What Is a Virtual Office and How Does It Work?

While at first glance, it may seem that the concept of a ‘virtual office’ is a new phenomenon, virtual offices actually have been around since the 1960s when small business owners were looking for alternatives to traditional workspaces.

Originally known as serviced offices, these executive suites provided business professionals of the 1960s with furnished office space, in-person receptionist service, phone answering, copy services, and access to meeting rooms — all on an as needed basis.

In the 1990s, the term virtual office was officially coined and the product offering began to evolve to encompass technological advances that allowed professionals to expand the realm of work that could be done remotely. The invention of and rise in popularity of the internet increased the value and scope of what a virtual office could provide a business.

The virtual office of today offers more than furnished office space and administrative support to business owners. Virtual offices today include software and technology support, video conferencing capabilities, cloud storage for electronic files, notary services, and much more.

Virtual Office vs. Traditional Office

A virtual office generally provides you with a prestigious business address for your company – even though you might not have a physical office space there – as well as call answering services, audio conferencing services, mail and package receipt and forwarding, voice mailboxes, and access to IT and administrative support.

Some virtual office packages include the option to reserve a fully furnished private office or an on-site meeting and conference room at the physical location itself.

Most virtual office agreements are monthly, which means a shorter time commitment and a much lower monthly cost than renting traditional office space.

When you rent a traditional office, you receive an empty office space — that is all. If you require administrative or IT support, you’ll have to hire staff or pay for support at an hourly rate, which can quickly add up in your monthly invoice.

In a traditional office space, you also must pay for furnishings, such as desks, office chairs, and storage. You’ll need to budget for office supplies and equipment, such as printers, a scanner, and more.

Businesses That Benefit from Virtual Offices

Virtual offices provide flexibility, fixed costs, and cost-savings to businesses of all sizes and types, regardless of growth stage. Unlike traditional office space, virtual offices feature flexible monthly and even daily lease terms instead longer term commitments required by traditional office space providers.

Legal professionals, start-ups, freelancers, consultants, real-estate professionals, entrepreneurs, tech companies and e-commerce businesses often use virtual offices.

For these types of businesses, a virtual office provides a physical location for your company that is more professional than utilizing a P.O. box or a home address to send and receive business collateral.

Virtual offices are a cost-effective way for smaller businesses to build credibility and professionalism while keeping operating costs in check. Virtual offices also can serve as a steppingstone for small companies planning to scale and grow their teams in the not so distant future.

Larger companies can harness the benefits virtual offices as well, especially when expanding into new markets.

Using virtual offices in new markets allows companies to easily set up satellite offices in new locations with a local address without breaking the bank with a long-term, traditional office space and its associated expenses.

Carr Workplaces Virtual Offices

Carr Workplaces offers several different types of virtual office options to meet the evolving needs of businesses like yours. The flexibility of our virtual office leases allows you to expand your virtual office services on a month-to-month basis as your needs may change.

Work From Home

Our Work From Home plan allows you to access Carr Workplace services from your desk at home, while providing your company with a business address at any of our nation-wide locations. The Work From Home plan includes mail and package receipt, two hours of virtual administrative support, a business phone number, call answering, free notary services, virtual IT support, and free audio conferencing.

Virtual Business Address

With a Carr Workplaces Virtual Business Address, you also can take advantage of utilizing a prestigious, physical address at one of our national locations. A virtual business address also provides you with access to our talented, on-site support services team and mail management, including mail forwarding, opening, and scanning. We’ll even perform check deposits on behalf of your business.

Business Phone Service

With Business Phone Service, you’ll receive access to a private business phone number with call screening and answering provided by our professionally trained team. A digital voicemail mailbox with 24/7 remote access, access to virtual IT support, and call conferencing are also included.

Additionally, you’ll have access to our call handling services that include voicemail to email transcription, live call transfers, and call screening so that you’re not wasting time answering calls from telemarketers.


Our Workspace package includes on-demand access to a fully furnished private office or meeting and conference room at any Carr Workplace location nationwide.

This package gives you 10, 20, or 40 hours per month in any meeting room or private office bookable in one-hour increments for ultimate flexibility. With our Workspace offering, you’ll also have access to our catering, beverage service, printing, and other support services.

Virtual Office Complete

Carr Workplaces’ Virtual Office Complete allows you to bundle together different elements of our Virtual Business Address, Business Phone Service, and Workplace plans while saving up to 15%.

With a Virtual Office Complete package, you’ll receive access to our virtual IT support, mail management, and a private business phone number with call answering, as well as 10, 20, or 40 hours/month to use in any meeting room or day office at any Carr Workplaces location. These hours can be booked in one-hour increments in advance with the option to make recurring reservations.

Don’t miss “How Does A Virtual Business Address Work? Virtual Mailbox Guide.”

To learn more about Carr Workplaces, visit https://carrworkplaces.com/plans-pricing/virtual-offices/ or call our sales team call (866) 982-5803.

Learn about how we can streamline and improve your business’ productivity.