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How a Virtual Office Can Benefit Your Startup
Read this article to find out the pros and cons of having a virtual office for your startup.
This article includes statistics on remote work, and tips for the running of a virtual office.
What Is a Virtual Office?
A virtual office can be described as a remote office. If you look back just 2 years, no office even dreamed of being remote. Right now, especially after the COVDI-19 pandemic, remote offices are popular.
During the pandemic, all businesses were forced to give it a try. They found out that remote work is possible and it has many benefits.
A virtual office is not a single thing, software, or method. It’s the combination of all things that make it possible to run a business without a physical office.
In summary, a virtual office is an office that runs remotely.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Virtual Office?
A virtual office will not work for every business or every employee within a business. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of a virtual office.
Pros of a Virtual Office for Startups
The list of advantages of a virtual office is long. But here are the main points worth noting.
As a startup, you’re all about keeping costs low and growth constant. Keeping your employees remote is the best way to cut costs.
Running a physical office is going to cost you thousands of dollars. Of course, this depends on which city/ country you’d set up in, and so on. But running an office will always be one of the biggest expenses for a business.
Rent, bills, repairs, health and safety, cleaning, management, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
A virtual office will save you thousands of dollars!
Bigger Talent Pool
A physical office means that your employees will come from the local area.
Re-location is a difficult process. People don’t like commuting. And anyway, you don’t want employees that commute for 2 hours before making it to the office. They come in exhausted!
Remote employees and freelancers work from wherever they want. So, of course, they’ll pick their most comfortable environment. Surveys showed that remote workers are generally happier and more productive. This makes sense.
But also, you get the chance to recruit worldwide. So, you’re not limited to the people in your area. You can have the best team, made up of talent from all over the world.
So, if you want happy, talented, and productive people working with you; go remote!
Flexibility should be the motto of any startup. You’re doing big things with a small budget. You’re taking opportunities. You don’t want to be tied down to a lease, for example.
Also, you don’t want to lock up a chunk of your capital in an office.
With a virtual office, your money can flow to more fluid investments. You can take opportunities as they come, without being tied down.
Cons of a Virtual Office for Startups
There are always two sides to every coin. Here are the main disadvantages of a virtual office for startups.
Some employees seriously don’t like remote work. Here are some possible reasons why:
- They don’t feel good at home.
- They lack motivation. In the office they have to work otherwise someone will notice, at home, they don’t have that push.
- They don’t know how to manage their time.
- They feel lonely and want to be around their colleagues.
Some issues can be solved with good training and support for your employees. Some issues run a little deeper.
If an employee doesn’t feel good at their home, for example. Or, if they feel lonely/ lack motivation; this can be out of your scope as an employer.
In a physical office, there’s a lot of informal communication. While having a coffee, passing each other on the way out for lunch, or just chatting. This is completely missing in a virtual office.
It’s during those informal chats that information flows more freely. Sometimes writing an email or saying things over a call are more difficult.
Some businesses keep a video conference room open all day. Employees can join whenever they want and chat. Using things like Slack also gives employees a way to communicate more freely.
It’s important to have channels of communication open for employees.
No Physical Address
This isn’t related to the internal affairs of your startup, but more to the external.
A physical address serves more than one purpose.
One, it’s necessary to receive mail and fulfil legal requirements. Two, it adds to the credibility of your business.
Customers who see a P.O Box address, automatically pull the handbrake. P.O Boxes are associated with instability. Let’s be honest, they look sketchy. A physical address makes you look much more professional and trustworthy. Especially if it’s in a good location.
But, you don’t have to have a physical office to have a street address. A virtual mailbox will do just fine. A virtual mailbox service will receive your mail on your behalf, scan it, and upload it for you. You’ll use their street address as your mailing address. It’s a cheap and reliable way to get a street address for your startup.
Tips for Running a Virtual Office for Your Startup
Tip 1: Remote Business Registration
If you haven’t registered your business yet, do it remotely right now!
Doesn’t matter which country you’re in, you can register your business in the US. Even if you’re not a resident/ citizen of the US.
Tip 2: Use the Right Tools
Want your virtual office to run smoothly? Use the best tools, like a virtual mailbox or a remote notary.
If you want your virtual office to run smoothly, we recommend using the best tools, like a virtual mailbox, and a remote notary.
Tip 3: Be Flexible
Remember, you have to be flexible and be open to adapt constantly. If you opened a physical office, there would also be a learning curve.
Remote Work Statistics
The statistics on remote work are fascinating.
Stanford found a productivity increase of 22% in businesses that allow remote work.
Global Workplace Analytics estimates that businesses can save $11K per year, per employee, by going remote.
Slack says that 72% of people want to either work remotely or through a hybrid model.
It’s estimated that over 60% of companies will allow remote work post-pandemic.
Let’s summarise. A virtual office will save you money, give you happier, and more productive employees. What’s not to like?
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