For most businesses, the option of creating virtual offices is a cost-effective and innovative way to reach new markets. The process, which involves creating collaborative cyber spaces, is not only easy, but also means you can work with the best people – at the best rates – from around the world. Plus, you can do so from wherever you want.
The problem is that becoming reliant on virtual offices can have a negative impact on your business if you’re not careful. Here’s how to make sure a virtual office doesn’t hurt your business.
Maintain team structures
Communication is at the heart of any successful business, and as much as running a virtual office can help you to communicate more effectively, there is also the risk of a scenario where people run wild without any leadership.
Even though the modern work space is not defined by typical business structures and hierarchies, it is important that you define project leads and assign roles clearly to avoid confusion.
The best way to do this is to assign roles and manage delivery according to roles. It is also helpful to create team communication channels and schedule status meetings via Skype, where the lead can monitor progress and assert authority.
Avoid costly downtime
As much as technology can be a great tool to drive collaboration and business, it can also fail us – leading to costly down time.
While internet and electricity shortages and cuts might be unavoidable, to run a virtual office that doesn’t hurt your business; you’re going to need reliable communication channels.
Whether this is in the form of structured VoIP phone lines, fiber optic internet connection, or a UPS system for core devices, you need to make sure you can run like a real business in the virtual space.
Did you know that you can use your smartphone as an office phone? Or that you can share screens via Skype if you’re not using iOS?
The trick to making sure your virtual offices doesn’t come back to haunt your business is to stay updated.
You are essentially selling a tech service, and if you don’t know what the next big thing in the world of technology telecommunications and software is, there is a risk that you will be perceived as irrelevant.
Beyond the business implications of lagging behind the times, you might also find it difficult to work if you’re not on the forefront. Most people who rely on virtual spaces strive to keep up to date – the last thing you need is incompatible software across a team.
Set a standard and stay up to date, and be sure to communicate those kinds of details with your collaborators. If you’re upgrading, let everyone know ahead of time so that when they check in, they’re ready to work and not left behind.
As much as virtual offices are taking off, there is still a long way to go before the whole world is ready to work this way.
Some industries still require personal interaction, and locking a team in a meeting room until problems are resolved.
Too many inexperienced business owners decide to take the leap into digital working spaces without considering their own unique requirements. Even modified virtual office offerings are only really effective if you’re in a sector suited to this kind of set up.
Remember, there are multiple free video and VoIP platforms that will allow you to reduce your telecoms expense, and most people already have the necessary software on their phone.
Take your time and make sure that if you do choose a virtual office, it’s what’s best for your business and team today.