Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Untie yourself from the work desk and create a virtual office

In the age of information technology, the ability to communicate instantaneously across multiple channels has completely changed the way we do business. It is now possible for businesses to operate on-the-go, from anywhere at any time. Over the past few years, we have seen the rise of partially or completely virtual offices, which allow business to take advantage of new communication tools.

Why go virtual?

The biggest advantage of a virtual office is that is creates a professional work environment while saving overhead costs. A virtual office takes advantage of the latest communication technologies to connect employees and clients in real time, regardless of where they might be located physically. Some studies estimate that telecommunication technologies save companies $277 million annually, including the cost of travel, rent for a physical office space, equipment and productivity losses associated with the above.

A virtual office can also increase efficiency and quality of work. By reducing commuting times for your employees, you free up valuable time for them to focus on important tasks and take on challenges in a comfortable environment without the stress of peak hour travel. This is a particular effective option for employees whose job requires frequent travels.

Even more importantly, less time on the road means less risk of an accident or injury, so virtual offices also heavily promote safety – and a healthier environment. Opting for the virtual office prevents an up to 47,320 metric tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere any given year. For companies whose brands proudly embrace green initiatives, this is an ideal motion to help reinforce their commitment to the cause.

How to go virtual?

A virtual office relies heavily on technology, and where technology is key to the success of your business, you need a backup plan. In the event of an IT malfunction, it is absolutely necessary for you to have cloud storage, flash drives or external hard drives at your disposal to preserve important business information. Never rely solely on one form of storage to save your work. Where your backup is an external device, ensure that it is portable.

A downside of a virtual office is that employees lose motivation outside a formal office environment. For employees whose jobs require travel or field trips, keeping them focused and free from distraction is critical to the success of your virtual office. An effective way of doing this could be creating short term and long term goals and key performance indicators to measure performance. Where appropriate, setting up a personal rewards system may also provide your employees with incentives to reach certain professional milestones.

The right technology choices

Given the benefits of a virtual office, it is essential that your business uses the right technology and platforms to make things work. Investing in high-quality and highly customisable rental software can make all the difference for your virtual office. 

Contact us today to find out how you can manage equipment and get access to important information in real time.

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