Is a virtual office different from a home office?
Comparing a virtual office with your home office is like comparing a restaurant’s food to home-cooked food. While you may prefer one over the other for personal reasons, you can’t compare professional work to a non-professional one. To make it less confusing, let us see in detail how the two are different and how we keep confusing one with the other.
With all their similarities, we can’t label them alike just because they are ways to work remotely. Because this is as far their similarities go. The home office is a stand-alone working model while a virtual office can support a whole enterprise.
What is a virtual office?
A virtual office is a pre-managed hybrid workspace solution that can support your business. It is an office where you and your employees don’t have to commute daily. Yet, you can use the office and all its services when you want. A virtual office offers you services that not just identify your business but also help you run it like a professional enterprise.
The virtual office can be tailored and made for your business needs with its flexible payment plans and special features. But some common features are staples for every virtual office must-have. These are:
- The biggest advantage your business has by using a virtual office service is a business address. And it is not just any address, it is of a well-respected commercial location.
- You get services like getting your calls and mail handled professionally. You can get your mail at the business address that you get. You can get that mail forwarded to your address. Similarly, you get the receptionist with the virtual office. Your customers will be welcome with your company’s name. Your calls will also be forwarded to your number.
- A virtual office is a perfect combination of in-house office services and remote work support. When you want to meet up with your clients or organize a team meeting, you can use the meeting rooms. These meeting or conference rooms have all the perks you need to conduct a meeting and conference call.
- A virtual office gives you access to the office service that can be used by your team members anytime. These services include Wifi, printers, scanners, telephones, fax machines, etc.
- The ambiance of the virtual office is set according to the latest office interior trends. You will earn the respect of your clients and employees when you meet them.
- The virtual office also has recreational services like cafeterias, restaurants, gyms, etc. for your employees.
What is a home office?
A home office is an area you set aside to work in your home. It could be your study or a table in your living room where you can work peacefully. Sometimes garages, attics, and basements are also used as office areas.
Home offices are usually operated through your smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Team collaboration or communication is done through your account on free apps or even paid apps like zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Difference between a home office and a virtual office:
The only similarity between the two types of workspace is that they both support remote working. Other than that they are both remarkably different and cater to different types of users. The home office is most suitable for individuals or very small home-run business setups. It can be used by freelancers or part-time employees who are not interested in getting professional office services. While the virtual office is for startups, small to medium enterprises, home-run businesses, freelancers, or any individual or business that wants to establish an identity and professional office services. Let’s look at the differences in detail:
A virtual office gives your business a credible identity while there is no such feature in your home office. You get a legal business address when using a virtual office service but in the case of the home office, you have to use your home office. That can look unprofessional and unreliable to your clients.
Professional office services:
With the virtual office, you get front desk services to handle your calls and mail. There are no such services in the case of a home office. The virtual office is managed by a professionally trained manager with admin staff to work and maintain the office space. Your home office is dependent on you for maintenance.
A virtual office offers facilities like Wifi, printers, scanners, fax machines, etc. If you want these in your home office, you have to purchase them yourself. Other services like projectors and conference calling facilities are also standard for virtual offices. But, in the case of a home office, all the expense is on your shoulders.
A virtual office offers meeting and conference rooms for your business meetups. In the case of a home office, you will have to hold your meetings in public places like restaurants and hotels. This is an added expense that a home office has to face.
Tech support and data security:
With a virtual office, you get tech support in the form of collaborative and data-sharing apps. You also get a safe environment to share and store data. That safety includes anti-virus, anti-malware, and a firewall. A home office does not offer any such safety and tech support. Whatever apps and networks you are using is personal. Personal networks are unsafe and easy to breach.
There is nothing wrong with a home office if it suits your work. But, to secure yourself, invest in the latest anti-viruses and anti-malware. Avoid using public Wifi and take all the precautionary measures to safeguard yourself against data theft and ransomware.
A virtual office is a perfect solution for you if you are a small business whether new or old. It is also the best solution if you want to go global with new branches. A virtual office gives you all of the office facilities of an enterprise at a very cheap cost.
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