In the modern world, it’s becoming increasingly common for companies to go remote. When compared to a traditional workplace, a virtual office is a great option: it gives you more flexibility, saves you money, and it allows you to focus on creating a great product or service, rather than worrying about overheads and administration.

Virtual offices usually come with a professional-looking city address, and they can include a range of add-on services. Services can range from mail forwarding (electronic or physical) to answering services, photocopying, secure destruction and secure electronic storage.

In New Zealand, a virtual office can also be used as your registered office address for the purposes of the Companies Register.

Here are eight great reasons to think about getting a virtual office:

1. Flexibility

With a virtual office, you can work from anywhere: whether it’s your bedroom or garage, the beach, the local cafe. Your staff can also work remotely, allowing you to draw talent from further afield than you could if you were tied down to a physical location.

If you travel frequently, or you’re planning a long trip, a virtual office can help you stay up-to-date. You don’t need to worry about providing forwarding addresses, or delaying your affairs until you return.

You’re also not bound to the traditional 9-to-5 working day. You can log in and check your mail at any time. If you work with people living in different time zones, then going virtual can make business dealings that much easier.

An added benefit of a virtual office is that since virtual mail services usually involve scan-to-email, your documents are saved digitally: you don’t need to worry about losing important paperwork as you travel.

2. Cost

Commercial leases in New Zealand’s major cities can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. A virtual office generally comes at a fraction of the price of an inner city space, and contracts tend to be shorter: often month-by-month.

With a virtual office you save not only on expensive city rents, but on overheads, on refreshments, furniture, the cost of cleaning, maintenance and office supplies. That’s without even mentioning the cost of transport to and from the office, and the cost and hassle of finding a parking space.

Depending on the nature of your business you may also be able to save on technology costs, for instance by letting employees decide which forms of technology they need/want to use.

Your provider also handles administrative tasks like photocopying or destroying sensitive documents, allowing you to spend more time on your core business tasks.

3. Credibility

With a virtual office, you receive an official office address that can be added to official documents, your website and your business cards.

When you’re setting up a new business it’s important to work on your professional reputation and to create a feeling of trust in your customers. An address in the CBD of a major city lends your business more credibility than a residential address does.

Many virtual offices also offer a business phone number as part of the package, and a professional-sounding phone answering service or a receptionist, to field your business calls.

4. Health and safety

With Covid-19 still an issue around the world, hand sanitisers and distancing rules have become a staple in many workplaces. Understandably, there is still a lot of fear regarding the transmission of illnesses.

People spend a significant portion of their lives working, and surfaces like shared tables, desks, phones, kitchens and bathrooms can easily become places for disease to spread. But with a virtual office, germs are no longer an issue.

Virtual offices also reduce the need for red tape in general: you don’t need to worry about health and safety rules, security threats, fire drills or evacuation plans.

5. Privacy

If you have a home-based business, you might be wondering why you shouldn’t just use your home address as your official business address on your website, and on the Companies Register.

Some people do this, but a virtual office creates a bit of separation between your work and family life. You won’t be interrupted by people turning up on your doorstep, and people won’t be able to Google your business and work out where you live.

We become your point of contact instead, so you can focus on taking care of both your business, and your family. Private Box also offers mailbox-only services, if all you want is a separate postal address.

6. Environmental benefits

Not only your wallet but also the environment wins when you go virtual. Think of all the appliances used in an office that need power: the air conditioning, the printer, the computers, the lights.

You use less electricity, less paper, and also less water when you and your staff work from home – not to mention less fuel is released into the atmosphere when you don’t have to drive or take public transport.

People working in a physical workplace also tend to dispose of at least some plastic packaging during the course of the day, whether it’s the lid of their takeaway coffee cup, plastic cutlery, or the box their lunch comes in.

With a virtual office your environmental footprint shrinks, which also means you have more scope to make both your business and your lifestyle green.

7. Productivity and staff satisfaction

Although many people miss the camaraderie of office life, there is some evidence that staff are less stressed and achieve more when they’re allowed to work from the comfort of their own home.

ConnectSolutions found 77% of staff surveyed believed they were more productive at work when they started working remotely, and companies have also reported that flexible working options are one of the best ways to attract and retain staff.

According to a survey of American workplaces by Gallup, up to 35% of employees would switch jobs if they could work remotely full-time.

Remote working can also be better for an employee’s physical health. For instance there’s more opportunity to exercise during the day, take microbreaks, and prepare balanced meals.

Employees who are parents or who have other family commitments also appreciate the flexibility afforded to them by remote working.

8. Business expansion

When you have a virtual office, it doesn’t matter how large your business grows, or how quickly it expands.

You don’t need to worry about purchasing more office space for your growing workforce, you can keep going as usual, taking advantage of the secure electronic storage offered by your office.

If you’re planning to branch out then sometimes opening a second virtual office in a new area can be a way of testing the market in that area – or even in another country – without having to physically relocate. Virtual offices are usually fairly quick and easy to set up.

In short, these offices have a number of advantages – they’re convenient, they’re cheap, and they allow you to work from anywhere in the world. They’re a very attractive option for many business owners who have realised they don’t need a traditional office arrangement.

Want to find out more?

If you’re curious about getting a virtual office plan, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Private Box today. You can take a look at our business plans here.

We also have virtual mailboxes that can be used by both businesses and individuals, for instance for travellers who want an easy way to stay in touch with friends and family.

If you’re an Australian company interested in doing business in New Zealand, take a look at our article on setting up in NZ, including how you can meet your registered office address requirement using a virtual office address.