More businesses than ever before are opting for a virtual office over a physical one.
A virtual office is an alternative to renting a physical office and incorporates various services such as business address service, mail forwarding, call answering/forwarding, meeting room facilities. The virtual office enables business owners and their employees to work remotely. Most importantly it enables a business to maintain a presence in a prestigious location, without the need to pay rent for physical office space.
Why are businesses moving from the physical to the virtual?
Basically there are two reasons. Firstly, a lot of new businesses simply don’t have enough capital to be able to rent a physical space and with office rent prices in Dublin the fifth most expensive in Europe. Dublin office rent prices are more expensive than Geneva and Milan and just under London.
Its not just startups and cash-strapped businesses getting on board with virtual offices. Other types of business use them, simply because they don’t require physical office space and are working remotely.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also changed the way many organisations operate for the foreseeable future. Most office buildings in Dublin and nationwide are currently empty with most employees working remotely. For a small business with less than five in the office, who have to pay rent for an empty office, it may be time to reconsider the office space you are renting and time to consider a virtual office in Dublin.
What types of businesses are suited to virtual offices?
Basically, ask yourself, do you or your employees need to be in the same location everyday? If the answer is no, they a virtual office may be a fantastic option for you.
here’s no hard or fast rule as to who should and shouldn’t consider a virtual office. Virtual Offices are proving popular with the following type of businesses:
Having a virtual office business address makes it easier for freelancers to look more professional in their industry. A prestigious central business address, makes the freelancer look more credible. They can use the business address on their website and with Google My Business along with correspondence.
Having a prestigious address instead of a residential address is going to help the credibility of your business with potential clients.
With most virtual office packages, the freelancer can book meeting room facilities to meet clients or even rent a desk or office for a few hours or days.
Having an office can be expensive, when you are starting to build your new business, you need to keep your costs as low as possible. You need to figure out what is truly essential to run your Startup. Renting an office space may seem appealing but it also means you’ll have huge monthly overheads. There’s commercial space to lease or buy, office furniture, utilities to pay, all sorts of additional insurance, parking, security and even IT costs.
Instead of going through the process of recruitment, training & monthly payroll, many services offer having a trained person answering your calls, receiving your messages, and forwarding them. Virtual offices can give you all this for a fraction of the cost of having a building space.
Dublin Mail Drop recently signed up an estate agent who were originally based in an office in Ranelagh, Dublin 6. The estate agency had 17 staff working from ground floor and first floor offices, with an annual rent of €65,000 per year, plus all the associated costs – rates, utilities, service charges. Parking is also a considerable problem for a dozen staff. The business spent €14,947 in parking spaces and on street parking in 2019. During the Covid crisis, the estate agency, decided to close the premises in Ranelagh (not the business) and moved all staff to remote working. They signed up to flexible workspace services in Dublin, including virtual office services including business address and call answering service.
Working from home, staff still schedule viewings, make appointments, calls are still answered, accounts are still done, meetings are still held (virtually). To move to remote working, a business needs to invest in decent technology such as accounting software, security, booking systems. There is nothing a business can do remotely, that they did from an office.
Keeping costs to a minimum is at the top of many business’ list of priorities and reduces risk of failure, but especially those operating in competitive markets like e-commerce.
Having a low cost virtual office can help reduce the chances of business failure when faced with huge challenges like changes to the market or, indeed, things like the Covid-19 pandemic.
Accounting is a job that does not necessarily need a brick and mortar office to be performed. When the required information is provided, the accountant can work from anywhere.
Most accounts work online and can meet clients remotely via Zoom. Important documents received can be opened and scanned to the Accountancy business. If they require to meet a client, they can book a meeting room facility, which most virtual office services now provide.
It goes without saying, most tech companies are able to work remotely and have been during the last few months of the pandemic. At Dublin Mail Drop, we have a lot of tech firms using our services from all over Ireland and even abroad.
Tech firms are the main sector that can easily work remotely and use virtual office services. They will have use of a prestigious business address, mail forwarding, scanning of mail, live call answering in their company name. There is a fully functional office without having a physical office.
Like accountants, so many legal firms and solicitors use virtual offices. Similarly a lot of legal firms and solicitors can work remotely. Many solicitors maintain a virtual office, where they can use the meeting room facilities to meet clients and also has the choice to rent part time serviced office space to get out of the house, when working on cases or preparing files.
Consultants need to exude professionalism at all times. That is why a consultant should have their calls immediately in their company name and queries taken professional. The face to face nature means consultants can’t always answer their calls and with a live call answering service, they would never miss a call again. A virtual receptionist is a trained professional who will answer calls in a professional manner and ensure high levels of consistent customer service.
Apart from the above, other businesses that can use a virtual office includes, blog websites, airline departments, government offices, social workers construction firms, engineers and firms involved in medical, investing, marketing, travel and events.
In Dublin, the pressures of the residential property market, commuting and city congestion along with the changing balance between work and home life will reshape the city in the coming years. As flexible workspace is embraced, more and more people working from home and choosing flexibility, the future of the office is virtual, flexible and remote.