The new locale -180 Piccadilly – has allowed the Group to convert over two floors of the new building to its exacting specifications, including a range of Virtual Office Services (VOS). In July this year, the VOG welcomed its 10,000th client since commencing operation in 1992 and its 2,000th Virtual Office Services customer.
In 2010, Richard Nissen, the Group’s founder, and the staff and management of the company will celebrate 30 years of successful operation providing bespoke serviced office accommodation and support services for “the virtually independent” working professional. Nissen pioneered the concept of the virtual office in the UK, registering the trademark name in 1992, and introduced the revolutionary telecommunications system which today allows home and mobile workers to present an impressive city address incorporating, for instance, a central London telephone prefix (0207) with dedicated voicemail and mail handling. Over the last quarter, interest in the Group’s VOS has increased by approximately 30 per cent.
Since its inception, internal records indicate that the predominant industries and professions which avail themselves of these options are consultancies, recruitment and human resources, financial services, and property advisers. The average age of the VOG client is 49 but ages range from 27 to 72 years, and the typical number of employees per client is just over two members of staff. Over a decade ago, the number of female clients made up only 13% of the total clientele but in the last five years this has risen dramatically with over 30% of VOG’s business today now comprising professional women.
Factors influencing the burgeoning virtual workforce include:
- Increased (ease of) use of the internet and broadband
- Increased desire for more subjective and flexible working conditions providing healthier life/work balance
- Reduced operating costs and increased energy savings (e.g. less commuting/transport expenditure)
- Increasing interest from the ‘grey pound’ market to continue working and earning in semi-retirement
- Increased use of social media providing an e-networking basis from which to source business opportunities
- More business services and better technology supporting home and mobile workers
Comments VOG Chairman, Richard Nissen; “The consistency and excellence of our facilities and services are the reasons many of our clients give for their continued loyalty – 50% of the Group’s clients have been with the company for over five years, a further 15% for over ten years, and 12 have made VOG their professional home for over 15 years. The longevity and motivation of our staff and management is a major factor – it’s gratifying to note that 70% of our management have been with the Group for ten years or more.”
About the Virtual-Office Group:
The precursor of the Virtual Office Group was established in 1980 when British businessman Richard Nissen established superior serviced offices in prestigious Piccadilly to provide flexible business accommodation and support services to an expanding SME market. In 1992, he pioneered the “virtual office” telecommunications solution allowing non-resident city professionals to project a central London address and telephone prefix with a selection of reliable support services. The same year Nissen co-founded what is known today as the ABCN (Alliance of Business Centres Network) to provide access to over 600 locations in over 42 countries worldwide. The prestigious BVQi accreditation ISO 9001 was awarded to the VOG in 1996 - it is believed that the Group is the only serviced office provider internationally to be the recipient of this coveted industry benchmark of excellence.