Tips for Leading a Virtual Office

It would be an understatement to say that 2020 presented more than a few challenges. One of the hardest adjustments for many was the concept of working from home. It has become likely that working remotely will last longer than expected, and people have had to make adjustments to the new normal. In addition to existing businesses, there are thousands of startups founded by eager and enterprising entrepreneurs operating under the reality of an increasingly popular flexible workspace industry. 

Virtual offices are one of several flexible workspace options for the employee or CEO of the future. From a company standpoint, there are many benefits to no longer requiring a brick and mortar building. Most startups fail within the first five years due to a lack of capital. Budgeting is vital to the survival of a new business. Aside from paying leasing or ownership costs, companies with physical offices typically spend monthly allowances on food and beverage, internet access, parking privileges, cleaning services, maintenance support, and utilities, in addition to paying higher workers’ compensation premiums. This adds thousands of dollars to the real estate costs. A company can still tap into its most significant resources with a virtual office – the employees – without the need to spend more than necessary. A lack of a commute will mean less wear and tear on their transportation, their mental health, and their wallets for employees. 

The first and foremost tip for building a productive remote team is choosing people who will be a good fit. Look for self-starters and people of action, as well as ones who possess talent. Not only will you need to trust your remote employees, but you will need team members who can work on a remote island just as efficiently as a city cafe. 

Many companies use proprietary virtual office software to communicate with each other. Slack is an example of a top-rated communication platform that uses IRC features such as direct messaging and chat rooms organized by topic. Regardless of where your team is located, they can check in to work and communicate.

The impression of a united, robust company is essential. In a virtual world, there are tips that can instill that confidence. Set up a phone system that enables easy transfer from one team to the next, regardless of physical location. By putting an on-call schedule into the phone system,  the next person is notified if someone is unreachable. Another alternate is having a virtual receptionist, either machine-based or human, to keep the team abreast of deadlines and projects.