In the age of technology, the traditional business model is becoming increasingly irrelevant. For this reason, virtual offices are increasing in popularity- while physical offices are becoming obsolete. Likewise, the way we hire employees is changing- and previous ‘tried and tested’ techniques are being questioned by modern professionals across the globe. It’s an exciting time, full of change and increased efficiency. However, it’s also a complex time, where new concepts demand explanation and longstanding employees require a reintroduction to their profession.
The ‘Information Age’ is largely responsible for the rise of virtual offices, although other societal factors, such as limited property availability and high rent costs, are also important factors. What virtual offices provide, is a point of reference for a business, that isn’t contained to one space. A virtual office has all the traditional communication services of a normal office, without there being an actual space where the work takes place. Many components of a traditional business, like telephone communication, receptionists and assistants, work remotely – and often never meet their employer in person.
If this sounds overly complex- it isn’t. And it’s best explained by briefly outlining the process of setting up a virtual office. Many candidates for virtual offices are those who are interested in starting a business, remotely or from home, but are adamant on avoiding the high costs of buying or renting office space. Virtual offices offer business owners the opportunity to buy an address, as opposed to an actual space, in a high profile city building. This is an incredible opportunity, because potential partners or customers will be redirected to a reputable address- while business owners will pay only a fraction of the rent cost in order to own this address.
At the purchased address, there is typically a receptionist service on offer. Unlike a virtual assistant, who works remotely, the receptionist service consists of the property’s preexisting receptionist extending their services to your remote businesses- by accepting deliveries and mail. Any content that can be computerized is then handed to another building employee, who typically scans these documents, and uploads them onto an online platform accessible to different employees.
The increasing popularity of the virtual office has also affected the way we hire employees. When looking at candidates to fill the positions of a virtual office, traditional skills are no longer are necessity. Instead, the ability to use technology; to work remotely and independently; to have flexibility and good general communication skills are taking precedence. This is because, to be considered for the position of virtual office employee, potential candidates no longer have to concern themselves with in-person professionally, with team work, with punctuality. Their work will largely take place remotely, will rarely include face-to-face meetings, and doesn’t comply to traditional expectations- for example, sick and vacation days are no longer required- as the work is entirely flexible and can be done from any location and in any condition.
A proficiency in technology, nonetheless, is a basic requirement in most of today’s industries. As is the ability to video conference, and operate a smart phone or handheld device. And while professionals still look to traditional businesses as a source of information, and adopt some of the established techniques into their own modern practices- times are definitely changing, and the rise of new businesses with new employees is certainly redefining the norm.