‘Virtual office’ sees rise in sign-ups

Hannah Campbell

A central Birmingham virtual office for businesses has resumed normal opening hours – after seeing a rapid rise in enterprise registrations during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Grosvenor House, situated in St Paul’s Square, reopened to visitors on July 6 after its owners redecorated the building while business activity was restricted due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Grosvenor House is billed as “a classic Georgian building renovated and reopened as a business services provider, offering virtual office solutions, ample co-working and hot-desking space”, along with “first-class” conference and meeting room facilities.

When Government restrictions were introduced in March, the team reduced the office opening times and adapted to working from home. They continued to provide full services including call handling, switchboard management and the sorting of post. All five floors at Grosvenor House were redecorated internally during the hiatus.

As the economy stopped for the lockdown, entrepreneurs took the opportunity to sign up with the business services provider, resulting in a 10 per cent increase in registrations.

Director of Business Centre Hannah Campbell said the lockdown appears to have focussed business minds on taking advantage of Grosvenor House’s “virtual” offering.

Campbell said: “With sales of our conference and meeting room services stopping overnight due to the lockdown and meetings moving to Zoom and online means, we were worried where the revenue would then come from.

“But the virtual offering really increased and the demand for a professional address, call handling services and mail forwarding were heightened during the lockdown period. We saw a 10% growth in the virtual packages.”

The lockdown provided an opportunity for Grosvenor House to be updated to meet the new requirements for business clients, explained Hannah. “The whole building benefitted from an internal coat of paint,” she said. “One of the businesses that occupies the first floor decided to go paperless during lockdown, so the office is clutter free and now all documents are cloud based.

“Grosvenor House added storage cupboards for additional cleaning and sanitising goods, paper towel dispensers added to each bathroom and deep clean on carpets and staircases.”

Bringing front of house staff back and off furlough, Campbell added, would be “essential to keep providing the exceptionally high service standards that we have always provided”.

She said: “Our new physical tenants move in on the second and third floors from August. We would like the virtual services to continue growing at the rate it did through lockdown.

“We hope to bring our Taste of Grosvenor networking events back at the end of the year, once government advice permits, and bring our clients and other small businesses together and give them the opportunity to see the facilities and services of Grosvenor House.”