Technology advances like virtual offices have led to the concept of a virtual office.

  • Fax machines that are affordable and mass-produced – Fax machines weren’t just for large corporations. They were available to everyone. Documents could be sent cheaply from any place.
  • Mass-produced personal computers – Computers are no longer the exclusive property of very large corporations. Anyone can own one.
  • Email It’s now easier than ever to send messages from anywhere in the world.
  • Scanning At first, scanners were slow and inconvenient. It was also difficult to convert documents into small enough sizes to email. Today scanners can scan multiple documents from feeders. They also have software that allows you to select the resolution of your scan. As scanning quality improves, faxes will be phased out.
  • Internet Information could be accessed easily and shared.
  • Mobile phones– Calls could be made from any place.

Ralph Gregory, a Boulder, Colorado entrepreneur, was the first to officially establish virtual offices. He founded “The Virtual Office Inc” in 1989. He was a father to his first child and wanted to be able to work remotely and spend more time with him.

In 1983, however, James Blain, a Troy resident, Michigan native, began the idea of renting fully-equipped offices to start-ups with flexible leases. After a 1989 business trip to Belgium, Mark Dixon founded Regus. The company’s mission was to provide clients with executive suites at reasonable prices. After receiving funding from a business partner, the company was able to restructure itself in less than one year. It is now a highly profitable company.

Technology has made it much easier to work remotely, but businesses also need support services like call answering as they grow. The services of virtual offices can be used to help growing businesses to be able to afford them and not hinder their business growth.

This post was written by Tara Kintz. Tara is a director at Signature Workspace. Signature Workspace, owned and operated by Cantor Fund Management, offers services and amenities such as private offices, flex space, co-working space, virtual offices, meeting/conference rooms, and more. Click here for more information.