How a Virtual Office Keeps You Organized and Professional
Fully remote offices are increasingly common. But what about the client who still wants to send a check (no matter how many times you tell them it’s easy to pay online)? What if you need employees to answer calls without sharing their personal cell numbers? Enter the virtual office — a way to give your company a physical address.
From nonprofits to startups to small business owners, remote companies use a virtual office to offer tools like a receptionist service or receive physical mail.
So what is a virtual office? In this article, we’ll answer this question, cover the benefits of a virtual office, and help you decide if it’s right for you and what to consider as you move to a virtual workspace.
The Benefits of a Virtual Office
While most work can be done digitally, you may not want to assign just one person to the company phone line or list their personal home address for business mail.
Another big reason companies opt for remote teams with virtual offices — budget. Even though your startup might have humble roots (founders toiling away in your garage or basement — we admire that hustle!), you’ve got plans for growth. With a remote, lean team, you can keep your expenses down but still keep a formal business address.
A virtual office space has benefits like:
- A real business address: This makes you look more credible. Plus, if you want to get Google or Yelp reviews, a virtual business address might be just what you need.
- A virtual receptionist: This person can provide a more human touch for your clients. They can arrange meetings, manage your inbox, and help answer questions.
- Mail receipt, opening, and scanning services: While some coworking spaces offer a mailing address, a virtual office package can also send digital scans so you can decide what you want forwarded.
- Meeting rooms: If you’re in a central location, you might need private offices to meet with clients.
- Voicemail services: Make sure the right person gets the message or that the sales rep calling for the 167th time goes straight to a company voicemail purgatory.
A McKinsey study on the future of work says that while some people will return to a traditional office workspace, some industries like finance, insurance, professional services, and tech might stay fully remote. Many of these companies can use virtual office services and freelancers to run the company online.
A virtual office environment could be a great fit for your company if:
- You have employees with home offices and high-speed Wi-Fi.
- You’re an online business that already uses plenty of digital tools.
- You don’t need physical package receipts (although mail forwarding will do this for you).
How to Make the Most of Your Remote Team and Virtual Office
In order to make things feel like a traditional office location, you need the right team. That doesn’t always mean adding more employees. With a virtual office package, you can look more professional and still meet your budget.
Such packages include phone-answering services, which forward calls to employees in different locations and help flag spam phone calls. Before putting a call through, these services ask the worker in their home office if they want to take it.
You can also repurpose the cash from that costly physical office rent to hire more workers. And, since you’re remote, you can choose the best candidates from a global talent pool.
Freelance virtual assistants, writers, designers, developers, and marketing experts can supplement your digital team with best-in-class talent. They can be more affordable, because you only pay for exactly what services you need. With your virtual office, you can plug in these remote contract workers quickly and easily.
Review Virtual Office Policies
A voicemail service is only helpful if you know who’s checking it. And for a mail delivery address to work, you need a system to forward it.
Train each employee on how to use the virtual office. Consider housekeeping issues like:
- Will your finance person need to be copied on email scans of checks or invoices?
- Who will be the primary point of contact for phone calls?
- Who is responsible for checking the company voicemail? Does your virtual office package transcribe those messages and automatically email them? If so, who receives the emails?
- How will you decide what mail gets forwarded?
By clarifying this stuff upfront, you’ll avoid confusion and mistakes.
Keep Your Team Engaged with a Virtual Office
A virtual office helps remote teams stay organized and look professional. A business address looks much better than your apartment building on Google Maps, and a virtual receptionist is less confusing than Steve from accounting’s voicemail.
For all the benefits of a virtual office, people can feel distant unless you create ways for them to connect.
To help your team work together, you need more than a weekly Zoom meeting. Consider trying Gather for a customized, virtual workspace! Gather recreates the in-person office in a digital environment, so you can still run into co-workers at the watercooler, walk to someone’s desk for a question, or have a quick chat. Try the free demo.