Virtual Office's Pros and Cons

With increasing globalization and rapid changes in information technology and telecommunications, more and more organizations across the globe are opting for virtual offices as part of a transaction cost economics strategy. Curbing and controlling commuting costs, saving up on travel expenses and the need to establish a flexible working environment for business owners and employees further necessitate the need for virtual offices.

A virtual office allows both business owners and employees to work from any geographical location using a laptop, a smart phone or any other communication device. With Paul Hype Page & Co. setting up virtual offices in Malaysia and Singapore can be a highly profitable and economical venture for all foreign investors and business owners planning to set up a business here. Virtual offices serve the following advantages for your business:

Saves Money

Virtual offices save rent, commuting expenses and utility bills for businesses. A one-time fee is required at the time of purchasing a street address and a virtual office, with no monthly rent expense or security deposits. A PO Box address is, nonetheless, required for direct mailing and communication purposes. However, this does not need to accommodate all the employees. This leaves plenty of room for businesses to expand, without worrying about the financial costs of accommodating an increasing workforce in a defined office space.

Motivational for Employees

Compared to a traditional setup, employees find working from home easier as they do not have to spend any money on commuting. It also saves businesses from providing a conveyance allowance as part of salary to their employees. Motivated and happy employees lead to better productivity, which in turn leads to better results and performance by the business.

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Environment Friendly

All documents, reports, statements, quotations, tenders and transaction documents are exchanged through emails in a virtual office set up. As a result, minimal use of paper is required. This allows businesses to comply with environmental laws and set up a “green” working environment.

Improved Connectivity and Better Services

Virtual office lenders also provide other support services to business conference rooms and halls, such as a virtual secretary. In addition, employees and business owners are interconnected through cell phones. This ensures that they are always in-touch with each other through a simple phone call, email or Skype.

While virtual offices offer several benefits and privileges for businesses, especially foreign companies and branch offices, they have their own limitations. Driven by the latest technological advancements and trends, this kind of office set up is not failure-proof. The following detriments apply:

Technological Constraints

A virtual office setup can be problematic for the owners if a laptop breaks down, a cell phone gets lost or the internet stops working. A breakdown in the primary communication channel leaves businesses stranded as owners and employees cannot communicate and coordinate. To fix this issue, a standby team of I.T professionals is required to travel to the premises of each staff member experiencing technical difficulties. This can be a costly and cumbersome process.

Less Control

Virtual offices provide more autonomy for employees and restrict the owner’s control over the business. There are no safeguards to ensure that the employee is really working from home. Similarly, there are no means of finding out whether the employee is experiencing technical difficulties or is simply not in a mood to work. Attendance and timing issues prevail which have a subsequent impact on payroll.

Other Limitations

Team projects cannot be carried out using a virtual office setup. Employees from all across the globe need to converge at a single meeting point to discuss team project details and sign off documents which require multiple signatures for authorization.

Similarly, virtual offices may not be suited for all businesses. A small-scale creative agency may opt for a virtual office and seek the services of skilled individuals from their own home space, but a large manufacturing sector cannot operate with a virtual office. It is always advisable for business owners to assess the feasibility of a virtual office set up with respect to the nature of their business and their resource requirements, before making any decisions.

To learn more about the benefits of virtual offices and whether such a set up would be feasible and economical for your business, feel free to contact us!