4 Tips for Setting up a Virtual Office
Changes in technology, especially regarding communications, have made physical offices unnecessary. Most of the work could be done remotely, spearing the employees the trouble of commuting and the owner the expenses of setting up an office. Working from home, also means that a business could use the knowledge and expertise of employees from all over the world.
Virtual offices, however, still require a management and an operating system. These need to be set up and revised periodically, to make sure that the business is run efficiently and with a single purpose in mind.
Every office needs a filing cabinet and that’s true for virtual ones as well. All files shared and created during office hours need to be saved and easily searchable. Choosing a cloud provider is a long-term decision because your business could grow and change over time and the cloud needs to meet future needs as well. It’s also important to choose a pricing structure that suits your needs, especially in terms of services you may add when there’s a need for them.
Performance is a hard thing to quantify because every employee is unique and there’s no way to find a metric that will encompass everyone. Start by tracking the amount of time put into work, but make sure that’s not the only or the most important way you decide who’s performance is valuable.
It’s also important to gather all the notes and comments created during the work and use it to recreate the thought process of your employees. In the end, find a way to compare the performance of your employees amongst each other in an anonymous and fair way.
Every business is a joint effort and virtual office should reflect that. It’s your job to provide tools that would simulate the real office experience as much as possible. Gary Harpst the founder of RightBrain collaboration tool software says that the most important feature of collaboration app should be that it provides hierarchy while leaving room for free brainstorming sessions.
The software should let everyone involved know how much progress is being made while allowing only key figures to deal with a particular issue they are working on. That way there isn’t any clutter and nothing gets overlooked.
With virtual offices, there are two main types of security concerns. The first comes from outside breaches and the second one from your own employees. The key element of cyber security is limited access.
The sensitive files should be available only to those who have the need to see them and are trusted to do so. That will cover the inside jobs. For outside breaches, you should establish a two-factor authentication system. This means that it takes two devices to get to view certain data. A code will be sent on a phone or tablet of the person who wants to access the data which would prevent any hacking attempts.
Virtual office could save a business a lot of time and money. However, it should be set up with the same functionality and openness as the real one.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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