Mobility, accessibility and flexibility now dominate working conditions. Employers and employees alike now have access to digital technology that allow them to work while on the go. With office space also at an all-time high, it does not make sense for micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), single proprietorships, or even bloggers like myself to plunk in a large chunk of money for permanent office space when my work requires me to be mobile.
This has given birth to the concept of co-working spaces, also known as virtual offices. Everything is shared: office space, secretarial services, meeting rooms, conference rooms, internet connection, phone/email/fax services, and even a pantry. You get all the benefits of a real office and you need not even worry about human resources, property management or medical/dental benefits, among others, because these are taken care of by flexible, reasonably priced plans that suit even the smallest budgets.
Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and Makati are two business districts where co-working spaces are flourishing but I won't be surprised to see these in all business districts eventually. It is a logical step and a must in townships where commercial spaces are expensive but where people need to converge.
Recently I discovered vOffice, a fairly new virtual office in the Philippines with its first 2 co-working spaces located at prestigious buildings in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), and another vOffice co-working space that just opened in the Makati Avenue area near J. P. Rizal St.
While new in the Philippines, vOffice isn't new in the virtual office concept. They've been around since 2003 and have virtual office spaces in other countries like Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, UK and Vietnam.
There is nothing like visuals so let me give you a quick grand tour of vOffice at One Global Place along 25th Street and 5th Avenue, BGC.
|Professional reception and secretarial services are provided behind this modern desk|
vOffice has 24/7 secretarial services to serve clients who may need to work round-the-clock or who may be expecting calls from overseas at all hours of the day or night. When I signed up for a Platinum plan, I got my own personal local telephone and fax numbers. I even got to customize how they would answer when someone calls me on my personal number. Right after someone calls my number, they also notify me via SMS or email (I specify which) about the call. Calls can also be forwarded to my own mobile number for free.
|Cubby holes for our mail|
|They accept parcels for us as well!|
I can also receive faxes through vOffice. Concerned about the privacy of fax content? No worries because my incoming fax is processed by their secure fax server and instantly sent to my email. No one in vOffice has access to, or gets copies of, my faxes.
|This lobby is so inviting, comfy and great even for meetings and mobile work|
A plan holder is free to use the lobby to meet clients if the meeting rooms or conference rooms are fully booked. This happened to me once. I was in the area and needed a work space but because I did not reserve in advance, the rooms were all booked. No problem. I sat on one of these high-backed upholstered chairs and still got to work. The chair's design was well thought out because each one had its own electrical outlet. No low batt problems!
|This modern work chair even has an upholstered back for more working comfort!|
|And guess what….the chair even has phone jacks and an electrical outlet for charging on the fly!|
|These chairs are perfect for curling up in! haha….|
|Awesome state-of-the-art conference room where teleconferencing & important meetings can take place|
|Co-working office spaces like these provide privacy as well as complete communications access|
|Office space for longer-term tenants|
|This is me, working inside one of the meeting rooms. And so nice to be served coffee by a secretary, hehe...|
|Microwave oven, coffee maker, stand ref, hot and cold water are among the pantry's amenities|
|View of Bonifacio Global City from the pantry window|
Another cost-saver that I truly appreciate is the free-flowing coffee and water as well as free use of pantry space. I still enjoy going to a coffee shop once in a while but when I want to do real work, the noise levels in a coffee shop are not exactly conducive to concentration. In vOffice, I can even work in the pantry undisturbed, with unlimited FREE coffee to boot.
Reserving conference rooms or meeting rooms is easy because all those with plans get access to a web portal where you can easily check available dates. Indicate the date/time you want and it is reserved for you. That easy.
And one thing more. My use of vOffice work space is not limited to the Philippines. If I am abroad and happen to be in a country where vOffice is located, I can also use my plan's hours to work there.
Want to guess how much this prestigious office address, with all its office amenities and secretarial services cost?
You can choose to get a Silver, Gold or Platinum plan. Rates can go for as low as PhP 1,200 a month to a reasonable PhP 3,320 a month. They also have longer term packages for 3, 6, 12, 24 and 36 months which bring down the monthly cost even more. Tell me, where can you find such ridiculously low prices if you were to get your own brick-and-mortar space?
I'll tell you more about my co-working space experience in future posts. But right now, I am just glad that the concept of an office has expanded to accommodate people like me who need mobility and a professional working/meeting space.
One more thing!!!
Mention my name (Jane Uymatiao) to vOffice when you avail of one of their plans and you get an extra month FREE!!!
One Global Place
Level 10-1, 25th Street & 5th Avenue
Bonifacio Global City
Telephone (63-2) 224-2000
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/voffice.com.ph