Find out the benefits of having a virtual office. Nexa compares the advantages and disadvantages of a virtual office service.
As a business owner, you can have a loton your plate. Was that meeting in New York scheduled for Monday or Tuesday? Did you fully onboard your new London-based employee? The list goes on and on.
Fortunately, the benefits of virtual office services can enable you to cross objectives off your to-do list, freeing you up for more essential tasks. These services can include any tasks handled by technologies like AI and chatbots. They also consist of call centers and virtual reception services.
If you’re thinking about virtual office services, it’s vital to know all the benefits and disadvantages they can offer. With this knowledge, you can decide whether a virtual office is right for your business.
Virtual Office Benefits
Although more businesses seem to operate online than ever, the move toward virtual offices has dominated the business world for some time. In fact, 74% of professionals believe remote work will soon become the norm.1
While businesses have different reasons for going virtual, one reason stands out: in an increasingly global world, it can be easier and more cost-effective to go virtual.
That’s because virtual services typically handle the following:
Inbound and outbound sales
Client intake and outtake
Let’s take a closer look at how these virtual office services can help grow your business.
#1 Reduced Overhead Costs
Operating and maintaining a brick-and-mortar office can require a significant amount of money. Just a few of the necessary expenses include:1
Rent – If you own the space housing your office, you won’t have to pay rent. But if you’re one of the many businesses renting your space, you can expect to pay a substantial sum each month. In places like New York City, for instance, rental cost per square foot can exceed $87.2
Utilities – Utilities like electricity and water can also take a chunk of your revenue. On average, electricity costs $1.47 per square foot.3 While that may not seem like much, you might be on the hook for $1,470 per month if you have a 1,000-square-foot office.
Salaries – Hiring an in-person team usually means you’ll have to pay salaries to your employees. While employee salaries can differ based on business type and employee experience, you could have to pay each office employee up to $42,390 annually.4
Virtual office services allow you to cut back on these expenses or eliminate them entirely. For example, instead of hiring in-person receptionists to handle routine calls, set up live virtual receptionist services. That way, you can boost productivity and provide exemplary customer service around the clock—with no physical office space required.
#2 Easier International Operations
Globalization has changed the business world in exciting ways. In earlier eras, most companies could only do business with their nearest neighbors. Now, many companies can do international business with ease.
Want to strike a deal with a firm based in Dubai from the comfort of your Tokyo-based office? Virtual office services can help. Want to hire a Jakarta-based programmer for your Boston-based IT company? Virtual office services have you covered.
In short, virtual office services can make operating internationally easier than going out for coffee. Here’s how:
24/7/365 answering service – In a world without time zones, everyone could do business at the same time. However, this just isn’t possible in the world we live in. Virtual offices can provide around-the-clock live chat answering services, allowing you to clock in some sleep while your virtual team handles after-hours calls.
Global hiring – The world is full of tremendous talent. From onboarding to delegating tasks, virtual offices allow you to hire exceptional employees wherever they live. Even if they live 5,000 miles away from your business, these employees can help your company grow.
Many virtual office services also have a bilingual answer service and capabilities. This is especially important for businesses in a country like the U.S., which is home to 47 million Spanish speakers.5 You don’t want to lose these valuable customers because of a language barrier.
#3 Boosts for Productivity and Employee Happiness
Many studies suggest that remote employees are happier than their in-person counterparts.6
While many factors account for this increased happiness, the most common include:
Less or no commute – Depending on where you live, your commute to and from work could take up a good portion of your day. In New York City, for instance, the average commute to work is 33 minutes.7 Having a virtual office could shorten the commute to the time it takes to walk from your bedroom to your office space.
Increased flexibility – Some employees work best in the morning, while others may need a few hours to hit their stride. Virtual offices allow for more employee flexibility. Instead of working during a set timeframe, remote employees can do their best work when they’re most capable.
