What is a Virtual Office


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The term virtual office probably had not been within the vocabulary of most office workers 20 years ago. With technological advancements such as the internet and the rapid growth in mobile communications usage, the concept of a virtual office is now feasible. In fact, through the heightened awareness of the many advantages of virtual offices as well as the high level of services provided, many small business owners have become more open in considering virtual offices as their operations base.

What exactly is a virtual office? A virtual office / office space is a suite of offices segregated to smaller sections of workstations and workspaces to be leased out individually to business owners. As high levels of prestige often accompany addresses of virtual offices, they are usually located in high profile buildings within central business districts in major cities around the world. Apart from that, buildings located within certain locations may be associated with prestige for certain industries. This is why identifying the right virtual office within the right building is essential in building the image required for your company.

Virtual offices are not limited to just office space and a nice address. In fact, many virtual office companies understand that many business owners or self-employed individuals are only utilizing their services to obtain the corporate address for their businesses. With the internet in place, we are no longer bound by physical locations, and therefore many business owners are working from home. This way, they only utilize their virtual offices for business meetings and the occasional business services required.

This is why virtual offices also offer a full range of office services specifically catered for their customers. These would include phone answering or receptionist services for incoming phone calls received on behalf of the companies. In these cases, receptionists will either take a message or forward the calls to the primary number of the contact person or business owner. This entire process is transparent to the caller, an attribute which helps to create the required corporate image for the company.

Another important feature is the high speed internet network infrastructure setup that is available within many renowned virtual offices across the world. In fact, this is a service that has pretty much become a default within most virtual office setups, as high speed internet links are required for home office workers who may need to connect to office servers located in the virtual office. This is essential as multiple workers may want to consolidate, interact, upload or share files through office servers, and thus broadband connections to the servers are necessary for better quality in usage experience.

Apart from that, recent VoIP technology which operates on top of internet network infrastructure has enabled phone calls to be transmitted through the internet. This means that the cost of phone calls made by office users within virtual offices can be reduced. Additionally, certain virtual offices may utilize VoIP technology for their phone lines or provide call forwarding services for phone calls to be directed to primary numbers.

Other value added services supported by many virtual offices are video conferencing facilities, in which employees within a virtual office are able to hold virtual conferences with other employees located in various locations. Essentially, group decisions and discussions can be made within an organization, without requiring people to be physically present in the same location. Also, other than satellite transmissions, high speed internet connections is commonly used as the voice, data and video transfer medium in order for such facilities to be made possible.

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