A virtual office on paper might sound like a great idea. No overheads, no travel, it might seem like a no-brainer to avoid having a physical office at all. Yet as lockdown restrictions lift, the majority of businesses are encouraging a cautious and evolved return to the office. A more hybrid approach is coming, yet virtual offices appear to be far from the norm. Why is that?
A surprising number of people were looking forward to the return to the office following lockdown, even if they were looking to maintain the occasional day from home. 65% of people stated that they had missed the social side of the office, with 51% specifically missing the ‘office banter.’ These are things you struggle to maintain over webchat long term.
Creating a community of collaboration and fun is vital for productivity, and with a virtual office, you aren’t able to generate this.
The fact is that not everyone can work from home, or would embrace working from home. Those with young families where babies are crying, children are shrieking and the blare of noise toys and CBeebies is never far away, might well not feel able to work for a business where this is their only option. Young people still living at home might not want to work where their Mum drops off a cuppa and says hi to their colleagues in the staff Zoom meeting. Those that live alone might welcome a day at the office instead of the risk of feeling isolated. Some people might feel unable to afford any equipment they might need to provide themselves.
Essentially, you might miss out on some amazing candidates over a long period of time, because you’re not able to offer them the work environment they want.
Lack of physical space with a virtual office
It might sound obvious but not having anywhere to store things, host things, meet people – it will all add up. By not having a physical workplace you will often end up paying for and managing storage facilities and renting meeting rooms and spaces, and travelling might actually increase whenever there is a need to meet contacts, clients, employees and interviewing new employees because they cannot come to you.
In addition, the presence of a physical space comes with it some credibility. Having a physical location gives clients a sense of permanence, trust and professionalism that is hard to achieve with a virtual office, where people are naturally suspicious of businesses without a base.
People have overall proved their worth over lockdown in maintaining productivity, but when someone joins your business how sure are you about their level of productivity? Getting a feel for new team members, as well as maintaining a productive relationship with existing ones is much easier when you aren’t using a virtual office.
Choosing an office space over a virtual office
If you’re a business looking to choose a serviced office in Woking that offers flexible contracts and no hidden costs, get in touch with SEND Business Centre, where there are a range of different sized offices for rent that could meet your needs.