Facts are facts; virtual office centers fulfill a need and make sense. The rise in occupancy and the gain in popularity including the trendiness of flexible office space is evident, especially in California. In Southern California this spike is directly related to the increase in cost and decrease of availability of office space in metropolitan areas, as well as the boom in entrepreneurial innovation clusters. In a recent article in the San Diego Union Tribune, the corporate real estate market is exhibiting a rise in cost and the reduction of availability of premium office space, prompting potential tenants to settle for less than ideal workspaces whether in size, amenities or location. The average number of lease deals has risen 62% since 2000 while the average amount of space leased has plummeted 53% over the same period. Exploring alternative options is a necessary adjustment businesses must make in addressing the supply and demand equation of their office location and office space. More businesses are taking advantage of flex-time, remote workdays, and a traveling office in order to increase efficiency and productivity. There is no escaping the fact that we have become a “mobile” working society.
There does seem to be a lingering stigma about the legitimacy of virtual office centers and the physical address benefit it provides. Premium locations in commonly competitive markets are one of the big advantages of utilizing a virtual office center. While having a physical address listing at a shared office building or virtual corporate office center is undeniably more legitimate than a home address or residential location, especially on correspondence and web presence, it can still be identifiable as a “corporate center” or “virtual office center” on a Google search. There are work around options, however, one of which is to describe your business location by service area or by directing your customers directly to your web-site in order to find the address to contact you, thereby avoiding the specific delineation in a Google search. Virtual offices and shared office centers are not the “time-share” of corporate real estate anymore, consider the professional bonuses that virtual office centers provide, which demonstrates your cost consciousness as well as professional savvy.
Pros far outweigh the cons if you are considering virtual office space. It means you are ready to advance to the next level, branch out and grow or adapt to the changing workforce conditions. The fact remains that virtual office space provides a serviceable physical address, office space on an as needed basis, employs professional executive services and some offer more, such as networking opportunities, seminars, special events, angel investing or venture capital resources. As a business owner it is important to make every dollar count, be confident in your product or service, and demonstrate professionalism. Your address may or may not get your foot in the door, but it’s your savoir-faire that sells the business.