Why Entrepreneurs Should Consider Working in a Virtual Office

Rent, furniture, office equipment, electricity bills, telephone bills, internet bills. These are the realities of running a traditional business. Starting a business might be exciting, but running an office might be costly unless you go virtual.

why virtual office
Image by Joel Penner

In the US, a recent study shows that 26.2 million “desk jobs” are already being done outside of the traditional office. The study also suggests that almost twice that number (over fifty million U.S. workers) or about 40% of the working population could work from home, at a cafe, library or any other place that has a reliable internet connection.

What this means for a budding entrepreneur is that certain costs no longer need to become a financial burden when starting up. When you’re starting an office, you’ll usually need an interior designer then a decorator and spend on furniture, lighting, building materials and equipment. If you are able to form a business team where all are working virtually, then the costs associated with setting up an office are eliminated altogether.

In addition to eliminating expenses, virtual staffing also allows entrepreneurs to cast a wider net for its pool of talent. Because employers are no longer bound by geographical limitations, a company can hire online staff from anywhere in the world for as long as the person they’re interested in has a proper computer and reliable internet connection.

Now consider these numbers. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average full-time working adult earns $1,345.20 a week; compare that to the salary of a mid-level programmer in the Philippines who earns $ 7,000 per year. More than anything, making huge savings on operational cost is the reason why entrepreneurs consider acquiring offshore staffing solutions from a BPO company.

But those who have been managing virtual teams for some time pretty much agree that it really depends on how reliable the service supplier is. That means a staff outsourcing Management Company with a database of highly-skilled staff readily-available for hire plus the ability to seek out new talent if the client requires someone with a very specific skill set or price point.

While it is already a given that the staff will be offshore, it’s best to find a supplier that has representation and presence in both the foreign country and in your area. This gives companies that first level or assurance that there is someone you can reach out to for assistance or addressing concerns.

Entrepreneurs must also keep in mind that in order to get the best results out of their online team, they will have to make adjustments here and there.

To insure efficiency, accountability and a lasting working relationship between business owners and members of a virtual business team, there’s technology could provide improved communication utilizing Skype, reliable email service such as Gmail, the use of an efficient task-management system, timekeeping and payroll systems.

About the Author: Chris Jankulovski is the founder and CEO of Remote Staff, which he started in 2007 and is now the largest provider of home-based jobs for Filipinos, with over 400+ staff working with employers in Australia, the USA and the UK.