As the rental market continues to skyrocket, more and more business people are looking for affordable alternatives to locate their businesses and staff. Some of these alternatives include renting a house for the staff to work out of, or perhaps even having all of the employees telecommute into work every day and work from their own homes. Other businesses have found that they travel so much for their business that it just is not worth it for them to pay a monthly rent for an office space that will rarely be used. Another option for people that want all of the benefits that come with a fully operational office without the high cost is to invest in a virtual office space. A virtual office is a physical office location that provides many of the functions that you would have if you had your own private office. These virtual offices are typically managed out of a shared office space business, where business people can rent out working space in short term increments, from as little as a few hours up to several months at a time. This shared space is then utilized by multiple people at the same time. Think of it like going into a normal office every day, with conference rooms and fax machine and printer access, and a business lounge and kitchen at your disposal, but the person sitting at the desk next you might happen to work in a completely different industry.
A virtual office space can offer many different benefits, such as:
- Live telephone answering service. Many business people prefer that all of their business calls go through a receptionist before they answer them. This prevents clients from having to leave a message on a cell phone, which can degrade their professional image. It also provides a screening process, so that they will know exactly who is calling before they speak to them. During non office hours, many virtual offices also offer an automated answering system so that no call will go unanswered.
- Mailing services. Most business people prefer to keep their professional life separate from their personal life, so they hesitate to put their home address on their website or their business cards. Listing a P.O. Box is also undesirable for many business people that want to be taken seriously. A virtual office can function as your physical mailing address for your clients. It allows them to send you correspondence to a real address, which will add to your professional image. The virtual office itself can sign for packages and store them in a secure location until you are able to come and retrieve them.
- Virtual offices also give you access to an executive business lounge. This space will offer 24/7 access to an area where you can use high speed internet as well as fax machines. It gives you a space to stop and complete some work whether you are on the road and need an office space, or if you are near your home.