The pandemic has ushered in a “new normal” in the workplace: remote teams, hybrid teams, and workspaces that bring together people from all over the world in a closed virtual environment. While millions have returned to work in offices, millions more continue to work from home – and many of them are open to the idea of a long-term break from the office.
A virtual office is a simple way for your startup or SME to reduce overhead costs, increase profits, and broaden its reach. You can manage operations from anywhere, whether it’s your home office or a coffee shop, because a virtual office is primarily online.
While a virtual office has several advantages, such as flexibility and scalability, establishing your virtual office business can be difficult. We’ll go over the process for setting up a virtual office in this article.
Set Appropriate Expectations
Remote working is undoubtedly not for everyone, and there are obstacles to overcome. Most people would say that working virtually has a lot of advantages if they were asked. However, working remotely, being away from your coworkers, and being away from the familiar environment of the workplace, has serious drawbacks.
Some of your employees thrive in a work environment where they are constantly interacting with one another. Staying at home may provide too many distractions for some people. Others might be tempted to waste time on social media if they are not supervised.
Regardless of the reasons, the shift to a virtual workplace will have a significant impact on employee and team productivity. You must reassure them that those effects can be mitigated.
Decide Who Must Remain in the Office
In most cases, when working from home is an option, you’ll first decide who can work from home. These are the people who, with little supervision, can produce expected results.
However, in the event of a pandemic, you’ll need to identify a skeleton staff to work from the office and send the rest home. Those who must remain in the office to ensure mission-critical functions continue to function are included in the skeleton staff.
Certain teams, such as IT, accounting, treasury, and maintenance, must be physically available at the office. You must decide on a job-sharing framework for those teams. Split days, alternate days or weeks, and staggered time are some of the options available.
Determine your Technology Requirements
If this pandemic has a silver lining, it is that it occurs at a time when cloud computing is becoming more widely used. Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts are just a few examples of messaging/video conferencing apps. The virtual office has become a reality thanks to cloud-based storage services like Google Drive and Microsoft Office 365.
Even sophisticated enterprise and financial management software that used to necessitate a costly on-premises IT infrastructure can now be run entirely in the cloud.
Nonetheless, allowing the majority of your employees to work from home presents significant technical challenges. One area where you must pay attention is cybersecurity.
Your employees are now handling sensitive data over home networks, which are potentially more vulnerable. Consider giving those who work with confidential data a VPN (virtual private network).
Keep track of Progress.
Determine which teams can benefit from goal-setting systems such as KPIs and OKRs, which allow you to track progress, and which teams require time-tracking apps to ensure that employees adhere to their work schedules.
Agree on a Communication Method
When it comes to communication, there must be redundancy. It means that the company should have a variety of ways for employees to communicate with one another, such as emails, SMS, instant messaging apps, video conferencing apps, and task/project management apps.