Steps To Successfully Transition Your Business To A Virtual Office
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has drastically redefined the working environment for businesses and their employees around the world. A staggering 42 percent of employees are now working from home full time, according to a Stanford researcher and an increasing amount of businesses worldwide have kicked their plans for a virtual workforce into high gear. Of course, there are more positives to having a virtual office than protecting your workforce and keeping your business operational during such a disruptive outbreak.
Lower overhead costs, higher productivity, and better employee turnover rates are just a handful of them, making a strong case for switching to working from home and virtual offices. For the standard employer that is now having to navigate the transition to a virtual work environment, making a successful shift depends on implementing the right protocols and policies.
Focus On Building A Strong Virtual Office Culture
In a TELUS survey, 51 percent of Americans say they do not feel connected to the culture of their company when working remotely. Yet building a strong virtual office culture is pivotal particularly in companies where employees can go months without seeing each other. Even though businesses with a virtual office may not have all their employees physically present in the office, there still ways they can offer employees opportunities to connect, engage, and be recognized for their contribution.
If your business needs to rent physical space for essential workers such as administrative or customer service, there is also the option of choosing a coworking space that allows your employees to share an office space with like-minded businesses and employees- further fostering a similar office culture. In addition to the cost benefits of using a coworking space, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the use of coworking space can also encourage your employees to network, collaborate more often, and encourages productivity. As a bonus, all of DaVinci’s coworking spaces are equipped with the amenities needed for a productive workspace like high-speed Wifi and meeting rooms on request.
Ensure Uninterrupted Productivity By Investing In Communication Tools First
While you make the shift to a virtual office, you may want to do everything you can to minimize the impact on your business operations. To do this, a business needs to have the right virtual office tools in place, starting with the creation of a reliable company intranet. One of the perks of having a virtual office is that your workers can be located across the globe. It also cuts the in-office costs for a business- a critical component if you want to ensure your business flourishes after the pandemic. However, you also need to consider how to connect those workers in a commonplace to perform their work tasks and communicate while working remotely.
Another must-have to optimize the communication process during the transition is choosing a virtual receptionist. Getting a virtual receptionist hired is important to do earlier rather than later since they can direct enquiring, client concerns, and other valuable calls effectively and to the right people. Otherwise, businesses leave themselves vulnerable to missing important calls or scrambling critical information as they make the switch to a virtual office. Finally, ensure you have the right internal communication tools like DaVinci’s Web Conferencing software, which allows up to 25 people to be online in the same session. Using just a laptop or smart device with a camera, employees have the freedom to log into company meetings and conferences without worrying about IP connections and from anywhere in the world.
Schedule Training To Get Employees Virtual Office Ready
In addition to securing the virtual workplace tools, managers need to ensure their employees are ready for the transition to remote working. Working from home is not for everyone and if not given the right support, it can present challenges to business productivity like employee isolation, demotivation, and miscommunication. A large part of this is providing employees with the right training to thrive in a virtual office environment.
Besides providing hands-on training on how to best use the new virtual tools like the technology behind a virtual receptionist or meeting spaces, businesses should also consider providing targeted training for managers on the best practices for managing a remote team. While your business won’t have dedicated physical spaces for internal and client meetings, they should still be able to conduct those tasks as they normally would using virtual event platforms and co-working spaces.
It is also beneficial to create a learning environment within your new virtual office. Whether you will be hiring new virtual employees or retaining in-office staff, encouraging employees to interact and share their knowledge means they are constantly improving their skillset. Investing in tools that promote employee collaboration like Slack, WorkZone, and Hive tends to work well.
Even when businesses return to normal, there is no denying that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to a virtual world- especially for businesses. Amid increasing regulations and social distancing guidelines, the need to switch to a virtual office has become more poignant than ever, if done right.