As the Ranks of Telecommunicating and Remote Working Swell, The Need for Virtual Offices Soar.
The joys of working from home are numerous. No commute. No pointless meetings. No office politics. Long, quiet periods of uninterrupted concentration. Listening in on conference calls with the corporate headquarters while reclining in your La-Z-Boy adorned in your favorite T-shirt and sweat pants.
But just because at-home workers or home-based business owners often forgo professional attire, doesn’t mean they should skimp on the prestige and convenience of a professional business address.
“You can have client meetings in a conveniently located conference room, rather than your kitchen table. You can have your mail and packages delivered to a business address rather than an obvious home address.” – Sonya Orme
“The benefits of a professional, virtual office are significant for the home worker,” says Sonya Orme, President of Prime Executive Offices in Carlsbad, CA. “You can have client meetings in a conveniently located conference room, rather than your kitchen table. You can have your mail and packages delivered to a business address rather than an obvious home address, which might be viewed as a red flag by a client or corporate partner. You can maintain your personal privacy by listing your business address rather than having your home address inadvertently stamped all over the Internet. You can even drop by a day or two a week to sit at an actual desk in an actual office with other actual professionals in order to ward off cabin fever, a common ailment among housebound workers.”
The demand for virtual offices is growing, says Orme. And it’s being driven by legions of remote corporate workers, as well as swelling ranks of sole proprietors who are able to efficiently run their businesses or consultancies from home due to advances in technology and connectivity.
And the statistics back up what Orme is seeing in the marketplace. According to just-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans working from home surpassed 8 million in 2017. That represents 5.2% of all workers, nearly double the number in 2000. A 2017 Gallup survey determined that 43% of all American workers have spent time recently telecommuting. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that a whopping 56% of all jobs in this country could be performed remotely.
“This is a trend that shows no signs of slowing,” says Orme. “As a result, we’re now seeing corporations providing virtual offices as a productivity perk for their remote employees,” says Orme. “They see value in their remote staff having access to a host of professional services. It helps boost productivity, enhances moral and well-being, and keeps their remote workers better connected, both physically and mentally, to the home office.”
Technically, a virtual office is when a person works primarily from home but is able to establish a presence through a business mailbox rental that gives them a distinct street address in a business district rather than a home address or P.O. Box. Further, this enables them to use the facility’s meeting rooms to meet clients, as well as maintain a business phone line that rings into a live receptionist who answers with the client’s business name. Virtual office services can also provide high-quality video conferencing, day offices, and mail services, including package shipping, receiving and overnight delivery.
Orme says virtual offices are affordable, with pricing typically below $100 per month.
“It’s a great value for any home-office sole proprietor or remote corporate worker,” she says. “We provide our clients the best of both worlds – the comfort and convenience of working from home along with the sheen of professionalism afforded by a corporate address.”