During the past few years, during the pandemic, we all have experienced remote working in some way. Start-ups during that time have moved one step ahead and turned towards the virtual office setup. These have been trying times, many businesses wanted to cut down on overheads or operational costs.
The virtual office is the most practical and innovative business solution today. It combines all the necessary tools that you require for remote working under one roof. It is the perfect environment that supports remote working and encourages the personal interaction of remote workers.
Although both remote working and virtual office work on the same baseline. But, there is a very prominent difference between the two. Many people blur this line and confuse them to be the same. In this post, we will discuss in detail to remove this confusion.
What is a virtual office?
A virtual office is a part of the workspace industry that offers a hybrid business solution. It has many features that help and support businesses running without any problems. It is the perfect solution for businesses that want to save up their resources or have a shortage of manpower. It is also for small businesses for whom establishing all office facilities of an enterprise is not possible.
A virtual office packs some amazing features:
- You get a business address that can be used on legal documents and business stationery.
- Office services like professional call forwarding and mail handling are provided.
- You are given fully functional meeting and conference rooms.
- Physical office space with office services like fax machines, Wifi, scanners, phones, printers, etc.
- Tech and apps support remote working.
Using the virtual office service is like using a hotel room. You just pay the room rent and get all the facilities that come with it. You are not responsible for maintaining the room or giving utility bills for the room. Your business can get a lot of benefits by using a virtual office.
Benefits of using a virtual office:
- You don’t have to lease or rent the office premises. Everything comes part and parcel.
- You don’t have to worry about the utility or monthly bill, they are included in the subscription cost.
- You get a flexible environment to work in. You can easily unsubscribe from the service without any prior notice. You won’t even have to pay any penalty.
- You get all the supportive features required for remote working.
- You get to hire employees from remote locations. You get an excess of the creme de la creme of the talent pool.
- Virtual offices make the expansion of business plausible.
- It also helps you establish a large network that can help in your business.
- You get access to new markets and global experience.
What is remote working?
To explain it simply, remote working or working from home is an environment where employees don’t have to commute to office buildings, retail shops, or warehouses. Usually, companies or employers ask their workers to work from home for the same reason; most prominent is lack or shortage of funds. Even large enterprises downsize departments because of these issues. They also ask their employees to start working. The employees all work from different locations.
The employees collaborate with the employer and their department through cloud computing and management apps.
The similarities between remote working and virtual office:
- Employees don’t have to commute to the office building.
- Interaction between team members is with collaborative apps and technology.
- It is very cost-effective for the business.
- Employees are more comfortable and productive.
- You get flexible working hours suitable for all the team members.
- The business opens up to a wider horizon. You get access to global resources and markets.
Difference between a virtual office and remote working:
- The biggest and most prominent difference is that remote working is working from a physical location other than the office premises. While a virtual office is a hybrid working solution. It offers a shared workspace and remote working. You can use physical office space and work remotely as per the need of your work.
- A virtual office is a subscription-based service that offers office space for occasional use and services that make running a business remotely possible. Remote working does not necessarily mean the presence of the business support services.
- Remote working lacks physical interaction completely, in a virtual office there is occasional physical interaction for meetings and conferences.
In the future, remote working and virtual offices will become a popular way to handle business and workspace. Although both have different dynamics, their basic concept revolves around the same thing, i.e. how to enable people to work from a location other than a dedicated physical office space. They both cater to similar yet different sets of workers.
Remote working is for anyone who is working from home or a remote location. They can be doing so because their department got downsized or because they were part-time hires who were offered remote work. A virtual office service offers a complete business solution catering to every aspect of independent business. It also caters to enterprises that open regional offices or want some of their departments to cut the cost. Remote working is supported by virtual office services but it is not vice versa. If you are working on a project remotely then you and your team need a remote working model, but if you are a small business that needs all the facilities to run your business, then a virtual office is what you need.
But let’s be honest, this is not a competition where we claim one is better than the other. They both have the market share they are suited to. Picking one depends on what workspace model you are looking for.
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