Working remotely has a number of benefits. The obvious ones are related to the amount of money your business saves and the increased productivity your business experiences by working more efficiently. However, the virtual office can come with a few caveats.
The virtual office, incidentally, is simply an office plan that leases the use of conference rooms, meeting rooms and boardrooms to businesses who work remotely. The benefit to these businesses is the virtual office suite can provide you with world-class IT services, in addition to access to offices from around the world depending on the outfit. For the most part, however, the virtual office by virtue of its more relaxed structure can present other problems for businesses. Let’s take a look at the various ways to overcome the downsides of working in the virtual office format.
The most immediate problem is related to team cohesiveness. Because the virtual office allows employees to work from any location that has an internet connection and a device, professionals find themselves sometimes isolated throughout the day. This prevents a business from developing the type of cohesiveness necessary for business growth.
Instead of allowing employees to go to their separate corners after giving them their directions, consider using some of the tools that often accompany a virtual office plan.
Servcorp Singapore virtual offices, for example, provides the use of conference and meeting rooms so supervisors can connect with their employees. Another tactic to getting team cohesiveness is to have breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings so that you can engage your employees on a personal level.
Because the virtual office allows professionals to complete work at their leisure, it is very easy to plan a work schedule around personal events. Some industries do not require a person to exist online all-day long. However, employers should have an idea of when their employees will be online throughout the day for a few reasons.
By having employees give you a consistent schedule of when they will be available, you know exactly when to expect them online and can contact them in real time as opposed to sending them a message and hoping to get a reply. Furthermore, your employees want to hear from you too, as, during the course of the business day, they might have questions regarding any work you might assign them.
Clear objectives and goals
Another major pitfall that happens as the result of the virtual office relates to managers not setting clear goals and objectives. Yes, most tech-literate professionals can read directions clearly, but more complicated tasks might actually require a face-to-face meeting. By scheduling a meeting, whether through some video-conferencing capability or through face-to-face interactions, you can address any questions that might come up related to these tasks.
The irony of this format is that the great quality of the virtual office is also its weakness. Not having a physical space from which to operate can impede productivity just by virtue of the numerous tasks that have to be completed but cannot simply be done because your employees are not in close proximity.
However, business management systems in conjunction with a number of online apps make it possible for you to move your physical infrastructure to an online format providing your employees with a place to input the time they spend on projects, track their progress, and remain in constant communication throughout the workday, in addition to a number of other functions.
Maximising productivity of virtual space
The virtual office, for all its pitfalls, it is still a very cost-effective way to run a business, especially if the business is a start-up. The numerous online tools can help you rein in any behaviours that make running a virtual office hinder productivity. Furthermore, these tools can help provide your team cohesiveness while providing structure to your business’s virtual infrastructure.