Virtual office spaces are more than a trend.
As the great lockdown has triggered seismic shifts in how we work, virtual offices have become the go-to office for a large number of businesses.
Whether you’re a fledgling startup, freelancer or a more established business looking for a branch office, you will greatly benefit from virtual office spaces.
However, as with any major shift in the business environment, there are lots of misconceptions surrounding this fast-growing industry.
While many of these myths have been proven to be completely groundless, some businesses remain hesitant due to misinformation.
In this post, I dispel the most common myths about virtual offices so you know what to expect before making your decision.
Table of contents:
- Myth #1: Virtual offices present security risks
- Myth #2: Virtual offices aren’t real offices
- Myth #3: All virtual offices are created equal
- Myth #4: Virtual offices are unprofessional
- Myth #5: Virtual offices and P.O. boxes are alike
- Myth #6: Virtual offices negatively impact your business’s image
- Myth #7: It’s best to have your staff in a physical office
1. Myth #1: Virtual Offices Present Security Risks
One area of concern that business owners have is that team members may end up sharing sensitive information online.
Or, they believe that virtual landlines that typically come with a virtual office can easily be intercepted, meaning that confidential information or trade secrets could end up in the wrong hands.
But the truth is, your business information is safe with a virtual office as long as your team members are using secured network connections.
Premium virtual offices use private networks that are secured and actively monitored, meaning they are much safer than your local coffee shop.
In addition, landline numbers provided by virtual offices use encryption to safeguard your data, so they’re completely safe.
For this reason, you can rest assured that your business information is protected.
For example, we at B2B HQ know that data security is important for businesses that store sensitive information, so we’ve created a completely secure workspace.
Not only do we provide a secure private network, but we also provide soundproof meeting rooms and boardrooms to protect your privacy and confidentiality.
We also provide a highly-trained on-site receptionist to handle your business mail or confidential records, so you can ensure that your private information will be managed professionally.
2. Myth #2: Virtual Offices Aren’t Real Offices
Some business owners believe that a virtual office is not a professional place to work.
Or, they believe that a virtual office does not really exist in the real world, meaning they’re just a digital space that performs like an office.
This is because the term “virtual” often leads to misinterpretation of the office space, as it is typically associated with a simulated environment.
But the truth is, virtual offices are just as real as traditional offices.
Even if you don’t need to commute to the office every day, you still have the option to hold your meeting in a professional and welcoming environment.
And let’s be frank here – Meeting clients and customers in coffee shops, cafes, or noisy coworking spaces can really damage your business’s image.
On the other hand, a virtual office that comes with fully equipped meeting rooms and facilities will have a huge impact on the success of your business meetings.
3. Myth #3: All Virtual Offices Are Created Equal
Another major misunderstanding about virtual offices is the idea that all of them are alike.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
While some virtual offices simply provide you with a few office facilities and a business address (that most of the time is a communal address for all businesses), others offer much, much more.
For example, we at B2B HQ are proud to deliver innovative, quality, and value-for-money services that most providers do not include in their packages.
Here are a few examples:
- We provide 24/7 access to your mailbox and meeting rooms, while most providers only allow you to access the office building during standard business hours
- We include in each package your own numbered mailbox with multiple recipient option and not just an ordinary mailbox for all of your mail
- You’ll get a permanent, unique business address that is yours only and not just a communal address (that might be bad for your Google listing and business perception)
- We give you the option to get a 1300 or 1800 number to boost your professional image and not just a regular landline number
- We’ve included in our offer unique packages you can only get with B2B HQ, such as a Melbourne Branch Office or New Business Creation package
4. Myth #4: Virtual Offices are Unprofessional
Virtual offices are far from being unprofessional because they provide businesses with all the amenities and services that come with a traditional brick-and-mortar office.
The only difference is that you can work remotely from anywhere while accessing office space only when necessary.
Not to mention that with a virtual office, your clients and customers do not know you are actually operating from home.
They believe you are located at a prestigious address and operate from a traditional brick-and-mortar office.
You might be thinking, “If I hold my meetings in a virtual office, the provider might promote their brand to my visitors, making my business look unprofessional.”
That depends on the provider.
For example, B2B HQ does not have any logos or brand names outside of the building or inside our offices, so the space looks like it is all yours.
5. Myth #5: Virtual Offices and P.O. Boxes Are Alike
There’s a world of difference between a virtual office and a P.O. box.
I previously wrote a complete guide where I explain why a virtual address is better than a P.O. box.
Long story short, a P.O. box is exactly what it says – a box at an address where you receive mail and packages.
On the other hand, a virtual office comes with a wide array of amenities and services so you have the option of working from a professional office suite from time to time.
However, the biggest difference between a virtual office and a P.O. box is dictated by ASIC’s legal requirements.
While a virtual office is legal for a business to use, you are not allowed to register your business using a P.O. box (more details you can find here).
Not to mention that you are not allowed to use a P.O. box to list your business on Google My Business. They do not even provide an option to include a P.O. box when filling in your business information.
So, as you can see, virtual offices and P.O. boxes are more different than alike.
6. Myth #6: Virtual Offices Negatively Impact Your Business’s Image
Many business owners believe that virtual offices negatively impact a brand’s image because consumers don’t trust companies without a physical location.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Thanks to the global digital transformation, consumers don’t need to visit your store to trust your brand or believe your business is legitimate.
In this day and age, using a brick-and-mortar office doesn’t necessarily help you build trust with customers.
Instead, customers have become increasingly loyal to human-centred businesses whose values align with their own.
This means that connecting with your customers on a deeper, emotional level is what actually enables you to build trust and create a positive brand image – whether you’re using a physical location or a virtual office.
7. Myth #7: It’s Best to Have Your Staff in a Physical Office
In the digital age, the old ways of running a workplace are quickly becoming obsolete.
So let’s be frank here – micromanagement as a workstyle is outdated decades back.
Not to mention that watching over your employees so they don’t skive can actually hinder productivity and result in a lack of innovation in the workplace.
Yes, having all of your staff in a physical office could give you the opportunity to watch people do exactly what you say.
But would that really help you improve operational efficiency and boost productivity?
Most probably not.
It makes perfect sense to hold a team huddle in a physical office every once in a while to allow for clearer communication.
However, for non-essential routine work, having your staff working remotely without the need to commute to work can actually increase productivity.
In fact, a survey by ConnectSolutions revealed that 77% percent of those working remotely reported greater productivity – even when sick.
Conclusion: Hopefully, this post has helped set the record straight by debunking some of the most common myths and rumours about virtual offices.
The truth is that virtual offices are a convenient alternative both to operating from home and operating from a traditional office at a fraction of the cost of renting permanent office space.
We at B2B HQ view your success as our own personal success. That’s why we’re committed to providing you with everything your business needs to run smoothly and build reputation without the need to pay for expensive physical office space. Get your virtual office in Melbourne today and see for yourself how much it can help you build trust with customers and save on overhead – all while reaching your business’s full potential!