The Key Benefits of Virtual Offices

For any organisation that works remotely or is considering shifting to remote work, a virtual office is a must-have. But what exactly is a virtual office, and what are the benefits of using one? In this guide to the key benefits of a virtual office membership, we'll explain everything you need to know. 

Virtual offices explained

The terms 'virtual office' and 'virtual office space' are a tad misleading, conjuring up futuristic visions of headset-clad workers controlling their 3D avatars in virtual reality. While this may be the workplace of the future that Meta's Mark Zuckerberg and other big tech companies dream of, the current reality of remote work is a little different. 

Today, a virtual office simply refers to when a business pays a small fee each month to register their address at a building. Despite not renting an actual office space in the building, this arrangement allows the business to be registered at this address and use it for all business mail.

The virtual office provider will manage your mail and depending on the package you pay for may forward letters and packages or open and scan them over to you in real time. Some packages also include telephone answering and forwarding services. 

In short, renting a virtual office means that you give the illusion of being based at a particular address while actually working remotely from elsewhere. This is a common practice among small and medium-sized businesses and is not dissimilar from owning a business PO box – it's just far more convenient! 

Now we've explained how virtual offices work, let's take a look at some of the benefits of using them. 

Save money by working remotely

Renting the perfect physical office in a prime location such as London, Edinburgh, or Bristol can be prohibitively expensive for many organisations. After the rise of remote working was accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, many organisations are realising that getting rid of their physical traditional office is a great way to save money.

While more affordable and flexible office leases such as serviced offices and managed office spaces are one solution for businesses that want to consider hybrid working, going 100% remote with a virtual office is by far the cheapest option. 

With rates as low as £10 a month, choosing to rent a virtual rather than a physical office allows unparalleled cost savings. By working remotely and paying this small monthly subscription, there's no more need for all the hidden costs and overheads associated with a brick-and-mortar office -- an important consideration in a time of skyrocketing energy bills. 

Enjoy a prestigious business address

One of the key reasons that many remote-working businesses choose to rent a virtual office is the benefit of an attractive and impressive business address. Your business address may not seem important but it says something about your organisation to potential clients and job applicants.

For example, for a growing financial services business, a prestigious business address in the City of London or Canary Wharf conveys your professionalism and expertise, even if your business isn't actually located there. Similarly, a trendy startup with a young and hip customer base may want to choose a business address in one of Manchester's more up-and-coming districts. 

Your type of business, your location, and your customers or client base will all determine whether a virtual office is right for you and if so where it should be. However, we don't recommend choosing a virtual office far from your actual location as this can be misleading to clients and might result in long journeys for you if you choose to pick up your packages. 

Protect your privacy

For new businesses that have never had a physical office space, a key benefit of virtual offices is that it gives you a place to register your business instead of having to use the founder's home address. Because the registered business address is publicly available from Companies House, using a home address can mean a loss of privacy. 

Instead of having to use a personal dwelling as your registered company address, using a virtual office allows you to use the address of a business centre. This address is then listed in the company's official public details.

Stay flexible

With a virtual office on a rolling monthly subscription, your business can maintain the flexibility you need for your operations. For example, let's say you're a small business trialling a remote approach for the first time. You may not know whether remote-first will work for your team; will it hinder productivity and collaboration? Or will it benefit the team as well as your budget? It's hard to know until you try. 

A flexible virtual office membership allows you to maintain your office address while trialling remote work and is quick and easy to cancel if you decide to move back to in-person or hybrid working. In fact, many providers of managed offices and serviced offices also provide virtual office memberships, which means you could even move to a physical office in the same building you have been using as your virtual address. 

Reduce your admin with call answering and mailroom services

Whether you're a new small business or a well established company, administrative duties like mail handling and phone answering can add up quickly. Hiring a person for these admin and receptionist duties can be expensive because of the tax and benefits needed in addition to their salary. For this reason, opting for a virtual office which provides these services as part of the monthly price can be a more cost-effective option than hiring new administrative staff. 

Choosing a virtual package with mail and phone handling included allows your team to focus on your important work without getting bogged down in admin. It's cheap and easy – why not try it?

Keep a local address when moving away

Another benefit of virtual offices is that they allow your business to maintain a mailing address when moving to a new location or expanding overseas. With a virtual office, you can keep costs low while still continuing your business' presence in the area and allowing mail to be sent there, without the need for an expensive and unoccupied office space.

Get free or discounted meeting room access

Depending on your package, your virtual membership may also offer access to free or discounted meeting rooms in the building. These are perfect for remote-working organisations that occasionally need an office space for important meetings or creative collaboration. Being able to rent out these flexible meeting rooms is both convenient and cost effective, helping your company stay agile in your work. 

Boost your SEO

One of the lesser-known benefits of using a virtual office is that it can help your business' local search engine optimisation, helping your website show up more often when potential customers search for products or services you offer in your area.

Using your virtual office address on your company website and optimising your Google Business page helps indicate to search engines that they should make your website more visible to searchers in that area. 

Just make sure that it's clear that customers cannot visit your office at this address! 

Try a virtual office today

In conclusion, using a virtual office can bring a wide range of benefits for your organisation in terms of cost-savings, privacy, administrative support, and even meeting room access.

If you're considering trying out a virtual office, the team at Future Squared can help. Offering flexible and budget-friendly virtual office spaces all around the UK, we can help match you with the perfect membership for your needs.

Just check out our office search tool to find the perfect virtual office in your desired location, or get in touch to find out more.