The Covid-19 pandemic is projected to result in an economic crisis, the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in 100 years. Even the 2008 economic meltdown following the global mortgage crisis in the United States pales in comparison. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the worst hit as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic due to the lack of capital and resources to tide over the revenue and cashflow challenges wrought upon by the intense lockdowns. While almost every business irrespective of size has to respond to such a situation with cutting costs, SMEs have to be particularly ruthless in doing so to stay afloat. Every overhead that can be reduced or eliminated must be – and SMEs and MSMEs in many sectors have the opportunity to do so by optimizing their office rental costs. For many businesses, a virtual office address is a great opportunity to switch to the new normal of remote working while at the same time significantly lowering their operational costs.
Some may question the need for a virtual office if all the staff members are working from home comfortably. Do remember that virtual offices provide a host of facilities and benefits that gives one’s business an extremely professional image. From an address in a prestigious building or location, such as in Andheri or Lower Parel, for instance, to phone lines and receptionist services, or the option to use on-site facilities like meeting rooms and conference rooms, the value of a virtual office address from a trustworthy and well-known provider cannot be underestimated.
A key factor that justifies the use of a virtual office is that a business can enjoy many of the benefits of having an office at a tiny fraction of the cost. In a turbulent and uncertain time like now and the foreseeable future, every penny saved is akin to a penny earned.
Virtual offices – Ideal for start-ups
Start-ups that are being born in the time of the coronavirus pandemic should consider a virtual office as their default option, especially if it is a 2-3 person start-up. This is because funding options for start-ups are likely to be significantly lower than they were before the pandemic struck and they may have to bootstrap the entity much longer. It will pay the start-up enormously to
conserve cash and stretch whatever seed capital they have to the maximum.
Let’s have a look at the benefits of renting a virtual office :
It enhances productivity: In a city like Mumbai, people often spend 2 to 3 hours in commuting to the office. The reduction in the travel time for virtual or remote working will certainly keep people physically and mentally fresher and thereby make them more productive.
It reduces office rental costs: As already stated above, virtual offices help organizations reduce their fixed overheads significantly, both in terms of office rental as well as ongoing maintenance costs.
Improves Work-Life Balance: The gift of time lent by remote working offers workers more time to spend with their family and have much better work life balance or work life harmony . As a result, businesses can benefit with better employee engagement and retention of staff.
A virtual office may not be the only option or even the most appropriate option for every business. For example, the nature of a business or a certain size may dictate that a private office or a co-working space may be required; however, virtual offices certainly offer a great alternative to MSMEs to help tide over the current Covid-19 induced crisis.