Millions of people are choosing to work remotely nowadays. In fact, about 70% of employees globally work remotely at least one day each week. Working from home increases productivity levels and offers a better work-life balance and overall good mental health. As a business owner, you want your employees to be comfortable and happy.
However, when running your own business, you might have a lot of struggles. You may find it difficult to stay on top of phone calls, for instance, or you may feel overwhelmed with so much mail to organize. If you are experiencing these issues, you might consider investing in a virtual office space.
A virtual office provides a physical address and access to administrative services without handling the burden of renting an actual office. This means that a virtual office deals with administrative tasks such as forwarding mail and redirecting phone calls. If you often hold face-to-face meetings, some virtual offices provide clients with private spaces as well.
If you’re thinking about taking advantage of the services that come with virtual office space, you need an efficient solutions provider. Here is a list of questions to ask before you commit.
How Does the Mail Forwarding Service Work?
A mail forwarding service is one of the most important components of your virtual office. Some virtual offices are better at forwarding mail than others, so be sure to ask them about their process. Regardless of the provider, however, rest assured that virtual offices do not follow regular office hours and time zones. As such, your provider should not limit you to the regular 9-to-5 weekday operation. Additionally, keep in mind that even though it’s a virtual office, you need to have a physical mailbox onsite. This way, your private mail is separate from everyone else’s.
What Is Your Policy on Using a Conference Room?
While several virtual offices offer access to a conference room or private office space, the rules may vary. Some include the use of the conference room or office in their monthly plan, while others charge an hourly rate. For this reason, you need to think about your own office and conference room needs. Do you need to use the room monthly or only a couple of times each year? Moreover, you should also consult the provider about scheduling. Some services will let you schedule the room on the same day, but others may require a 24-hour notice.
How Experienced Are Your Employees?
While a virtual office might look professional and experienced on the outside, it does not necessarily mean it offers top-quality service. Thus, you should ask questions about the support staff. Be sure to ask about training and qualifications as well as what kind of turnover rate their service has. As any business owner should remember, a business is only as good as the employees who work there.
Who Would Be Answering My Calls?
Virtual offices may sometimes outsource answering services to companies in other countries that employ a big staff. In general, however, virtual office providers use the same two or three receptionists per location to answer your calls. This builds familiar relationships and makes your company seem consistent to those calling. When it comes to virtual offices, be assured your calls will be answered by a qualified and capable team.
Will You Be Actively Promoting Your Business?
It’s worth noting that your virtual office space provider should not actively promote their business to your visitors or to those who look up your address. Your customers are your customers, and your provider should refrain from marketing their services to them. In some virtual offices, they do not have their logo, company name or branding on the door entrance or meeting rooms. To your clients, the space should look like it’s yours.
What Kind of Technology Do You Have?
The ideal virtual office provider should handle your technological requirements. Ask them if they offer wireless internet and how fast their internet speed is. If you need physical copies, don’t forget to inquire about their printer and copier capabilities. Remember, technology plays an important role in the success of any business.
Do You Have Any References From Previous Clients?
If you’re planning to work with any kind of business, you need to inquire about client references. This way, you find out what other people are saying about the services. Try checking their reviews online. If you know other business owners who are using the same virtual office service provider, you may want to ask them about their experiences. A reputable virtual office company should have references readily available and willing to share them with you. If they are hesitant, take this as a red flag.
Do You Have a Global Network in Other Countries?
Are you a traveling professional? If you are, it’s helpful to ask if the provider has a global network in other countries. Doing so helps you save time and effort of paying for additional offices or looking for a different place to work or meet. Many virtual offices allow their clients to work in an office space or use meeting rooms outside their primary location at no cost for certain hours. This is particularly beneficial if you travel a lot and would like somewhere to work in other cities or countries.
Do You Require a Long-Term Commitment?
A good virtual office provider should offer low-risk opportunities. If they force you to sign a contract that isn’t month-to-month, they likely have a poor working performance and fear they will lose you quickly. On the other hand, a reputable virtual office provider should have flexible, short-term commitments. Therefore, it’s good to remember that the shorter the contract, the better.
Are There Any Additional Fees?
When signing a contract, don’t forget to ask about any additional fees that might show up in the long run while you’re working with that virtual office company. Specific fees you should ask about include security deposits or administrative fees. Moreover, you should also inquire about payment and cancellation options.
If you are looking for a virtual office space provider, get in touch with our team at Connecticut Business Centers. We offer top-quality virtual office services in Connecticut, including Stamford and nearby areas. Here you will get the best of both worlds: full mobility to get work done wherever you need or want, combined with a prestigious address and full connectivity, plus access to meeting space and business support services. To learn more, call us today at (203) 359-5600 or fill out our online contact form to set an appointment.