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What is a Virtual Office & How Do They Work?

Remote work has taken the world by storm, and this has resulted in businesses realising that there are more ways to get the job done than a fixed office space. Virtual offices have been around for a while, but only recently have organisations started to see the myriad of benefits associated with them. In this article we’ll highlight what virtual offices are, how they work and whether they are right for you and your business.

What is a Virtual Office?

As the name implies, a virtual office is a fixed workspace that allows businesses to operate remotely while retaining many of the benefits of having an office. The primary reason for utilising one is to alleviate the cost of renting or buying without losing the perks. Virtual offices can be found in the form of fixed workspaces, public cafes, or even remote locations around the world for digital nomads.

How do Virtual Offices Work?

You can imagine virtual offices in the same way as a gated security complex. The ‘homeowner association’ manages all the admin, maintenance, and necessary services while tenants get the option of renting on a short term, buying for the long term, or utilising some properties as a guesthouse.

Virtual offices perform a similar function, the workspace provider owns the building and provides the services necessary to conduct business. Tenants, or in this case the different businesses can rent fixed offices, utilise daily hot desks, or book out meeting rooms on a pro-rata basis. This allows a level of flexibility that traditional office buildings are not often associated with.

What Type of Business Use Virtual Offices?

With the rapid evolution of technology, there is no shortage of businesses that can benefit from a virtual office. Essentially, any organisation that is device-centric can operate out of a virtual office. Even manufacturers can dedicate their warehouses to production while administrative staff sit off-premise in a virtual office building. Some industries that are ideal for virtual offices include:

1. Startups and entrepreneurs

2. Technology companies

3. Advertising and marketing agencies

4. Real estate agents

5. Financial services

6. Freelancers

7. Trade workers

What are the Benefits of a Virtual Office Over a Traditional Office?

There are several advantages to making use of a virtual office over traditional spaces:

1. Cost-effectiveness – After salaries, rent is considered to be the biggest expense for a business. Virtual offices eliminate the need for long-term lease agreements, expensive furniture, and utility costs.

2. Flexibility – From remote work to hot desks, virtual offices provide better work-life balance and potentially improve staff productivity.

3. Scalability – Virtual office providers are designed to scale so that as your business grows, so can your office space without having to change buildings entirely.

4. Environmentally friendly – Since you only use the space needed, and potentially commute less, your virtual office has a lower carbon footprint.

5. Administrative load – You can save resources and time by eliminating the need to manage duties such as cleaning, security, and the staff associated with these necessities.

Services Typically Provided by a Virtual Office

Virtual offices aren’t taking South Africa and the world by storm for nothing. They provide a plethora of benefits that many businesses are benefiting from already. Many of these benefits come in the form of services provided by virtual offices such as:

1. Collaborative workspaces

2. Back-up generators

3. Flexible lease options

4. High-speed fibre

5. Back-up water

6. IT support services

7. Secure basement parking

8. Phone services

9. Business address

10. Meeting rooms

11. Printing facilities

12. Professional reception

What Makes Virtual Offices Perfect for South African Businesses?

Speak to any South African and they can tell you about the problems they’ve faced when it comes to power interruptions, water shortages,and many other related issues that our country is facing. Small businesses are particularly affected by issues such as load shedding due to the capital outlay required to run an alternative power source.

South African businesses benefit immensely from virtual offices since many of them come standard with back-up power, secure parking,and flexible leasing options amongst many other benefits.

Which Office Type is Right for Your Business?

When it comes to virtual offices you typically have two main options to choose from:

Virtual offices: you share a work or office space and get access to communal amenities.

Private office: you get your own, furnished officespace as well as access to communal amenities.

Which option you decide to go for will depend on the needsof your business. Sole-proprietors, entrepreneurs or freelancers for example may prefer to go for a virtual office since they might not be using the space regularly.

On the other hand, an insurance company with a small army of brokers may want to opt for a private office since they make regular phone calls and would benefit from a fixed workspace.

Where to Find Virtual Offices in Johannesburg

If any of the above benefits or reasons sound appealing,then you should consider Infinity Serviced Offices in Fourways, Johannesburg. Our modern workspace features functional amenities and services that make the day-to-day functioning of yourbusiness seamless. Our workspaces include all of the benefits mentioned above and are built for collaboration so that you can focus on what your business doesbest.