The impact of COVID-19 has permanently altered the way companies conduct their businesses. What used to be required to be done in the office, can now be achieved from home or anywhere else with an internet connection for that matter. Physical meetings have been replaced by online meetings. Our Central Business District crowd has been reduced by more than fifty percent (50%) with most people working from home. The Singapore Government has actually challenged companies to relook into their business operations. Is it necessary to have everyone in the office at the same time so long the work is satisfactory and completed on time? Is it necessary to rent such a huge office space moving forward or will a virtual office suffice?

New Normal

Virtual offices and co-working spaces have been increasingly popular lately especially so for smaller companies. They typically provide business addresses, phone and concierge services, and meeting spaces.

We look at some of the important criteria.

Price

This is the most important reason why you should consider a virtual office as compared to a physical space. If your operations are small for a start, using a virtual office can save you a lot on costs. There are many packages out there. Some cheaper ones offer only a mailing address, when you add on other services it will be chargeable.

Not many virtual offices can be located in the downtown area with a more premium address. It is important to check through for hidden costs before proceeding.

Services

As mentioned above, the prices of packages will come with a different range of services. The basic ones are mail forwarding, corporate secretarial services, reception services, and so on. Allowing each customer to customise the services according to their needs saves them money. However, it is important to know exactly what you are paying for.

Subscription

We cannot emphasise greater on reading the fine prints of the contract before signing. Some companies require a minimum lock-in duration. So go with someone whom you can trust.

Termination

Once again, you should be crystal clear about the terms and conditions of the contract. You should know what are your rights or penalties in the event of termination.

Location

This point has a direct correlation with regard to the price. Singapore may not be a huge country but the location of your virtual office has an effect on your branding and image. Clients will generally prefer a central location like Orchard Road or Raffles Place, accessible to public transport will be more ideal.

Credibility

The key here is the company that you are engaging with must be established. There are instances where the companies have trouble staying afloat and they went bankrupt. This will inevitably affect your business operations and reputation.

One thing to look out for is the state of their environment and facilities. Perhaps find out more from them who are their clients. If possible, you can even ask to speak to some of their clients to get a better sense of what is going on behind the scenes.

Quality of Services

The quality of the facilities and services provided should be a good indicator of the company’s state. If you choose to engage their receptionist service, they should be prompt to answer the calls of your clients. This will inevitably affect the quality of service and image projected to your clients. The language proficiency and communication skills of the staff are also tantamount to your business image.

In this digital age, high-speed internet and basic printing and scanning of documents facilities must be available.

Business information security

A few weeks ago, a news article stated bodyguards trained in cybersecurity are increasing in demand. Because we moving in dizzying speed in terms of technology. A lot of your business information could be stored in cloud-based programs.

If the service provider is not using any form of encryption, it should be a cause of worry. Your key customers’ information may be leaked or stolen by hackers and this will affect your business reputation adversely. If you are engaging in virtual office service, you should check the contract and agree on the terms of mail handling and forwarding services.

 

Virtual offices may be the way how businesses will be run moving forward. It is not just cost-efficient, but time-efficient as well. The above factors are the primary factors to consider before engaging a virtual office solution provider. Find out what are the best packages for your business and customise them to your needs.

If you need such a service, you can contact us to find out more.