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Start-ups want virtual working

Over one in three start-up businesses have a preference for a ‘virtual working’ environment, according to new research from communication management specialist Yac.

Yac surveyed 512 of its customers, specifically those just embarking on setting up in business, for their views on the office environment they wanted to create.

Those businesses opting for a virtual office tended to be in the service sectors and most identified the flexibility of such a set up as the primary benefit (81 per cent), enabling them to work from anywhere whilst still being connected to their customers via phone and email.

The lack of overheads such as premises was also a key factor, as was being able to offer staff a more varied and flexible working environment.

Of those respondents that favoured virtual working, 75 per cent felt they were likely to move their ‘office’ location during their first six month of trading and so didn’t want to be tied down to one address. Eighty-five per cent did not have the funds to set up a permanent office and therefore favoured technology that enabled them to work from any location.

Says Ian Osborne, chief executive of Yac: “It is evident from our research that creating a stable virtual environment is a key factor for many start-ups. With the technology available today, small businesses can easily stay connected with their customers, giving them the ability to work from home, an office or when on the move without jeopardising the service they deliver.

“For start-ups especially, settting up a traditional office environment can be very expensive. And the nature of being a start-up business, and the long hours and investment this often requires, can be more conducive to a flexible way of working. It’s clear that employees too value the ability to work from outside of the traditional office space, and recent research in the market has shown this to be a contributing factor in staff loyalty and motivation.

“The capability to work virtually also enables start-ups to easily ‘scale up’ their business depending on need, such as adding new staff who may be part-time, homeworkers or contracted through short-term outsource agreements based in multiple locations.”

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