Leasing or buying a building to set up a company might be very costly. A serviced office or a virtual office might be just the right fit for your business.
What is a Serviced Office?
A serviced office is essentially one that you would rent out. You can look into different types of serviced offices. For example, you may choose one that allows you to rent for protracted periods of time, or you may need an office for only one day per week or several months out of the year. In the event that you are in search of a permanent home for your business, you may also decide to rent a serviced office until that hunt is over.
With a serviced office, you are likely to have a host of amenities. Businesses often need fax machines, telephones, computers, copiers and other such tools, and you may find them at a serviced office. Do keep in mind that each type of office is the difference. At some locations, you may need to bring your own laptop. Don’t necessarily look at this feature as a drawback though. Having your laptop with your files on it is often a positive element. If the desk is not cluttered with another computer, you then also have the necessary space.
Other components to consider are whether or not the serviced office has enough space for all of your employees and if a break room is available. Some serviced spaces may have a central location where employees can take a break from their daily tasks. You should also find out if custodial services are available to ensure that you have a safe and healthy place for both your employees and clients to come to.
What is a Virtual Office?
As the name implies, a virtual office lacks a physical space. Instead, all of your work transactions will happen online or over the telephone. In these modern times, it is more common for the majority of the work to happen over the internet. A virtual office does not mean that your employees work haphazardly from whatever piece of technology they have available. Instead, you will select a platform for your work. In other words, you can select a specific forum for your virtual office. Meetings can, for example, take place over video conferencing tools. You can require employees to check in through a certain platform at regular intervals of the day. Another option is to rent a virtual office if you need only a temporary home on the web. You can generally find virtual office packages that are easy-to-assemble and friendly to your budget.
In order to establish a virtual office, you would need to ensure that your employees have the proper equipment to do their work. You may need to supply this equipment to each of your employees. On the other hand, you may require employees to have their own equipment. If you are going to opt for the latter route, you should then make certain to include this information in the job description. You don’t want to hire people and then inform them that they have a host of material to purchase. If you don’t let employees know about the necessary equipment until after you hire them, you may quickly find that your business has a high turnover rate. A virtual office allows your team members to connect seamlessly when they have the right tools and motivation.
Serviced Offices vs. Virtual Offices: The Differences
Understanding the major differences between a serviced office and a virtual office can help you to determine which one is the right fit for your business.
The Benefits of Serviced Offices
- Your employees have an actual space to complete their work.
- Clients can meet with business representatives in person.
- Necessary tools for performing work tasks can be supplied.
- Your team members can build rapport and culture since they are working together.
The Drawbacks of Serviced Offices
- You may have to share the space with other companies that are loud or otherwise disruptive.
- You never have a permanent home for your business.
- You may have to move frequently if the serviced office doesn’t have space for you.
- Some of your employees may have a difficult or impossible commute to certain locations.
Serviced Offices: Who Use Them
- Companies that temporarily need a home before moving into a permanent space
- Freelance workers
- Companies where the employees live in the area
- Businesses that do not require employees to be in the same space as one another often or ever
The Benefits of Virtual Offices
- Employees can work from anywhere and at any time.
- Modern technology has unveiled powerful tools to make businesses even stronger.
- Employees can connect even when the weather is bad or travel conditions are adverse.
- You can hire top workers from across the country or world.
The Drawbacks of Virtual Offices
- Technology can break.
- Your employees may never actually meet one another in person.
- Clients may prefer in-person meetings.
- Some employees may not know how to use the technological tools.
Virtual Offices: Who Uses Them
- Businesses with employees who are highly proficient in technology
- Companies with locations across the state, country or world
- Freelance workers
- Companies that simply do not require a physical location
Making a Choice
Now that you have a wealth of knowledge about serviced offices and virtual offices, you need to make a decision about which one is the right fit for your business. Making a list of your business goals is a good place to start. Then, you can access which approach best helps you to meet those goals. You should also take into account the level of interaction that is necessary among your employees and clients and if those conversations need to take place in physical locations.
Furthermore, you should assess the skills and needs of your employees. When making this decision, you must examine how proficient your team members are when it comes to technology and what you would need to do in order to train everyone without wasting money or time. Another consideration is where employees live. If your employees are spread out across the country, for example, you are going to have a difficult time if you opt for a serviced office where everyone is required to commute.
While it may seem as though you have a difficult choice to make, knowledge about each type of office can seriously guide this decision. When you are willing to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each setup, you can make the right choice for your company.