Less stress – Although stress can be a part of most jobs, many remote workers report feeling less stressed than their in-person counterparts.8 Decreasing employee stress can help reduce turnover.
In short, happier employees are more likely to produce high-quality work than unhappy employees. They’re also more likely to stay at the company longer. These benefits can help boost productivity.
A virtual office service can also boost employee productivity through having an after hours answering service and overflow capabilities. Virtual office services don’t stop simply because the standard workday does.
#4 Increased Cost Effectiveness
Finally, cost-effectiveness is one of the main benefits of a virtual office solution. By having a virtual office service, you can potentially reduce or eliminate many costs, such as:
In-house call center maintenance
In-person office staffing
Many virtual office services even include reporting and analytics. As a result, you can find out which strategies are working and which need improvement without hiring an in-house analytics team.
Similarly, virtual office solution can be more cost-effective because they allow for 24/7/365 outbound call strategies. That way, you can help keep your customer pipeline full—and your marketing expenses in the black.
Disadvantages of Virtual Office Services
While virtual office services can help grow your business in new and exciting ways, they also have a few disadvantages to know about before you start. Here are several drawbacks employees sometimes cite:9
Let’s explore each disadvantage in more depth.
#1 Disconnected Employees
One of the benefits of a traditional office space is more connected employees. That’s because employees can see each other in person when they're all in one physical location. They can also develop stronger bonds with management.
When employees are totally virtual, they may not have as many opportunities to connect with their co-workers and management. As a result, the following may suffer:
Company culture – Company culture extends beyond work. It also encompasses a set of values that unite employees. When employees can’t see each other in person, a sense of community may diminish.
Teamwork – In many businesses, teamwork is paramount. Without it, employees may not work as effectively as they could. Disconnected employees may be less likely to be the best teammates. What’s more, disconnection may reduce communication, further weakening team bonds.
Fortunately, hybrid models exist where employees are in actual office space at least some of the time so they can be in each other's physical presence.
Furthermore, virtual office services can handle routine tasks like appointment setting services. This can leave more time for employees to connect virtually over work, life, and everything that makes your business awesome.
#2 Work-Life Balance
For some employees, remote working may be their version of “business paradise.” After all, answering emails in pajamas while enjoying a parfait does have its perks. That said, other employees may find working from home erodes their work-life balance.
In a traditional office, employees typically come to work for a set number of hours before leaving for the relaxing comforts of home. In other words, work and home are separate.
In a serviced office, however, work is likely completed at home. What’s more, employees may be tempted to work outside of normal work hours. These factors can lead to struggles with work-life balance.
Thankfully, a virtual office arrangement doesn’t have to cause employees’ work-life balances to struggle. Strategies to main a healthy balance include:
Only working during standard business hours.
Heading to a coffee shop or community workspace instead of working from your home.
Only working in one area of your house that’s designated as your workspace.
#3 Technical Difficulties
Virtual offices and technology go together like manilla folders and business reports. Without efficient, error-free technology, a virtual office may have difficulty succeeding.
Technical difficulties are facts of life—and you can experience IT-related ups and downs no matter how technologically-savvy your business is. Still, frequent technical difficulties can impact the productivity of your virtual office.
For example, suppose you’ve scheduled a virtual meeting with prospective clients. If your video communications software isn’t working, you may not be able to meet with the client. As a result, they may seek another business’s services.
The fortunate news is that many virtual offices feature a call center full of highly-trained problem-solvers. These employees can troubleshoot technical difficulties when they arise.
Nexa: Where the Virtual Office Meets the Human Touch
From reduced overhead spending to increased cost-effectiveness, there are many benefits of a virtual office service. That said, one virtual office service stands a digital head and shoulders above the rest: Nexa.
In addition to appointment scheduling and client intake, our virtual services include a virtual receptionist. With a Virtual Receptionist, you can provide customers with 24/7/365 support. You can also craft outbound calling and sales campaigns.
Get started today and see how our virtual office services can help your business soar.