You’ve read the statistics. You’ve seen the success stories. You’ve decided it’s time to make the change to a virtual office. Whether you’re a home based business who wants to embrace a more professional edge, or a start up company that needs a low-cost solution with a high-end look, a virtual office provider can help. When you’re ready to make the leap, here are six steps to ensure that you make the most of going virtual.
Prepare for the transition by evaluating your business practices
Shifting to a virtual office is a good opportunity to evaluate your business practices and figure out where you can make improvements. Although working from a virtual office can boost the productivity of your team, it’s important to make sure that procedures are in place so you can embrace all of the benefits of having a remote team. Make any changes in procedures now before making the switch.
Be clear about what you expect
With team members working remotely, you have to be clear about what you need from them, and what you expect them to do. Outline projects in specific details. Misunderstandings about when to check in, deliver work and communicate can lead to problems later on.
Understand the difference between onsite management and virtual leadership
Taking your team virtual puts you in a different role than when you work as an onsite manager. Onsite management is time based. Your team puts in a certain number of hours per day and you all work together in the same space. When you operate from a virtual office, your team may very well work for a certain number of hours per day – but your real focus should be on project completion. Virtual leadership requires you to put an emphasis on the amount of work that’s been completed and not the way in which it’s done
Screen new hires carefully
If you need to hire new virtual team members once you make the transition, you should hire carefully. Choose team members that have worked in a virtual office environment previously. They’ll have the self discipline, motivation and technical skills that are required in order to work remotely. They’ll be familiar with following virtual office procedures, and you’ll have an easier time integrating them into your team.
Train your team to use technology wisely
When you work from a virtual office, technology is your best ally. Find solutions for communication, project management and team collaboration that will enable you and your team to work together successfully. If you’re already using solutions before you make the switch, be sure that they are sufficient enough for your team to use remotely
Make use of your shared office space facility
Smart companies select virtual office providers that include shared office space. Conference rooms and meeting rooms that are part of your virtual office services allow you to host clients, schedule presentations and create networking events. Once you make the transition to a virtual office, make it a point to schedule events for your clients and prospects to make use of the shared office facilities.