After the Covid-19 hit and remote work has become the new norm, many businesses have ditched their traditional offices and started looking for more flexible office solutions.
Start-ups, small businesses and even big corporations have aligned their strategies with new technologies and trends and implemented temporary or permanent remote and hybrid work arrangements.
As a result, on-demand office space has become more popular than ever over the last year.
Most businesses that have abandoned their conventional offices have either chosen to set up a virtual office or get a serviced office.
A virtual office and a serviced office are both great alternatives to the expensive, traditional workspace.
Nevertheless, there are significant differences between them. As a result, a business owner should carefully consider these differences before choosing an office that may impact their overall business.
Virtual Office Vs. Serviced Office – What Are The Differences?
- The concept
Virtual offices and serviced offices are based on different concepts. A virtual office is a set of services that a business can attain by renting an office in a physical building. First-class virtual offices (like the ones offered by B2B HQ) provide companies with a unique professional business address and other services they can access as they scale up (e.g., receptionist, local landline plans, mail handling services, etc.). On the other hand, a serviced office is a fully-equipped office that companies can access on a short-term basis without buying or renting the premises.
- Work policy
Virtual offices are created to support remote collaboration (even though they provide professional meeting space for important business meetings or brainstorming sessions). Essentially, they provide businesses with all the necessary tools to work from anywhere while helping them establish a business presence in a specific location. Unlike virtual offices, serviced offices require managers and employees to commute or travel each day to go to work. To sum up, virtual offices enable business owners to work with distributed teams, while serviced offices require workers and managers to live within commuting distance from a specific location.
The monthly rent for a virtual office is much lower than the monthly rent for a serviced office. In addition, virtual offices allow businesses to save money in the long term (because they are cost-effective and include many per-per-use services). On the other hand, serviced offices are an affordable solution only in the short term (for example, they are a great solution for businesses needing temporary office space). Otherwise, companies using a serviced office for an extended period risk losing money (because renting a serviced office for a long period could cost more than renting a traditional office).
- Business model
Virtual offices and serviced offices fit different business models. For example, a virtual office is an excellent solution for start-ups, small and mid-size companies looking to reduce costs and maximise profits and businesses seeking to expand in a new location or test a new market. At the same time, serviced offices are the best option for companies that need office space for a limited period, pop-up businesses, or businesses that need office equipment and do not want (or cannot afford) to buy it.
Conclusion: Both virtual offices and serviced offices have their own unique benefits.
However, companies should choose between them according to their work policies, budget for office space, and business strategy and model.
The right office space can enable a business to maximise cost-effectiveness and improve employee productivity (among many other benefits).
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