure your work life and leisure time according to your liking.
Disadvantages of a Virtual Office
Here are some disadvantages of having a virtual business address:
Lack of motivation
While working independently one must define a clear boundary between work and family life. Because working with no supervision can be distracting and challenging to many people.
But this downside does not apply to all as some people feel more productive and happy operating at their own desired hours.
Reduced social interaction
This disadvantage is especially relatable for extroverted individuals who thrive by interacting socially.
Although you get to connect with your employees through phone calls, texts, and emails, the effect of connecting with people in person has a different vibe.
Therefore many people report feeling lonely and isolated by working remotely.
Restricted access to physical space
If you own a business that requires daily meetings to operate then a virtual business address might not be the best solution for you.
Most virtual offices operate on weekdays between 9 am to 5 pm which means meetings on weekends or nights wouldn’t be possible.
Furthermore, conference rooms are to be booked in advance to assure your meeting spot beforehand.
Miscommunication is another downside seen among virtual office workers. Since there’s no in-person communication between employees, there’s a greater chance of misinterpreting the intent of the sayer.
Face-to-face chats give the benefit to connect through body language and chatting via email or telephonic calls might lead to missing out on some nonverbal clues.
Losing out on promotions
Since virtual office employees work as independent entities and not anywhere are in the proximity of a supervisor or an official boss. Hence, there’s no chance to test their expertise and efficacy in their skills, so no chance of being promoted.