In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the number of businesses adopting aspects of a virtual office. Traditional, dedicated office space is being traded for shared co-working spaces, used only as needed. Mail is sent to a physical address and forwarded to its owner via scanning and email. Phone calls are answered and handled by a receptionist or secretary in an office across town or even in another state.
Maybe your company has been taking advantage of some of these services, or perhaps you’ve just been considering it. What are the pros and cons? How do you know what is best for your employees, your clients, and ultimately, your business?
When some hear “virtual office,” they automatically think “lost productivity.” But it does not have to be the case that employees who work remotely, or only come into the office from time to time, are less productive than those that sit in a traditional office setting for eight hours a day. Any company considering the move toward a virtual office should consider how their measures of productivity must also alter. Rather than measuring productivity by how long an employee spends at their desk, employees should be measured by their results: the projects they complete, the goals they meet, and the satisfaction of the clients they serve.
Other items to consider are those services that you’re currently paying for due to operating a traditional brick and mortar office space. For example, consider the time and money you’re currently investing in phone services for your business. Do you have a voice answering system? How long does it take a caller to navigate the directory and speak with an actual person? Is this the best experience for your clients and potential customers? Another excellent service available to those considering a virtual office is a remote receptionist service. One or more receptionists dedicated to a single company, their business, and their clients answer phone calls in real time. Remote receptionists can take messages, forward calls, or simply answer callers’ questions.
Yet another useful consideration is to weigh the benefits of a virtual office for employees against the needs of your clients. Your employees will probably be only too happy to accept the offer to work from home or from a co-working space. However, if you still frequently meet with clients, you’ll need a comfortable, professional-looking space to continue doing so. Consider renting a smaller office space with a few offices and a conference room. Or look into using co-working space that has rooms which can be booked for meetings. Your employees can still enjoy the flexibility of working from home or the office, and you’ll still be confident that your clients receive a top-notch experience.
For employees, a virtual office means more flexibility and compatibility with their personal lives. For a company, it means lower overhead and less in-office management. For your clients, the impact can be minimal; the reputation of your company and the service you offer will be the same from a building your company owns or an office space your rent for occasional use.
If you’re searching for virtual office solutions that fit your company’s unique needs, give Reliable Receptionist a call today at (925) 627-4200.