When WFH Isn’t Working: Making the Case For a Virtual Office Allowance
Working remotely can certainly save time and money, especially if it means you don’t have a long commute to the office. However, if you’re one of the many professionals who now work remotely, you may find yourself missing the comforts and conveniences of a traditional office
Fortunately, it’s not uncommon for companies to pay for incidental costs associated with working remotely. This arrangement is often referred to as an office allowance.
What are some examples of an office allowance?
An office allowance can be used for many things — it all depends on the amount your employer provides and what you need to do your best work.
For example, an employer might give employees funds to purchase tools like a second monitor or an ergonomic desk chair, because they know that the right office equipment makes a huge difference in productivity.
Some employers are even more generous — they’ll cover the cost of a team member’s virtual office space.
But first, what is a virtual office?
Before we dive in, let’s recap some virtual office basics.
A virtual office provides affordable and flexible access to physical office space and office-related services. When someone becomes a member with a virtual office provider, like Intelligent Office, they have access to solutions and services such as:
- Private and/or shared office space
- Fully-equipped meeting and conference rooms
- A physical address in a prestigious commercial location
- Essential office tools, like printers, scanners, and white boards
- Administrative support
- Phone answering services
In essence, virtual offices make it easy to work from anywhere, without sacrificing the comforts of a traditional office space. That’s why they’re such a great solution for workers who have been displaced from their usual workspace.
How to ask your boss for a virtual office allowance
If a virtual office sounds like the right fit for your needs, here are some tips and insights you can use to make the case for a virtual office allowance with your employer:
Research the virtual office options that exist in your city
First things first, learn about the virtual office options that are available where you live.
You can use Intelligent Office’s location directory to find an option near you. An online search for “virtual offices near me” is another great way to see what’s available. If you aren’t sure what to look for in a virtual office, these resources will help you find the perfect fit:
- How to Find the Right Virtual Office: 6 Factors to Consider
- 6 Signs You've Found the Perfect Virtual Office Space
- 5 (More) Signs You've Found the Perfect Virtual Office Space
Once you have a shortlist of potential offices, submit requests for quotes and additional information. The provider will then get back to you with up-to-date pricing information, which you can present to your employer.
Prepare your office allowance pitch
Now that you have a list of virtual offices and their pricing information, it’s time to make a plan to approach your boss.
The key is to make a compelling business case for why your employer should invest in your virtual office membership. Here are some talking points you can use:
- You’ll be more comfortable, which means you’ll be more productive. Comfort and productivity are closely related. If you’re going to spend 8+ hours per day at your computer, you need a proper workspace — pain and discomfort are a surefire way to decrease a person’s work output.
- It’s easier to achieve deep focus in a private workspace. In order to do your job, you need to be able to focus, which can be impossible when working from home.
- Virtual offices are incredibly cost-efficient. Traditional office space is expensive and inflexible. A virtual office is a great alternative that can save on overhead costs.
- You’ll have a quiet place for calls and meetings. This can be a particularly powerful point, especially if your team has struggled to find peace and quiet for important meetings.
- You’ll have access to more than office space. With a virtual office membership, you also get access to meeting rooms, essential office equipment, and local business support.
- If you travel frequently, a virtual office provider with a large network can be a game-changer. Imagine always having access to a great office when you travel for work. It’s possible with the right provider.
Need some extra support before approaching your boss about a virtual office allowance?
Approaching your employer to ask for a virtual office allowance can be intimidating, but the Intelligent Office team is here to help.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team using this form. We’ll pair you with a local business services expert who can answer any and all concerns you may have.
Soon enough, you’ll feel confident enough to ask for the space you need to get your work done.