How Virtual Offices Work

Virtual offices can be very useful. They will often help a business save money and make telecommuting a practical option. If you are considering using a virtual office for your business, then you need a solid understanding of how one works. Read on for more information.

Components of Virtual Offices

Virtual offices have a number of standard components. A full virtual office will provide both live and automated phone answering service, a physical mailing address, and on-demand physical meeting and work space. Almost all generic clerical work can be outsourced to a virtual office solution. A virtual office may also include forums, chat rooms, and video calling services for the employees of a business to stay in close working contact.

Phone Service

Having a high quality phone answering service is crucial to running a successful business. A live virtual receptionist on hand to take calls puts a professional face on your business. A good virtual office solution will be careful to limit the number of companies each live receptionist answers calls for. Customers should not be left waiting on hold for long periods of time.
Calls are prioritized, screened and forwarded according to the criteria given to the virtual assistant. Some callers may be always sent to voicemail, if that is your wish.
A virtual assistant may also make calls for you as you direct.

Physical Mailing Address

A complete virtual office solution will provide a physical mailing address that is more prestigious than a post office box. United States law requires post office boxes to be obviously indicated, which is usually undesirable for a business. Some virtual offices allow physical access to mailboxes 24 hours a day.
The physical location of a virtual office has receptionists on hand to sign for deliveries and enable documents to be picked up and dropped off. Depending on the service, there may even be notaries and witnesses available.
If a virtual office provider has multiple locations, then it is very easy to expand your business to those places.

Meeting Space

Conference rooms and offices are available on demand for face-to-face meetings. It is often possible to rent physical meeting spaces on short notice. Rent may be by the hour, day, or week.

Physical Office Space

Virtual offices also provide physical working space as needed. This can be extremely useful for the home worker who is overwhelmed by distractions. Physical offices may be rented for periods as brief as an hour or as long as a month.

General Amenities

Access to advanced telephone and fax services is one of the most important services of a virtual office. Documents can be faxed, copied, and printed as needed. Conference calling and video calling equipment is standard for a virtual office.
General amenities at the physical location of a virtual office include a corporate-styled lobby, a kitchenette, and broadband Internet.
Greg, from Sydney, Australia, recently started his own business and works from home. He has been using virtual offices from Servcorp Australia to give himself a big city address, professional appearance and all of his phone calls and messages taken care of. Greg is looking forward to a successful year for his business.