Are Virtual Phone Systems Becoming the Office of the Future?

From Brisbane to Perth, office rent alone can cost anywhere from about $250 to $420 or more per square meter. Granted, it’s much cheaper than Manhattan’s $1,050 or Hong Kong’s nearly $1,300 per square meter rent, but it’s still a hefty expense that makes it all the more difficult for small businesses to compete with larger competitors.

Especially if office rent and its associated expenses could be eliminated altogether.

The Definition of an ‘Office’ Has Changed

Historically, business has been conducted within an office with very few exceptions. Each employee has their own static workstation, complete with computer, business landline, and shared access to break rooms, copiers, and meeting spaces.

This setup hasn’t completely changed, but businesses are finding it advantageous to adopt more mobile practices, especially as advancements in telecommunications continue to thrive.

The rise of remote work and the technology that enables it are starting to change what an office can be. Studies show that nearly half of Australians work remotely at least half the time, while about two-thirds of workers work at least one day away from the office. This is largely due to the fact that mobile communication has made it easier for workers to do every aspect of their job off-site without any loss of functionality, including how they connect with customers and callers.

It’s not hard to see the impact that remote work is creating on today’s modern workplace, and for small businesses this shift could be the answer to a variety of financial, personnel, and productivity issues.

As work becomes increasingly mobile, the inherent need for a physical office becomes questionable. Is it still necessary? Or, is it becoming more of an expense or liability than it’s worth?

How a Virtual Phone System Can Empower Small Businesses

Virtual phone systems are enabling small businesses to provide the functionality of a traditional business phone system to all users. Rather than being on-site to access the company’s phone line, calls are handled by a web application that can be used or accessed from any location on a variety of devices. With no complex hardware and physical connections, small businesses are rethinking how they use or need office spaces.

Using a virtual phone system isn’t just about cutting costs. In many ways, virtual systems are more advanced and sophisticated than traditional landlines because they offer benefits small companies need to remain competitive:

  • Toll-free numbers
  • Customisable auto attendant messages and menu prompts
  • Voicemail transcriptions that sends text-version messages to an email address
  • Forwarding incoming calls to remote devices
  • A predictable phone bill with a fixed price

Because of advancements like virtual phone systems, many small businesses are shunning the traditional office space and its associated overhead in favor of smaller rentals, temporary offices, or co-working spaces like WorkBee in St Leonards NSW where all members have access to softphones they can take anywhere. They’re spending less of their budget to conduct business so they can focus more of their assets on marketing, product development, customer service, and other areas that can positively impact profits.

Are You Still Working in the Past?

Studies hint that work flexibility (e.g. working remotely) is one of the top perks job seekers look for, and small businesses would do well to prepare themselves to offer it in order to continue competing with bigger companies.

Surviving in a competitive business world requires small businesses to stay in touch with the technology curve to find opportunities that could give them an advantage. As more companies continue to adopt virtual business phone systems and veer away from the office as we know it, it’s clear that the future of business will soon be the present.

Talk to us today about creating a customised virtual phone plan for your business and put the power of mobility to work for you!

Nick Younan

CEO and Co-Founder at Think Pickle.

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