survey says: owners of small- and medium-sized businesses see cost savings, improved productivity by adopting virtual office approach
Virtual PBX Poll of 600+ Business Owners Shows 43 Percent Save $1,000 or More per Month, Fifty-nine Percent Believe They Are More Effective When Working from a Virtual Office
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (March 8, 2011) – VirtualPBX, inventor and leading supplier of hosted PBX services, today announced the results of a recent survey that asked small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners and employees about their use of virtual offices.*
Representatives from more than 600 SMBs – including CEOs, owners, partners, principals, directors and sales managers – shared their views on a range of issues, including frequency of virtual office use, perceived effectiveness in a virtual setting, virtual office costs, and adoption of technology to support a virtual business.
Respondents cited employee flexibility (61 percent), cost savings (54 percent), geographic distance of staff (42 percent) and the desire to reduce commute time, cost and pollution (41 percent) as the top reasons for adopting virtual offices. Other insights from the survey of virtual workers – who do their jobs from home offices, coffee shops and other non-traditional locales – include:
- More than 60 percent of respondents work from a virtual office almost all the time, while another 27 percent work 2-10 days a month outside the office.
- Fifty-seven percent of survey-takers indicated that half or more of their workforce uses a virtual office during a typical month.
- The majority of respondents – 59 percent – feel they are more effective working from a virtual location than in a traditional office.
- On the cost-savings front, 43 percent of the SMB leaders reported they save $1,000 or more each month on items such as rent, IT equipment, phone service and supplies by using a virtual office. (Eight percent of this group saves more than $10,000/month.)
Virtual workers, like much of society, are addicted to cell phones, with 87 percent of survey takers using them as a business communications device. Also popular are landlines, used by 49 percent; VoIP phone lines, used by 25 percent; and computer-based VoIP soft phones, used by 20 percent.
Survey data also suggests that SMBs in virtual offices make an effort to appeal to both local customers as well as those outside their region. Nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated they have a local number for callers to reach them, while the same number also indicated they have a toll-free number.
Mind-numbing “on hold” music and ads get a definite thumbs-down from this crowd. When asked to evaluate a list of features they would most like from their phone system, the top response was “custom music or messages while on hold,” beating out such features as built-in conferencing, call forwarding to any phone, and caller preview.
On the lighter side, survey participants were asked to comment on what they wear when working at a virtual office. The top response – 50 percent – was shorts, T-shirt and flip-flops, followed by business casual attire (37 percent) and pajamas (4 percent). A few free spirits (nearly 3 percent) wear nothing at all, and fewer than 2 percent wear formal business attire.
“Small- and medium-sized business leaders are on the forefront of embracing virtual offices to boost business efficiency, cut costs and provide more flexibility to their workforces,” said Greg Brashier, COO of Virtual PBX. “At Virtual PBX, we’re responding to the needs of this growing population with technology designed to make it easy for them to stay in touch with colleagues and clients. In particular, we’ve seen strong interest in our Virtual PBX Complete solution, which allows our users to leverage the industry’s deepest feature set and the flexibility to use any phone, all at 40-80 percent savings over traditional phone services.”
about virtual pbx
Virtual PBX believes you never get a second chance to make a good first impression – especially when it comes to serving your customers. Our hosted PBX phone service gives small and growing businesses a professional, fully automated call answering and routing solution that can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Forget the hassles and costs of buying and maintaining your own PBX hardware. With Virtual PBX, your employees, whether in one location or far-flung, can focus on serving your customers while we provide the advanced features and responsiveness that give you a competitive edge. We also offer a backup phone service to ensure your business stays up and running should disaster strike. For more information on how your business can benefit from our innovation and passionate commitment to great customer service, visit us on the Web at virtualpbx.com.
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