A physical office is characterized by its fixed location, usually leased office space within a commercial building or facility. The physical location of a business can be an advantage or a negative – depending on whether it assists or hinders the business. A poor location can be a drawback if your company is situated at a site that your customers aren’t impressed with – because you don’t have the business image your market expects. Sometimes the reality is that this physical space is all your business can afford – and you have to live with that. This is especially true for start-ups.
A leased office space in a prime location can really improve your business image and visibility but it can be costly especially for small or growing businesses. That monthly lease payment can seem like a constant burden, especially when monthly budget forecasts are not being met.
A virtual office address is also situated at a physical location, often at high floor at a premium office tower - but the work for the business is performed remotely. This means there is no need for you or your staff to be limited by location - with the right software tools and connectivity many staff can essentially work from anywhere in the world. And you’ll have a highly respected virtual business address that presents an impressive image, often at exactly the right location you desire.
A Virtual Office is Much Cheaper than a Physical Office
Operating a physical office involves numerous expenses, including office rent, utilities like electricity and telecommunications, security, cleaning, furnishings and office equipment and supplies. These costs are constant and depending on revenue, they can impact recruitment, marketing and the ability to invest in other essential areas of your business. Those fixed expenses are more challenging to reduce during revenue downturns, there is no easy fix to these costs. For employees, remote working in a virtual office environment is also very cost-effective because they aren’t spending their salary on travel costs, business attire and buying lunch from city shops. Compared to businesses with leased office space and all the accompanying overheads, virtual offices offer significant cost-effectiveness. A virtual office space rental is vastly more affordable than leasing physical office space.
Virtual Offices Provide More Flexibility Than Physical Offices
Virtual office addresses are available for short, medium and long term. Business owners can subscribe to a virtual office rental for as little as 3 months, although most clients retain their virtual office address for many years. Compared to the numerous restrictions and legalities involved in the contracts for physical office leases, a virtual office is the epitome of freedom and flexibility. You can usually arrange a prestigious virtual office address same day, whereas it may take many months to secure a physical office at the same locale.
Virtual Offices and Physical Offices Communicate Differently
One of the most noticeable differences between a physical office and a virtual office is in how employees, customers and service providers communicate. In a physical office space there is more daily, often unscheduled face-to-face interactions with employees and clients, and this communication has its own particular value. In contrast, a virtual office operates in the digital sphere, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Communication is by email, or text or voice – rarely by touch or body language. Virtual workplaces can range over much wider distances and across continents and numerous cultures .There is a different skillset in managing teams remotely and truly comprehending their concerns when the alternative is sharing a conversation at the office canteen. Brainstorming, intense collaboration and shared understandings are all dynamics of a fixed office space that employees travel to – but this personalised collaboration comes at the price of limiting access to talent that lives in the vicinity of the office. While with virtual offices, face-to-face interactions are often limited to quarterly catch-ups - virtual meetings, video conferences, and instant messaging platforms can bridge the physical distance gap between remote team members. With the right technology and communication protocols in place, experienced virtual teams can collaborate just as effectively as in-person teams – and there is no office politics!
Virtual Offices Can Ensure Employee Happiness and Retention
A physical office usually demands that every employee adheres to commuting to work on a daily 9-to-5 schedule. This rigidity can seriously impact work-life balance, especially for those staff members with long commutes or family obligations. And when you think about it, the daily commute to a physical workplace is wasted time. That’s one of the key reasons so many people around the world prefer to work from home and start their work day fresh, not weary from travel. Sure every employee needs to be able to separate their work routine from their home life – but it shouldn’t mean they only get this discipline by travelling across town in cars, buses, trains etc. Retaining talent can often mean ensuring the needs of a work/life balance are met, and that’s when a virtual workplace has the superior model. A virtual office with remote workers embraces a more flexible work culture. Employees can often adapt their schedule to personal needs, and they have time to spare, because they are not making a daily commute! This increased flexibility improves work-life balance, reduces stress, and boosts employee satisfaction. A happier workforce will be more productive and loyal, reducing turnover and retaining the talent that every business relies on.
