Setting up a virtual office creates the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world, while maintaining access to office resources and software. The convenience and functionality of working from home is a trend that is likely to continue for many years to come. Our team has collated some hot tips for getting the most out of your virtual office to maintain both comfort and productivity.
Functional Office Set-up
Setting up a comfortable office from home is key. Research indicates that a functional ergonomic set-up improves productivity, quality of work, health and most importantly, promotes safety. In terms of equipment this entails having the right size screen, a comfortable chair, laptop or monitor, keyboard, desk and mouse. It also means having the right lighting and temperature in the room. Natural lighting is preferred because it is better for one’s eyes and mood, as opposed to artificial lighting. Furthermore, allocating time for eye exercises, back exercises and proper rests can also improve the wellbeing of those working from home. In terms of the aesthetic set up of the room, it is recommended that employees having a ‘professional looking’ wall behind them. This is the first thing people see when they enter your ‘virtual office’. Some ideas include a large photo or poster of your favour destination, family photos, inspirational quotes or paintings. With proper planning, it is possible to achieve a safe, motivating and functional workspace.
Communication is key for any business, but this is particularly true for those using a virtual office. Email may seem the most obvious means but it has its limitations. Inboxes tend to become a dumping ground for communication which can make it difficult to communicate efficiently. Our team has found that cloud-based phone systems are a staple feature of any business looking to streamline their communication from home. With hosted PBX phone systems and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology set up, businesses can gain access to a range of internet and cloud-based features. VoIP means that communication is made possible from anywhere, allowing businesses to stay connected with others. Platforms such as Microsoft teams, WhatsApp and skype are also great tools for communicating with others from home.
Create a Virtual Office Checklist
1. Stable Internet Connection / Business Broadband
A stable internet connection is crucial to getting the most out of a virtual office set-up. Without a stable connection, it’s difficult to get work done and communicate with others in real-time due to internet interruptions. Utilising a business broadband set-up can help deliver high performance internet broadband connections. Users can gain access to business-grade service levels that cover installation lead times, service restoration and availability, static IP addresses for business networks and cloud services.
2. Virtual Receptionist
Let’s face it…when employees finish up for the day, customer don’t always stop contacting them. This is especially so because most people work during the standard 9 – 5pm hours and thus, it’s more convenient for them to call after-hours. When this happens, employees may find it difficult to stop working. Instead of diverting calls to an automated message bank, a virtual receptionist ensures that all calls are answered by a real human, no matter the time of day or night. It is an affordable solution that enables businesses to be available virtually 24/7.
3. Video Conferencing
Video conferencing saves time, boosts productivity, saves travel costs and promotes connectivity without the need for face-to-face communication. To facilitate video conferencing, it’s important to invest in the right monitor(s) with a camera, using either an external or in-built webcam. Make sure that the microphone, speaker and headset works. Some platforms also offer digital whiteboarding software for those who prefer to brainstorm ideas during meetings.