A virtual office is a combination of off-site live communication and address services that allow users to reduce traditional office costs while maintaining business professionalism[1]. Frequently the term is confused with “office business centers” or “executive suites” which demand a conventional lease whereas a true virtual office does not require that expense[2].

Virtual offices are experiencing growth even in a recessionary economy[29], and not just in the United States[30]. As businesses look to trim expenses, virtual office services help reduce overhead while keeping professionalism high[31]. For example, by paying for space and communication infrastructure on an as-needed basis, businesses can keep office expenses to a minimum[32]. The portability of today’s technology also allows for a more flexible work environment [33]. As businesses trend to a more “online” workplace, the notion of paying for space full-time becomes anachronistic[34]. Traditional receptionists making $12-14/hour[35] can be replaced with remote receptionist services at a fraction of the traditional cost[36]. Some Virtual Office companies or Telephone Answering companies offer a Franchise system, enabling entrepreneurs to enter the marketplace for a fraction of the usual set up costs and with the added bonus of leads being fed to them.

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