Virtual offices are an increasingly hot topic in the shared workspace industry—and for good reason. Virtual offices provide mobile employees, remote workers, freelancers, independent professionals and small teams access to office space, conference rooms, a business address, mail service, phone answering, business amenities, open coworking space and more.
Virtual offices have been part of the office rental industry for decades. Now coworking space operators are embracing the virtual office trend to expand their offerings, create additional income streams and differentiate in an increasingly crowded workspace industry. Here are six reasons to integrate a virtual office into a coworking space.
1. Virtual Offices Expand Offerings for Existing Coworking Members
Coworking spaces are full of freelancers, independent professionals, remote workers and small teams. As existing members grow their businesses, they may need more than access to a single location. Adding a virtual office to your coworking space enables you to expand offerings to include mail forwarding, live phone answering services, day office rental and more.
2. Live Phone Answering Services in a Virtual Office
Access to live phone answering services is part of the above expanded offerings for members, but it deserves its own section because it can be transformative for a new business. Whether a virtual office members is on the road, busy building a product or working from an open coworking area, they can still have a professional receptionist answer calls, forward calls to a mobile number and take messages. This can be a powerful tool in establishing a new business.
3. A Virtual Office Can Attract New Markets
Independent professionals and small teams don’t all need set office hours or coworking days—but they may still need mail, phone, a business address, access to a meeting room, and the occasional day office. A virtual office lets you go beyond offering a simple day pass to a coworking space which offers additional valuable services and potentially reach new markets.
4. Activate the Meeting Room in a Coworking Space
Shared workspaces generally have meeting rooms and conference rooms—and they may be underutilized, sitting empty much of the time. By adding virtual office offerings to a coworking space, operators make these spaces available to a broader market of professionals and businesses in need of meeting rooms, conference rooms and day offices.
5. Virtual Offices Open Additional Revenue Streams for Coworking Spaces
A virtual office can be a nice additional revenue stream for a coworking space. By including a range of virtual office offerings, from a business address and mail collection to live phone answering service, meeting room rental and a day office, space operators create additional revenue streams from a variety of markets and professionals.
6. Differentiate Your Coworking Space with a Virtual Office
As the shared workspace industry continues to grow at a remarkable rate, it is increasingly important for coworking space operators to differentiate themselves beyond providing a desk and wifi. One way to do this is through community-building and event programming. Another way to differentiate is through robust virtual office offerings and flexible VO packages to meet a variety of professional needs and preferences.
A growing number of coworking spaces are incorporating virtual offices into their workspace offerings. Check out CloudVO’s Resource Center for more insights on how you can expand your workspace offering.
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By Cat Johnson, content strategist and coworking member of NextSpace in Santa Cruz, CA.