Sue answering the phone at Portland House in Durham

How virtual office services are helping businesses during lockdown

23 November 2020: For the latest update on our services, see here.

Durham Office Services is still open for business during the COVID-19 lockdown, having changed the way to work to allow working from home and separate office days for team members to help with our mail forwarding services.

Our services have been helping businesses based in Durham and throughout the UK during the lockdown, and here we explore what those services are, and how they can help.

What is a “virtual office”?

Let’s start with the basics – what our virtual offices and virtual office services, and who might use them?  The “virtual office” has been around since the 1990s, but as businesses – large and small – look to work in increasingly agile ways, it’s a concept that’s becoming more and more popular.

Features vary, but a virtual office is essentially a package of services, provided by an external company, that replaces or supplements the need for a business to rent its own offices or employ its own support staff.

So, it might be that you want access to meeting rooms on those occasions when you need to impress a potential client; a Registered Office address to meet the requirements of being a UK limited company; or someone to answer your phone calls, and filter out the spam.

Who are virtual office services for?

Virtual office clients can be surprisingly diverse. Maybe you’re a tradesperson who spends most of your time on the road and isn’t usually available to answer calls, or a one-person, start-up business working from home that wants to convey a more professional image.

You might even be a large business that needs extra phone-answering capacity at busy times, or that wants a local telephone number to promote your business in a new region.

1. Call answering services

Call answering services

The most obvious of our services which is of help is our call answering services. You can redirect your office line or even mobile phone to our service and have it answered by our office professionals – ideal if you’ve closed your office for the lockdown, or are busy working elsewhere during the day. Call answering is also useful for filtering out spam and unwanted sales calls, saving you time and effort every day.

Some sectors and industries are incredibly busy during lockdown, and our call answering service gives them time to get on with key tasks while taking messages on the business’ behalf. Our team send you a text message or email with the contact details of the caller and a brief message about the call – perfect as a time-saving service for you.

2. Mail forwarding

Mail for clients at Portland House

Durham Office Services’ business mail forwarding is ideal for small businesses who want to use a professional, DH1 address for their business correspondence rather than their own home address. Mail is delivered to us at our Portland House, Durham DH1 address, and re-routed to wherever you need it. This is useful if you want to maintain a physical gap between your business and home address during the lockdown.

3. Registered office address

Portland House, the base of Durham Office Services

Starting a business at any time can be a daunting task, and during a lockdown it’s even more daunting! We’re offering new businesses started during lockdown 3 months free use of our business registered address services, as well as 3 months free of Durham Business Club, who are holding 4 virtual networking and business support events a month during the lockdown. Contact Alison via for more information.

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