The past two years have certainly come with their challenges, but despite the pressures of Brexit and the trials of the global pandemic, start-up culture in the UK is at an all-time high and business is booming. Now, more than ever, we’re seeing would-be entrepreneurs throw caution to the wind and make their business dreams a reality, and some are demonstrating enviable growth rates, driving economic recovery and growth, and paving the way for a brighter future.
At the same time, home and remote working remain almost as commonplace as they became at the initial onset of the pandemic, when lockdowns forced us to abandon our offices and conduct our business meetings via Zoom. This has had a knock-on effect on the number of physical offices closing their doors for good, with many business owners embracing the opportunity to permanently reduce overheads and move to a virtual office instead.
It’s a concept that has also made it far more affordable for new start-ups to get off the ground at minimal expense. It’s easy to see why we’re slowly but surely turning away from huge rental prices for space – when there’s a virtual office to rent for a fraction of the cost, it’s a no brainer.
But a virtual office combines several other benefits that make the life easier for business owners and new start-ups, too. First off, it provides the opportunity of setting up a virtual address for your company while working from home, with mail management, call forwarding, and meeting room rentals all potential add-ons for those who need them. Here, we take a look at some of the other benefits.
Why choose a virtual office?
The virtual office is suitable for all types of entrepreneurs, companies and associations, as well as for freelancers, and will provide you with a prestigious London address that can lend you the instant credibility required to build your business from the ground up.
This will demonstrate to both customers and competitors that you are trustworthy and legitimate, and will appear on all of your official and commercial papers and digital documents, including business cards, bank details, invoices, as well as across your social media profiles and your website.
Choosing a prestigious address for your virtual office will have a positive impact on your company’s image, especially if you are planning to work with a foreign market, and will ensure that it appears to be a well-established company they can trust – but your business address is also something that can work against you if it is a less than desirable one.
Evolving attitudes to working
The idea that a physical office is the only place where our professional lives can take place is slowly but surely being rethought, and business owners are placing greater emphasis on the importance of being able to offer employees improved work/life balance in order to increase productivity levels. It seems that finally, there is an improved understanding of the fact that a happy employee is a more efficient and enthusiastic one, and so new start-ups are seeking to do things right from the start by giving their staff the freedom to work remotely and with more flexibility.
Technological advances have made it easier than ever to stay connected from afar, and video conferencing services like Zoom and Google Teams have been game changers that have helped many business leaders to more clearly visualise an alternative way of working. By allowing multiple participants to attend from wherever they happen to be, they’ve made it clear that a bricks-and-mortar office, while handy, is no longer essential.
Add to that the environmental benefits of remote working – such as cloud sharing over printing, and the reduced need for employees to make the commute to work when able to work from home instead – and it’s easy to see why virtual offices are becoming such a popular alternative to their bricks-and-mortar counterparts. Together, these facts have paved the way for widespread and long-term change that is stretching far beyond the initial lockdowns of the pandemic.
The bottom line
Working remotely benefits both business owners and employees alike, making it a win-win set-up for some of the more forward-thinking new start-ups out there, as well as well-established businesses that are looking to make a change and step wholeheartedly into the modern world.
We’re unlikely to see physical office spaces fade into obscurity just yet, as for larger companies, they still provide an important means of gathering staff together – if only for part of the week. But for small businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs, virtual offices are becoming not just the future, but the present.