Technically, a virtual office is an office that is true to its name; it is not physically present. Practically, however, it is an office that is physical when you need it and virtual when you don’t. It is as useful as a traditional office yet less stressful.
As a business owner, you know how hard it is to start a business and open an office in a reputable area simultaneously. First of all, getting a location in such a business-centric area is hard as it is. To maintain and run it on top of other expenses can be a blow to your funds. Instead, go for a virtual office service that is a mixture of both worlds.
It gives you a rock-solid presence online and a prestigious one offline. But like everything bright, there is a darker side to it as well. It comes with its issues and challenges. With planning, you can handle these issues easily. But for that, you need to know and understand them first.
This article intends to inform you about the possible issues you will face in the virtual office and how you can handle them without affecting your business.
These are the amazing features you will get with the virtual office service:
- What does a startup or an online business want most? An office at the central location of the business hub. A location that is accessible to your target market as well. Such areas are usually very expensive, if available. But a virtual office gives you a business address of a central location. You can use this address on your mail, your banners, brochures, and business cards. The best thing about this is that you will get this at a very affordable rate.
- The second amazing facility that you get with the virtual office is getting your mail and calls handled by professionally trained staff. If your customers call, they will hear your company’s name as a greeting. Your calls will be handled as per your instructions. Messages will be taken for you. Your urgent mail will be opened confidentiality. It can be scanned and emailed to you if needed.
- There are times when you will need the physical office space as well. You need to meet and greet your clients. You need to have seminars and training sessions for your staff. For times like these, virtual offices offer conference and meeting rooms. These rooms are fully equipped with microphones, projectors, Wifi, video calling, etc. You will get everything you need to conduct your meetings easily.
- A virtual office also gives you perks like office equipment and technology. You get access to uninterrupted Wifi, fax machines, scanners, printers, telephones, etc. You also get a secure online environment to use and software support.
- For the recreation of your staff, there are break rooms, restaurants, and cafeterias. Some virtual offices also offer game rooms.
3 problems you will have to overcome when using virtual office:
A virtual office with all its benefits is not without some flaws. This is not however something that can’t be rectified. But to do that, you need to know and understand the issues clearly. Let us discuss them briefly for your understanding:
Online communication is no competition for personal communication:
Virtual offices give a very easy way out for communicating online with people far off. But in doing so, it creates a gap between staff and management. Person-to-person interaction can solve many small issues. Understanding each other and getting along with each other is easier in an environment where you can see each other’s gestures and expressions.
It also promotes camaraderie between the team members. Research has shown that such friendships are very important for good teamwork. This gets more confusing when team members from different time zones start to work together.
This can be solved by setting proper communication guidelines including response time and hours of communication. This might lessen the problem if not fully eradicate it.
A relaxed working environment creates distractions for the team members:
Most of the work is done from home in remote work. Home offices are very relaxed environments, you don’t need to follow strict office timing nor have to dress up. Besides that, there are kids and family members to interact with. These distractions can make you lose your focus. A slacking team can affect the progress of the project.
Discipline should come first in a virtual office. Make sure you set up a different space for your office work. If you cannot spare a whole room, just set a corner where you can concentrate on your work. There should be no TV, kids, family members, and other distractions to make you lose focus. That should be your corner with your office desk with your planner and equipment.
Different networks can cause security threats:
In a physical office, all the employees use the same office network. Security compliance is easier in such an environment. You can easily set up firewalls to stop security breaches. Every business is concerned about their cyber security but in a virtual environment, this threat becomes more real. In a virtual office setup, all team members are using different networks with different security levels. Home or public networks are not as secure as office networks are. They can be the gateway to the security breach that they fear so much.
You should set security measures for the protection of your important official data. Decide on a security compliance software that should be a must for all the members to install. Discourage members to use public Wifi and if it is unavoidable, advise them to use a VPN for security. Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware should be installed on every system. It is better if you get a company license for this software and make it compulsory for all members to install the official one. This can ensure data security and safety.
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