Virtual Offices are the new reality

Setting up a business ireland
Alan Clerkin

Alan Clerkin

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We are living in uncertain times.  Economic conditions are both harsh and uncertain.  We have the highest unemployment rate since the 1980’s; the economy has literarily completely shut down.  You can be guaranteed economic conditions will remain very tough for the months and years to come.

Entrepreneur’s, small and medium businesses whether in retail or office environments, need to prepare their business for the future of work.  It’s not just about changing the workspace, it’s about changing all space.

In business, you need to make adjustments, in line with the current economic environment.  Adapt to flexible space and virtual office solutions.  There is lots of confusion at the moment, but the Pandemic has changed the way we work forever.

All companies need three things, a good product or service, access to capital and flexibility.  If a business has no flexibility, it will not survive.   The key is to be sustainable.

How do you become flexible?   By getting rid of fixed assets.  How do you do that?  Allow for virtual officing and remote working.   A vital part of this is to allow your staff the technology to work remotely.   You don’t need an expensive in-house video conferencing system – Zoom and MS Meeting are two inexpensive tools. 

For years, it was said, that people couldn’t work remotely, now everyone is doing it.  Right before our eyes we are seeing change in the most rapid way.  We are seeing how work and workplaces can be done differently.    Take, for example, a Financial advisor with two staff, renting a two-room office in central Dublin.  In most cases, there is no need, to be renting this physical space, which in central Dublin could cost up to €20,000 per year, with additional costs of rates, utilities and parking.    This person, could sign up to a virtual office service in Dublin and with that service get a central Dublin business address, which they can use on their website, register with the CRO, Revenue, banking etc.   Automatically they have saved their business €20,000 per year.

I hear you say, ‘lots of people don’t like to work from home!’, but the virtual office service can be incorporated with co-working space, which you can use a few days a week.  Most decent virtual office services also offer meeting room facilities, which you can use to meet clients.  Secretaries can be replaced with call answering services, which again most virtual office providers offer.

With the Pandemic of 2020, you have to ask yourself, ‘how do I take this experience and expand it into the future, learn from it and grow from it.  Do not ask yourself, ‘how do I get back to where I used to be’.  If you do, your done.

By 2022 most companies will be using flexible workspace, remote working, virtual officing and as a result, workspace will be reduced by half.  If you can take away half the office space requirements in Dublin, what could you do with that space?  What would it do to the cost of housing? How would it change transportation and environmental issues?

The old modelling on how we should congregate at work, office space was always going to change in the future, but the change has been brought forward prematurely with the pandemic. 

We have to learn how to work remotely and embrace the massive advantages along with cost savings for business and the environment around us.