Physical Offices are Often Dependent on Local Infrastructure and Security
A physical office requires investment in infrastructure, including office equipment connectivity, receptionist software, and often on-premises storage where servers are located in the office space infrastructure. Maintaining a secure physical workspace is crucial to safeguard sensitive company information. There are also considerable costs involved in maintaining a secure premises for staff well-being. When a system is down in such local office environments – all staff will usually be affected and there is no easy fallback – especially if there are power outages. Virtual workplaces also have their challenges - they rely heavily on digital infrastructure and cloud-based systems. While these systems are generally secure, they can pose cybersecurity risks with multiple users. The solution is to invest in robust cybersecurity protocols and measures such as data encryption, and comprehensive employee training to protect against cyber threats. When properly implemented and maintained, virtual office cyber security can be as strong as physical office cyber security, if not stronger. And virtual offices only have to worry about cyber-crime – not physical theft.
Virtual Offices Can Also Bolster a Company’s Image
An impressive physical office can reinforce a company's image and reputation, especially if it is located in a prestigious renowned locale. Professional offices with just the right ambience can leave a lasting impression on visiting clients, partners, and potential investors. A physical office also provides a constant physical space to host meetings. The virtual office solution has evolved to match the offerings of such physical office leases and in many ways, to exceed them. Virtual offices now offer the same level of professionalism and prestige a physical office leases , with CBD high floor virtual addresses now providing facilities and amenities such as access to co-working spaces, private suites, meeting rooms and state of the art sublime board rooms and conferencing spaces. Complimentary refreshments, on-site parking, end of trip facilities and much more are part of the prestige virtual office experience - allowing remote businesses to project a highly professional image to the outside world – at a fraction of the price of a permanent office lease. Managing your business using virtual office services means that you are only ever paying for what you use when you use it. Stylish boardroom that seats 12 with superb city views, booked at your virtual office address ,for a marketing update on Friday scheduled for five hours. Check.
Virtual Offices Are Better for the Environment
In today's environmentally conscious world, businesses are increasingly expected to consider their ecological footprint. A physical office consumes more resources than a virtual office - from on-site energy consumption to paper waste to all the associated pollution of the daily commute. Embracing a virtual office solution can significantly reduce this carbon footprint. By reducing commuting virtual offices contribute to a greener future. Business leaders and entrepreneurs can leverage their commitment to environmental responsibility as a marketing advantage, appealing to environmentally-conscious clients and attracting like-minded employees. Imagine setting up a network of physical office leases in every capital city of Australia. Think about the travel that’s needed to secure a suitable office lease in 8 locations. Then factor in furnishing and equipping each space for employees. Add the energy consumption for 8 offices. Then calculate the carbon footprint of employees in each capital city office commuting back and forth to work. Now compare that overall carbon footprint with a network of Virtual Offices. On the same day, without any physical travel, we can arrange a virtual office for you in every capital city. We’ll ensure your virtual office address also provides the advantage of meeting rooms, co-working spaces and all the associated amenities that a typical office should contain. And remember these are all shared facilities. You’ll only book them when you need them. You just don’t need your own boardroom table if you only use it intermittently ! Now consider the energy consumption of your Australian virtual office network. Your virtual office addresses are located at an existing office building – so you are not adding on any environmental footprint. Your staff are all working in a virtual workplace – they are working remotely from home – they are not contributing to the carbon footprint because they are not commuting. Environmentally, the difference between physical offices and virtual offices is incredible.
So to recount.
What is the differences between a Physical Office and a Virtual Office?
- Environmental footprint VO Wins
- Business Image PO AND VO Draw
- IT Infrastructure PO and VO Draw
- Employee Satisfaction VO Wins
- Business Agility VO Wins
- Cost-effectiveness VO Wins
- Communication PO and VO Draw
- Future proofing VO wins