Out of office In these days of remote working, a "virtual" office can be cost-effective and flexible for SMEs and start-ups. Here's what you need to know M odern businesses are increasingly wise to the fact that an expensive office in an expensive location isn't always the best use of a tight budget. After all, when you're growing your business, chances are you'll more often be found out and about than sitting behind your desk. Why pay for space you rarely occupy? That said, while the concept of a virtual office is something both 182 start-ups and more established organisations have embraced in recent years, there remains a certain cachet to a professionally-manned space. An address in the right part of town also helps establish your brand, reassures potential clients and helps you look professional - all-important when you want to win and retain business. The good news is there are now many options for businesses who can't quite stretch to paying rents in the middle of the world's best cities, suited to different needs and budgets. CALL-ANSWERING SERVICES At its most basic level, a call-answering service answers incoming calls and acts as a reception service, either taking details so you can call back when it's convenient or transferring the call straight through to you.