Timeline: The History of virtual offices


Working from home or another location is nothing new. However, your customers and partners should never feel that you are performing duties in your pajamas. You would rather always preserve the Anderson & Sheppard London cut exuberant image. Luckily, this is one basic thing a virtual office can guarantee for you.

Virtual reality contributed to a growing bond between business and immersing in technology. Virtual offices are a smart invention that offers flexibility and expansion to your business. This opportunity of telecommunicating and managing your business wherever you are have amazing benefits.

Virtual offices stand as a luring opportunity to expand your business and exist in the international lounge. You will definitely save money and accomplish more in less time. You are always connected with your mail, customers and partners.

Here is an all-time classic by Confucius: study the past if you would define the future. That is why we are taking you on a journey back in time to discover how the notion of virtual offices emerged.


The concept of serviced offices in general dates back to the 60s of the last century. We refer to Omni Offices group as the first known chain of serviced offices.

 Established in 1962, mostly they did not contribute much to the notion of virtual offices but they lent the idea a hand in order to emerge.

Omni Offices were later acquired by another corporate body and they both acquired a third company which became known as HQ Global Workplaces. HQ was eventually acquired by Regus in 2004.

Another milestone, was on the first of August, 1966 when Paul Fegen’s established his Fegen’s suits. They were professional and executive law offices. Highly equipped and finely decorated, they consisted of central reception areas and individual offices. In addition to, a cafeteria and a law library.


In 1972, ARPANET connected 40 computers together before even the world develop different networks to communicate.

We refer to 1973 as the earliest version of virtual offices. When Fegen’s law suits held an off-site tenant program. This marked the rise of the notion of the legal virtual office.

In 1978, Alfred Moufarrige founded Servcorp in Australia. The corporate body served as a multinational business that sells serviced office space, virtual office products and IT services. Servcorp is best remembered for its trademark “Everything but the office”.


In 1981, Adam Osborn designed the first portable computer, this enabled professionals and business persons to work away from their offices. It marked the first step to work remotely from the work environment.

In 1982, John Markoff; the journalist best known for his work at The New York Times used the term (virtual office) for the first time in one of his articles. John Markoff was interested in the past and future of artificial intelligence and the collaboration between machines and human beings in general.

In 1983, another journalist who is Chris Kern dedicated a whole article under the title of (A virtual office). He gave a very nice scenario of a marketing director on a business trip, with a portable computer on him and contacts his home office to manage business. Of course, this was a very innovative idea to the world back then. http://www.chriskern.net/history/myWord_files/virtualOffice-1983-09.pdf

In 1989, Timothy John Berners-Lee the English computer scientist invented the World Wide Web. This paved the way to the invention of the internet.

One of his essential thoughts was, “Most of systems still depended on some central node to which everything had to be connected. I wanted the act of adding a link to be trivial. If i was, then a web of links could spread evenly across the globe.”

1989 was a prolific year for intelligent technology. As, Alon Cohen founded VocalTec Inc. A telecom equipment provider. Its initial mission statement was to provide audio and voice services for personal computers and computer networks. Alon Cohen is also the co-inventor of the Audio Transceiver.

In the same year, Mark Dixon; the English businessman and one of Europe’s most prominent entrepreneurs launched Regus in Brussels, Belgium.  Since its foundation Regus played a leading role in office space rental business. Regus grew afterward to become a multinational corporate body that provides professional business services management.


Since the early 1990s many changes have occurred in both technology and the global business space. This change demanded more offices to meet business aspirations and fulfill various roles and services.

In 1990, McGill University; English-language public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and ranked among the world’s top 30 institutions… Developed the first internet search engine.

In 1991, the World Wide Web became public.

In 1992, Richard Nissen; a successful entrepreneur registered and trademarked (The Virtual Office). https://www.ipo.gov.uk/tmcase/Results/1/UK00001496366.

In the same year, Barrister Executive Suites of Beverly Hills offered (business identity) service contracts, offering different (virtual office) packages.

In 1994, Ralph Gregory; an entrepreneur with a diverse range of experience in multiple industries, launched Virtual Office Inc.  It was a brand new industry, which provided customers with a prestigious business address for mail services, meeting space and virtual receptionist services.

In 1998, Regus launched its first office in USA.


In 2001 Regus acquired Stratis Business Centers of Birmingham for $10 million. Stratis Business Centers brought 12 functioning centers and others were added to them.

This acquisition gave Regus a golden opportunity to expand and to operate in the US market.

In 2002 Rex 2002 Limited bought 58% of Regus’ Uk business. This came after Regus confronted many financial difficulties.

In 2003 Regus announced its bankruptcy. Later that year, it had a plan to reorganize itself and to keep its business alive. It managed to find relief out of bankruptcy.

In 2004 Regus managed to acquire HQ Global Workplaces. HQ provided an international network of ready-to-use business places which are smart and within very convenient expenses.

In 2006 Regus managed to acquire its UK business.

In the same year Bill Grodnik founded Davinci Virtual and Davinci Meeting Rooms.

In 2007, Frank Cottle, contributed to the foundation of corporate bodies like Cloud Virtual, Allied Virtual, and Alliance Virtual Offices.

In 2010, Opus Virtual Offices emerged in the US market to offer very cost-effective and ultimate office solutions.

In 2013 Regus acquired another important corporate body which is MWB business exchange.

MWB was then the second biggest serviced offices provider in the UK. It had 65 centers across London and the UK. It provided serviced offices and prestigious meeting venues.

In 2015 Regus acquired another major serviced offices group which is Avanta. Avanta offered unique business locations and meeting rooms.

In the same year, Regus expanded all over the world, in North America, Asia and Europe.


The history of technology is really interesting. Industrial technology gives us new horizons to advance and to enlarge our imagination. We go back through history to understand that there is no limits of the possible.