Virtual Offices – The Future of Flexible Working
Businesses across the world are currently engaging in the largest remote work experiment to date. Over the last year, entrepreneurs and business owners have been forced to reassess the way they carry out their everyday operations, and many have realised the massive opportunity that virtual and flexible solutions present.
Bill Wagner, of Financial Express says: “COVID-19 did not create the need for a shift to remote work, it accelerated a trend that has been building for some time and highlighted for business leaders the path to the so-called Future of Work.”
Even when the world returns to “normal”, it’s likely that some elements of this virtual workplace will remain. For many, a remote office environment could provide the flexible and cost-efficient support they need. Companies faced with hard financial knocks could adapt their business strategy making use of a virtual office.
What exactly is a virtual office?
It is a registered business address with the administrative functions of a traditional office. Gone is the expense and hassle of maintaining an actual bricks-and-mortar work environment. Within the world of virtual offices, daily operations like call-taking and mail-handling can be completely taken care of on a company’s behalf by a workspace provider like Regus and Spaces.
Although a virtual office does occupy a physical location, its main role is to provide a suite of service-based solutions that allow a company to remotely connect with clients, employees, and suppliers – and to create and maintain a solid presence in any market or territory of the company’s choosing.
Advantages of a virtual office
The benefits of virtual offices extend beyond administrative tasks. A virtual workspace can be a relatively risk-free way for a company to explore a new market or employ a local expert in a fresh territory on an extremely cost-efficient basis.
Those companies just starting out – that need to be more mindful than most of when, where and how resources are being invested – might wish to consider a virtual office.
IWG (Regus and Spaces in South Africa) provides virtual offices to a variety of businesses all over the world – and with 3,400 locations (and growing) to choose from, it’s possible to establish a global presence and operate on a global scale with none of the investment required by traditional office space. No maintenance fees or subscriptions for computer hardware and other equipment mean that costs are kept to a minimum.
From start-ups to conglomerates, an increasing number of savvy companies are discovering there are flexible plans to suit business operations all shapes and sizes.
The future of flexible working
Our new way of working may seem like a dream come true for the workforce that has been grappling with the flexibility idea for some years now. Faced with the prospect of a lengthy commute on a sweltering day, either jammed into a packed taxi or a never-ending queue at the traffic lights, plenty of us have dreamed about that ultimate career goal: working from home.
Dreams to design your day to fit in with your other commitments, get a few things done around the house, and pop out for lunch with a friend – surely this is the answer to the quest for the perfect work/life balance?
Well, yes and no. Little or no social interaction, an endless list of distractions, and no motivation to ditch the pyjamas for something a little more professional – this is the other side of the coin. Yes, the dishes might be done and the bathroom sparkles like a showroom – but what about those missed deadlines?
Looking to the future, flexible working solutions like Spaces and Regus may well have found the sweet spot between the pros and cons of working from home. Having so many options at your fingertips is highly beneficial for businesses, allowing you to choose which services are right for your business and only pay for the ones that you need.