To say that today’s workplace and workers have changed is an understatement. Technology has blurred the walls of the workplace and transformed how people get things done. Employees who once worked from 9 to 5 in the confines of an office cubicle can now work from virtually anywhere thanks to a number of mobile and remote office functions.
But while working remotely or from a virtual office offers plenty of benefits to both business owners and employees (such as no commute time, low to no technology costs, lower overhead costs, etc.), such perks don’t come without pitfalls. This is why it’s important to get the right tools to ensure the virtual office space you work in helps you become more efficient and productive.
Whether you run a business completely from home or telecommute occasionally, here are the top 3 things you need to have in your virtual office:
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone
Working with a dispersed team and/or clients can be challenging. Team members need to be able to communicate and collaborate easily, as well as share information and ideas conveniently. But because most people use multiple tools to communicate (such as email, chat, and phone) such tasks can get complicated. Fortunately, a VoIP phone system can streamline and simplify communications.
Aside from being relatively affordable, VoIP phones come with a wide range of features that enable businesses to do more. Although popular apps like Skype and Google Hangouts also let users make and receive calls from anywhere, these chat and video conferencing apps are nowhere near as powerful as leading business VoIP services such as Vonage, Jive and Mitel. Business VoIP phones come with an advanced set of features (such as Auto Attendant, Find Me/Follow Me, Voicemail-to-email, Mobile Apps, and Unified Inbox) that allow on-the-go or remote employees to stay connected and productive no matter where they are.
Working from a virtual office means you will need access to your files no matter where you are. Whether you are at home, at a cafe, or overseas, you want your most important documents to be just a click away.
A cloud storage service (similar to the equivalent of a convenient online filing cabinet) makes this possible. Cloud services allow you to conveniently access your documents or files from anytime, anywhere. And there are a lot of options when it comes to cloud storage. The most popular services include Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Onedrive, and Amazon Cloud. All these services offer ample and secure cloud storage options with slightly different applications and features. Be sure to browse and compare all services to find the one that fits your business' needs.
It’s practically impossible to work in a virtual office if you don’t have a fast and reliable internet connection. This is why it's crucial to get the best connection possible. Plus, if you have a VoIP phone system, it is also important to have a strong internet connection so that you can have top-notch call quality. If you’ll be working from home most of the time, make sure to subscribe to the best internet plan in your area. Compare plans and providers to ensure you’re getting the best internet service based off of your calling needs and internet activities. If you will be more mobile, consider getting a portable WiFi router or a wireless internet plan to ensure that you will always be connected.
An increasing number of businesses are exploring the concept of a virtual office because it’s convenient, saves on costs, and promotes work-life balance. But to tap the full potential of remote working, it’s important to be equipped with these top 3 virtual office tools.