Virtual or Local: Making the Right Choice for Your Business

Whether your business has one employee or thousands, choosing between a virtual or local office can be challenging. There are pros and cons to hosting an online team, which has been the popular choice recently due to COVID-19. However, with conversations leaning towards returning back to “normal” life, businesses must decide if they’ll be using office space or meeting online.

Solely virtual offices

Now more than ever, going virtual is possible. The rise of COVID-19 has forced technological and personal innovations, showing the true power of virtual offices.

One of the biggest benefits of an online setting is being able to hire from a larger pool of people without relocation. Hiring from a more generous group of talent means that you can find the experts you need, even if they’re thousands of miles away. 

Choosing an online format means you can be intentional about business travel. Being able to travel to meet with your clients can be extremely beneficial, but it’s also a great option to connect online. Whether you get on a plane or log into a call, making sure you’re communicating effectively with your clients is important.

Going virtual

Online formats present their own strengths and challenges. Choosing to go online will provide your business with a wide variety of opportunities, but it’s important that you’re equipped to deal with some of the complications that may occur.

Time zones can be difficult for virtual teams, but there are a few things you can do to minimize this. The Alloire team is from all across the US, so we’ve found that utilizing various project management tools can be extremely helpful when connecting with colleagues. If you’re going online and have a geographically diverse team, invest in a communication platform and get ready for video conferencing.

FlexJobs also reports that productivity is increased by 30%-45% when workers are remote. This increase is pretty tempting, so it might be time for you to consider a hybrid option or make the switch and bring all of your workers online.

In-person offices

Going online is a great option for some businesses, but there are other brands that thrive while using an in-person office. Having a business address and office can establish credibility and provide community for your employees. Holding business meetings within your office is also a great opportunity to show your clients how your business runs.

In-person offices allow businesses to gain a greater understanding of workplace culture. Cultivating a positive, uplifting environment will benefit your employees and your business.

Being able to maintain a workplace culture is one of the biggest benefits of having an in-person office. If your workers thrive on interaction, then your business will most likely be better off where networking and communication can happen face-to-face.

Choosing a local option

While having an in-person office can be the right decision for some, there are a few things to keep in mind. Renting or purchasing office space can be expensive and you’ll still need to cover many of the same costs that virtual offices do. You’ll need to purchase internet, technology, and many of the systems that virtual offices use (but they do it without having to pay for office space).

One of the more obvious cons to an in-person office has been seen throughout the last year. In-person offices are not very flexible and can be difficult to switch to an online environment fast. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the need for businesses to increase their flexibility, so consider ways that your business can adapt if necessary.

Which option is right for your brand?

When deciding between a local or virtual office, there are a lot of different factors that should be considered.

First, think about what the goals of your brand are. Does it make sense for you to have an office where you can meet with clients? So often businesses lose sight of their intentions, so take a minute to recenter and think about what you’re truly aiming for.

Second, think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Creating a space for your goals, whether it be virtual or in-person, is an excellent step in turning them into a reality.

Virtual offices are great because they’re able to adapt, less expensive to maintain, and make sense in today’s world. However, in-person offices are an excellent choice for those that want to be able to maintain the sense of connection that can come from being in the same space.
Making business decisions that take into account the whole picture can be challenging. At Alloire, we work with our clients to ensure that they have access to the business tools and brand strategies they need for success. If you’re interested in learning more about our philosophy, check out our website or make an appointment to speak with our team.

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