Virtual Offices – you may have wondered what on earth they are or what exactly this phrase means. If it conjures up ideas of people wearing virtual reality goggles in their lounge wear, wandering around futuristic office interiors with walls that pixelate and are greeted by holographic assistants who say things like ‘access granted’ in a disembodied voice – you’re probably not alone.

But in actual (rather than virtual) reality, what we mean when we talk about Virtual Offices is something far simpler and perhaps not quite as exciting…

The Definition of a Virtual Office is not so much an office as it is a service that gives businesses the opportunity to have a presence in a particular location without the associated costs of renting physical office space. It also allows organisations and business owners to manage their business entirely online, so that they can work anywhere. At The Workstation, we offer four different types of virtual office services for each of our business centre locations, designed to suit different types of businesses and their specific needs. Here’s a bit more information about each of these.

Physical Mailbox

As the name would suggest, this type of virtual office service includes ownership of secure, physical mailbox located within a business centre. This allows the business owner or employees to collect their mail from a specific location and use the address of this mailbox for general business and trading purposes. It can also be used as the customer contact address on a business website. Our physical mailbox service allows up to 3 names added to the account which can either be personal or trading names and is accessed by either a key or code from within the chosen business centre.

Virtual Mailbox

This service is what you might refer to as a ‘classic’ virtual office service. Unlike the service above, there’s no physical mailbox involved but still allows the use of the chosen business centre address for general business and trading purposes – so it can be used as the customer contact address on a website and to receive mail. This service also includes up to 3 names on the account which can be personal or trading names. Through this service, we also offer an ‘Ultimate Mailing’ option which we recommend for those who are expecting frequent or regular mail. For this service, mail is received and then forwarded via Royal Mail and – in some of our business centres – we offer an additional feature where we open and scan the content, then email this directly to our clients.

Registered Office Address and Directors Service Address

With this service, business owners can use their chosen business centre address to register their business and directorship with Companies House. This allows all business and Director’s statutory mail from places like Companies House, HMRC and the Information Commissioner to be received and then forwarded by first class post via Royal Mail. This service differs from the previous as it is for statutory purposes only and not for general, trading, business, website or online use.

Registered Office Address

This virtual office is very similar to the above but does not include a Director’s Correspondence Address. Its main purpose is to provide an address to register a business with Companies house, where all your business and statutory mail (from Companies House, HMRC, Information Commissioner etc.) will be sent and then forwarded by us to you by Royal Mail first class post.

We hope that’s cleared a few things up and now you know what all this ‘Virtual Office’ business is about and rather like the idea of it, please do get in touch with us to discuss the different options to find out the best solution for you.