There is always much talk about which is better among the two. Traditional office has its advantages and disadvantages. There are scenarios where you need a physical office. But, COVID has taught us that it is easier, more comfortable, and lighter on the pocket, to use virtual office service.
This is one of the reasons for the success of the virtual office making it the first choice for startups and new businesses. A virtual office is lacking in a few things as well, but those limitations can be handled easily. As compared to the benefits you get from this service, these few limitations are unnoticeable.
What is a traditional office?
A traditional office is a physical building where you have to go daily to work. It has all the office facilities and admin staff. You have to rent the place and install all the equipment that is required by your business genre. The office is dedicated to only your business and only you are responsible for paying the monthly dues.
You can add amenities as you go. You can add a cafeteria, gym, and recreation room for your employees. There is no set rule for furnishing or setting up your office. You can do it according to your business and workspace needs.
Advantages of a traditional office:
- It is a professional setup and space. You can concentrate on your work without any distractions.
- You get to work face-to-face with your teammates. This is good for developing understanding and camaraderie among employees.
- You have control over the office environment and unwelcome surprises can be controlled.
- You can entertain walk-in clients anytime without scheduling.
Disadvantages of a traditional office:
- It is an expensive affair because you have to rent and set up the office yourself.
- Your office is confined to one location. So you are unable to hire talent from far-off areas because of the commute.
- Once you have leased the office building, you can’t break it. It is a commitment you have to fulfill. In case you break the lease, you will have to pay a heavy penalty. If you outgrow the space and want to add space or move, you have to pay additional expenses.
What is a virtual office?
A virtual office is an office where you don’t have to go to work. You can work using apps and software without visiting your office or meeting your teammates. As the name virtual suggests, almost all of your office work can be done online. You only have to visit the office when you have to attend meetings or need to use office equipment.
A virtual office is an affordable way to get a workspace with top-class office facilities. You don’t have to pay for the rent or any of the office equipment. You just have to pay a small subscription fee and the facilities are part and parcel.
Benefits of a virtual office:
- You get a business address that is of a renowned business location.
- A virtual office offers you office services like call handling and mail forwarding. It is done through professionally trained personnel.
- You can get access to meeting rooms with all the features to conduct successful conferences and seminars when needed.
- You and your employees can use phones, fax machines, printers, scanners, and Wifi whenever you want.
- It has a flexible monthly payment plan. You can end the service without prior notice by unsubscribing whenever you want. It is very easy to set up and use as well.
- It supports remote working, you can hire workers from far-off regions. It also opens new horizons for your business by opening the global market for you.
- You don’t have to rent or lease the office, nor do you have to pay monthly expenses.
- The scalability of your business becomes within your means and reach. It is very important to start a virtual office service in the area you want to expand your business to.
- It increases productivity as the employees work in a comfortable environment. They get to work in the time slots that suit their body clock and comfort level. This ease of working increases the quality and the quantity of work they do.
Limitations of a virtual office:
- There is no face-to-face interaction among the team members. They lack understanding and this can cause delays in the project. However, frequent meetings or team dinners can solve this problem to some extent.
- A virtual office is prone to distractions. If you are working from home or in any public space, you can get distracted by your environment.
- Not having a dedicated physical space for working has its challenges. It can create delays in your work as well. You can have issues like slow Wifi, power cuts, and other issues.
Are virtual offices making traditional offices lose their charm?
While for some businesses, traditional offices are irreplaceable, others are turning towards virtual offices. If your business requires constant interaction with the client and you require large office space, then a traditional office is your answer. Manufacturers, retailers, and certain service providers need physical office space for their workers. They can manage their business better and control the quality of their products and services. However, they too can shift part of their work to virtual offices to cut down costs.
Many small businesses, home-run businesses, and startups are availing of this amazing service called the virtual office. The virtual office has made business easier and feasible. The Tech industry, service industry, logistics, and freelancers, are all turning towards virtual offices. They get enterprise-level facilities at cheap rates and to top it all, they don’t have to manage the office. Running an office requires effort and money, something new and small businesses don’t have. That is why businesses are choosing virtual offices.