The concept of a “virtual office” is something that sounds like it’s out of a science fiction film. I can assure you that it’s not and it’s more of a convenient means of working while still carrying out your daily functions in a highly successful manner.
There are no robots and there are no portals, you just have the ability to work where you want and how you want. It’s important to know that before becoming invested in a virtual office setting in one way or another, you must do the proper research and determine if this is the right solution for you.
After all, the whole concept of a virtual office was meant to allow the working professional a way to balance their work-life relationship, all the while saving money and removing any unnecessary investments that they were forced to make in the past. Below are some of the most important aspects to consider after determining that a renting a virtual office in Long Island is right for you!
Location Is Always Key
If there is one thing that translates over from a traditional office setting to a virtual office setting, it’s the fact that location is always king. As a working professional, you have to find a location that accommodates your needs, but also remains convenient for your clients as well if you have to hold a meeting or a conference.
It’s important to know the area that you’re looking at very well, and take into account all factors that could either make or break that location as a spot that you could consider. Just remember that because the price point is expensive, it doesn’t always mean that the location is a well-desired or entirely safe spot!
Some benefits to consider when finding a location for your virtual office would be…
- Will your clients have young children that require daycare services during a meeting? Or what about you, do you have children and may need daycare services? Check your area for closely surrounding child care services.
- Is the area safe? Check the crime demographics and research whether or not this area is susceptible to suspicious activity.
- Is the location in an improvement district? Just because spaces are considered to be in an “up-and-coming” area, you are not safe from the many absorbent fees associated with that address.
Should You Become a Member, or Should You Rent The Space?
Here is where monetary factors play an important role! If you’re an independent working professional, you have to decide whether or not you want to pay for a membership fee to use the space you’ve chosen, or if you want to rent the space on a month-to-month basis so you are not locked into a contract. This is something that’s very important to consider when deciding between a virtual office and a hotdesk because it could ultimately have repercussions on your overhead and overall profit as a business person.
- If you’re thinking about signing up for a lease, you’re going to be establishing a connection with a landlord that networks you as a professional and as a lender.
- If you are going to be signing up for a membership fee, just know that you are agreeing to lock yourself into a contract that has stipulations and legal language you may not be able to work around if you have to sever ties.
Make Sure You Are Always Protected
If you’re in the legal field such as a paralegal or even a lawyer, confidentiality is always going to be key in all of your operations. The same goes for individuals who are part of startups that are extremely protective of their proprietary technology. While your work, proprietary technology, and files are typically always saved in a traditional work setting, making the change to a less conventional means of working could throw a wrench in that mix. However, we’re here to assure you that even though you are worried that a co-working space or rented space may not provide you with as much protection – you’re ultimately wrong. Many of these spaces are safe and secure, but you have to follow protocol and do your due diligence in making sure.
- Make sure that the Internet is secure and running on a secure server. You do not want people to be able to access your files without your permission and you do not want a network that is permeable.
- Is someone in charge of the fax machine and other important technological devices? You want to make sure that someone you can trust, or someone within your company is running these devices if sensitive material is being exchanged.
- Is the mail sorted through a user-friendly system or is there a shady third party that works through the mail and delivers it accordingly?
Make Sure You’re Getting All The Bells and Whistles
It’s important to remember that you are the one these flexible office spaces are trying to appeal to. You have to make sure that you are confident in your decision-making and that they are the ones who are trying to accommodate you. It’s like courtship if you will, having all of these spaces go out on a limb for your money so you can do business with them. You’d be surprised how many alternative workspaces only provide minimal privileges for their clients, such as mailbox services only or maybe just a mailing address itself. Always remember that you are the one who has the power in their favor and only you can work the system your way.
- Make sure you have access to printing, faxing and copying features. It’s important to have all the technology that you could possibly need right at your fingertips.
- Ask if you are allowed to use the conference rooms when you need them, and if you can’t, inquire about the scheduling and fees so you have another wrinkle to add into the fold when your time comes to make a decision.
- Will you have access to other virtual facilities that are in their network but located around the country? Sometimes co-working facilities are like gym memberships and allow you to have access and privileges at other locations that are affiliated with that space.