As the complexity of modern business evolves, many corporations find that the cost of maintaining physical offices is prohibitively high.
As a result, corporations are increasingly embracing a telecommuting workforce, but employees still need access to facilities and support services, and the company still needs a physical address.
Virtual offices offer the best of both worlds: the prestige and amenities of a modern office building, without the financial risk or the expense of a traditional lease.
Setting up a virtual office for your employees’ benefit doesn’t have to be complicated. It requires just five simple steps:
- Determine your needs and goals and assess how a virtual office can help you achieve them.
- Obtain a virtual business address to support client interactions, facilitate communication, and protect employees’ privacy.
- Select a virtual assistant who will provide administrative support.
- Secure essential equipment and technology to promote productivity
- Evaluate your physical workspace requirements, and add dedicated desks, private offices, and meeting spaces the need arises.
5 Simple Steps to Set Up a Virtual Office
A virtual office is a rented workspace offering services and amenities to location-independent businesses that need to support valued employees in geographically diverse locations.
Unlike traditional facility leases, which often require an expensive remodel, infrastructure and facilities maintenance, insurance, security, and more, with virtual offices, there are no overhead costs involved.
To get started, follow these simple steps.
Step 1. Determine Your Needs
Start by defining your company’s strategy: what are your goals, and how will you leverage virtual offices to achieve them? Some of the most common points include:
- Acquiring a commercial address that teleworkers can use for client-facing correspondence
- Providing administrative support without the burden of additional staff
- Standardizing and centralizing the handling of incoming calls to keep employees and clients connected, reduce missed opportunities, and promote a superior customer experience
Next, assess the services and amenities your employees want and need. Would they benefit from and utilize a full suite of services, or would a subset of services meet their requirements? Do they want shared workspaces on demand, or do they also need private, secured spaces?
Tip: an informal survey via email can help you understand employees’ needs and goals but keep it short! You’ll see higher response rates if you limit the questionnaire to 3-5 key questions.
Finally, determine what your company can spend on virtual offices and related services, and set an appropriate budget. Evaluate available options, taking into account the services that each one offers at each price point. iQ Office Suites offers several virtual office solutions, at prices that scale depending on the service level your employees need:
- iQ Mail ($59/Month): Includes a central business district (CBD) mailing address, mail handling, meeting spaces, and professional administrative support, on demand.
- iQ Virtual Auto-Attendant ($99/Month): Provides a local phone number, automated call answering and routing, and simultaneous rings for up to 10 external phone numbers, in addition to administrative support and on-demand meeting space.
- iQ Virtual Complete ($149/Month): This all-in-one package includes the services that comprise the iQ Mail plan, plus all of the iQ Virtual Auto-Attendant amenities.
Step 2: Obtain a Virtual Business Address
A virtual business address is a physical, commercial facility that provides location-independent companies with a local presence.
Companies need a professional address their telecommuting employees can use on correspondence, rather than their home addresses, which is essential for fostering trust and credibility with clients, and it also helps protect employees’ privacy.
Additionally, a virtual business address can provide valuable services – for example, iQ Office Suites offers a mail service plan that includes a virtual business address, plus mail handling and storage, discounts on meeting spaces, and on-demand support from a professional administrative assistant.
Step 3: Select a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is an experienced professional who provides administrative, technical, and creative support.
The availability of a virtual assistant can afford employees valuable benefits, enhancing productivity, efficiency, and morale, and reducing the burden of repetitive ancillary tasks such as scheduling meetings, printing and collating documents, formatting presentations, and answering incoming calls.
Many virtual offices offer administrative assistance as part of their standard packages – for example, the iQ Virtual Auto-attendant gives employees access to a professional assistant along with other amenities like automated call answering, call routing, and access to physical workspaces for two days each month at any location.
Step 4: Secure Essential Equipment and Technology
For employees who use a virtual office, the right equipment and applications are crucial for productivity. Laptops and smartphones are the cornerstones of virtual business, as are cloud-based apps, data storage solutions, collaboration tools, and project management programs.
To ensure your employees have the tools and equipment they need, conduct an inventory of technologies and apps employees have now.
As with needs assessment, a simple questionnaire can help you quickly identify gaps; once you’ve evaluated employees’ current practices, methods, and tools, you can upgrade and augment their technologies and equipment, so they’ll have the necessary resources to be successful in their virtual workplace.
Step 5. Consider Your Physical Workspace Requirements
Even the most mobile teleworker sometimes needs a physical workspace. Face-to-face meetings with clients and team members are often necessary, and there are times when getting all of the stakeholders into one room can dramatically enhance the value and pace of collaboration.
Most virtual offices also offer a variety of options for physical workspaces; at iQ Office Suites, you can arrange for your employees to have access to dedicated desks, single-person suites, team rooms, or conference rooms.
All of our beautifully designed workspaces feature high-end furnishings and equipment. To get a first-hand look at our well-appointed spaces, book a tour today.
Putting it all Together
While there many advantages to maintaining a remote, mobile, and agile workforce, employees still need access to physical facilities and support options.
Virtual offices offer a host of benefits for today’s location-independent corporations, from virtual business addresses to conference rooms on demand, and you can quickly adopt an effective, efficient solution that offers your company the best of both worlds.
The friendly professionals at iQ Office Suites are happy to discuss your specific needs and requirements at your convenience. Contact us today!