Virtual offices, coworking spaces…there’s a lot of ‘lingo’ surrounding nontraditional workplace environments. While many people assume that these two types of workspaces are more or less the same in their functions and features, there’s actually a lot that can be said about the differences between these two types of popular and productive work environments. If you’re struggling to choose an office type that best suits your needs, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the essential differences between virtual offices and coworking spaces.
First, coworking spaces are basically office spaces equipped with technology that are shared between individuals who are typically working independently. Coworking spaces range in features based on your specific provider, but you should recognize that a high-quality coworking space will have basic technologies such as wireless Internet access, scanners, and fax machines. Many coworking spaces also offer various furniture such as chairs and tables to ensure comfort, usability, and versatility. For a user, this means that all you have to do is show up with your device and you’re ready to work.
There are also some coworking spaces that are equipped with extra features, including tea and coffee makers and other kitchen facilities. Plus, some even have thermostats, allowing you to customize the room’s temperature to the exact degree.
Virtual offices, on the other hand, differ from coworking spaces in the sense that they’re a bit more like a traditional office. Unlike coworking spaces, most virtual offices come with a receptionist service, a call handling service, a parcel handling service, and a usable business address. These extra services can be useful for a variety of small business startups because it gives them both the chance to collaborate with other colleagues while legitimizing their work and business. Like coworking spaces, however, virtual offices are also different in the specific features they offer, so do your homework before choosing a provider.
As mentioned, virtual office spaces are usable for a number of small business environments, but according to a new study, the top 10 industries most likely to use virtual offices are: financial, legal, consulting, technology, real estate/brokers, healthcare, marketing and advertising, entertainment, retail, and construction.
Ultimately, about 46% of companies that allow telework say it has reduced attrition. Understanding the fundamental differences between coworking spaces and virtual offices is the key to choosing which type of office environment best meets your needs.
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