In today's global information society it is difficult to imagine a modern person functioning without a computer and Internet access. Companies inevitably have to follow the technological advancements as well. Since modern solutions have become widely available, to achieve a competitive advantage it is necessary to innovatively use technology to support business processes. More and more companies move some operations from the real world to to the virtual one. Thus, terms such as virtual company or virtual office no longer surprise. Dynamically developing virtual offices work their way up impressively fast – also in Poland. Even though such companies have been present on the market for several years now, many businessmen are not aware what great development potential they have.
Virtual offices need to rent an address for the company's headquarters. Frequently some very attractive locations such as office buildings in prestigious districts of large cities are available: Atrium Centrum, Prosta Tower, Blue Tower in Warszawa and Delta House in Wrocław. It is important that the entrepreneur does not have to pay the full rent for the office space and uses its virtual equivalent in contacts with the customers. Such services reduce costs, not to mention other benefits: convenience, saving time and having a prestigious business address. Usually, virtual offices offer services such as handling business correspondence, accounting, assistance in dealing with administrative matters, representing the company. Depending on the services provided, the location and the standard of the place the prices vary between 100 PLN and 500 PLN per month which is an advantageous option especially when we keep in mind that the costs of renting regular office space can be much higher. When a businessman rents regular office space he has to pay also for an employee who operates it. Thanks to the alternative virtual option he does not have to worry about office operations and can focus on the development of his business.
Virtual offices are not only about the address of the company and secretarial services. Because of the growing expectations the range of services is constantly expanding and becoming more and more attractive. Additional services include for example: assistance in registering business activity, storing documentation, legal assistance and IT services. Another interesting option is the possibility to rent a meeting room and other facilities in physically existing offices to meet with the clients. Virtual offices, in order to meet the expectations, constantly add new options to their services. Some of them design web pages, conduct advertising campaigns or provide help in obtaining credits. So called start-ups often decide to collaborate with virtual offices - minimizing the costs. The customer list includes also small and medium companies from Poland and abroad as well as natural persons who do not reside permanently in the country. There are companies which rent several addresses just to increase the prestige by having several branches.
A future out of the office?
On the Polish market there are over 200 virtual offices, most of them in the largest cities. In the capital alone there about 40 virtual offices. The future of such businesses looks bright. Especially that for some time now they have been expanding the range of their services by adding co-working – dynamically developing possibility of renting office space for freelancers. Conducting business activities does not always mean having typical office space. By opting for the services of a virtual office, businesses can save not only money but also time. There is no doubt that office outsourcing will intensify in the following years. Companies are increasingly willing to rent so called offices out of the office. This trend is characteristic especially of Internet services. Outsourcing may reach its peak in Poland during Euro 2012 as then, for a short period of time, there will be investors for whom renting and maintaining expensive office space will not be profitable. Thus, there is a good chance that there will be Polish virtual addresses on their business cards.