Virtual office


Virtual office

Virtual office is a term for shared office services, which normally includes business address, mail & courier services, phone services, fax services, answering services, web-hosting services, and meeting & conference facilities. [Holusha, John. " [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C03E0DC133AF933A15756C0A9679C8B63 Commercial Property/Business Centers; Modern Office for Rent: Daily Rates Available] ." "The New York Times." May 20, 2001.]

Certain providers of virtual office services will provide other in-house or outsourced services such as corporate secretarial services, accounting services, or legal services. Professional firms such as law firms and accounting firms often provide registered address services as part of their service offerings.

Most of the virtual office providers are located in major cities (e.g. New York, London, Hong Kong), due to high popularity of its prestigious-looking business address. However, there are growing numbers of providers in industrial parks & science parks around the world, which are attracting technology or manufacturing-based companies.Fact|date=October 2007

Users

Typically, the users of virtual office services would be those who are:
* Seeking a low-risk alternative to renting a conventional office;
* Testing a new product or service idea;
* Downsizing from a conventional office;
* Migrating from using a post office box;
* Seeking to establish a business presence in the provider's country or city;
* Seeking a business address within an expensive location, for corporate image purposes;
* Seeking a business address as its registered business address for complying to government regulation;
* Seeking supportive business services such as answering services;
* Seeking a proxy for collection or "fielding" of mail and parcels [China Business Guide 2005 By Graham Earnshaw, Michael Pennington, Page 164.]

Criticisms

While virtual office services offer benefits, there are several criticisms:
* High volume of companies using the same address;
* Lack of government regulation, resulting in fly-by-night providers;
* Usage by fraudulent companies due to ease of registration;
* Lack of structured training of service staff, as it is a niche industry.Fact|date=October 2007

Alternate usage

Virtual office is also a common term for an environment that enables a network of co-workers to run a business efficiently by using nothing other than online communication technologies. ["Telecommuting and Virtual Offices: Issues and Opportunities", By Nancy J. Johnson, Page 80, ISBN 1878289799]

Etymology

Chris Kern claims to have coined the term virtual office for a magazine article published in 1983. [http://www.chriskern.net/history/myWord.html]

References

[one of the uk fastest growoing virtual office in london www.oneoffice.com]


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