Do not rely on virtual offices, association warns

Although virtual offices can be useful for keeping a business going after a disaster, it can be difficult to rely on them for the long term, an industry expert warns.

Frances Coulson, a spokesperson for the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, comments that virtual offices can be useful in spreading risk but businesses should try and get back into their premises as soon as problems are resolved.

The reduction in costs made as a result of virtual networks may not counterbalance workers’ isolation and the absence of team spirit, she remarks.

For example, security surrounding a virtual office has to be tight and an absence of a physical building can also lessen the profile of a firm, she says.

According to serviced premises provider Choregus, of all businesses using virtual office services, 40 per cent are in the banking and finance industries, 16 per cent offer business services and 14 per cent are consultants.

Business advisory service Business Link comments virtual offices are most appropriate for those operating alone from their own homes.

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