Leasing an office space in Singapore can be a financially draining and risky investment, especially for new businesses that are still looking to find their footing. Aside from the initial monthly payments in rent, the money lost to necessary amenities such as wifi, electricity and water can leave the traditional office environment out of reach for the majority of new ventures.
Whilst this may have been the end for underfunded or risky endeavours in the past, the rise of virtual office technology has given these entrepreneurial hopefuls a second chance. For those that are unfamiliar, virtual offices are workplaces that exist entirely within cyberspace, only necessitating an active internet connection for the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively.
With that said, startups aren’t the only ones that stand to benefit from these services.
In recent years, studies have found that employees across Singapore are growing less satisfied with the traditional office environment. In a study by Roffey Park, the cause of these issues has been put in the spotlight. Of those surveyed, over half of workers commented on a rise in stress levels over the previous six months; working notably longer hours than those in similar fields across Hong Kong and China.
With companies such as Servcorp [Website Link] expanding into the Singaporean business landscape, companies in this area are beginning to adapt to and embrace modern technology as a new way of managing their workforce. So, what have Singaporean business owners gained by utilising this technology?
As a business looking to break into the western market, the absence of a location within these areas poses an issue that can be difficult to overcome. This is due to a variety of factors, including familiarity of brand and hesitance over sourcing services from other countries. This, coupled with a long list of other difficulties that accompany being a business in Singapore, means that alternative methods are being looked on more favorably than in the past.
Virtual offices come with physical locations in a wide array of desirable cities, including New York, Melbourne and Singapore itself. These locations come with a variety of meeting rooms, conference spaces and work areas that can be utilised on an ad hoc basis, ensuring that companies are only obligated to pay for space when and if they need it.
Ease of Expansion
One of the main issues faced by businesses looking to grow their workforce is the need to find staff with relevant skills within a reasonable distance of their central location. Virtual offices, given that they don’t require a physical space, have allowed businesses to expand the reach of their search to places across the globe. This also alleviates the need for finding larger accommodation for staff, thereby avoiding further expenditure at the hands of rising rent prices.
Not every business is going to be able to start with everything they need to succeed, such as work areas and equipment for a large group of employees. Virtual offices have given these ventures the ability to stay connected and productive through these formative stages without the initial monetary risks of investing in infrastructure for a business that may or may not see viable, consistent success.
The main change that Singapore has seen due to virtual offices has been opportunity.
Just as the internet has opened doors for new industries and improved connectivity between businesses and their clients, these software-based collaborative spaces have introduced a new way for companies to interact internally. While it may be some time before these systems are a staple of the broader business landscape of Singapore, the benefits of these alternatives to the conventional office environment are becoming more difficult to ignore.