The Five Critical Technologies You Need for a Virtual Office
If you haven’t made the switch to a remote workplace, what’s holding you back? Is it that you’ve always done things a certain way, and you can’t imagine a different one? Perhaps it’s that you don’t know what technology will help support a virtual workplace. No matter the reason, moving to a remote model can definitely feel scary and overwhelming.
The good news is that thousands of companies around the world have successfully made the switch to enable more people to work from home, either part-time or full-time. You’d be amazed at how technology makes all this possible. Here are the most important technologies you’ll need to successfully make the switch.
1. Video Conferencing
If you’re afraid you won’t see people face to face anymore, video conferencing tools have come a long way. It’s more than just having a bunch of people just show up, mute their microphones, and only pay half attention to the person who is talking.
Great tools allow for more interaction, easier ways to share information, and they can record the calls so that they are available for later. Working remotely tends to lead to fewer meetings, as leaders become more aware of the kinds of things they can more easily send in an email or via message. Not everything needs a meeting.
2. Cloud Storage
Accessing files from anywhere can be tricky. With a cloud storage solution in place, you can train your staff to upload all documents to the right folders on the internet. Instead of storing documents locally, instead, everything will be held in one centralized location on the cloud.
This is crucial because often multiple people rely on information and want to easily access the most current versions of files and data. Cloud storage solutions provide a way to do this. With all documents in one place, employers can do appropriate backups to ensure that no critical data is lost.
3. Collaboration Tools
Work is so much more than meetings and tasks. Collaboration builds connections and helps to make projects better. It builds on people’s strengths and helps improve communication. When you are working remotely, it’s vital to have technology and tools that also breed this same spirit of collaboration.
Virtual office software does just that. Imagine an online place where you could go to connect with a co-worker at the click of a button and be automatically placed into a virtual meeting room, where you could both work together on a project. Imagine being able to easily collaborate using whiteboarding tools native to the software. With it in place, people no longer need to switch between multiple different applications.
4. Centralized Data System
A little different than just cloud storage, data management is crucial for companies. You don’t want local versions of data running on people’s computers. Instead, you need a centralized location for all critical data. They call this master data management.
This method creates one dataset for all apps to draw from. It’s best to use options that automatically update other apps and that connect to the data system seamlessly. When you’re looking to move to a remote work environment, you may no longer even need your own server room.
The way businesses take phone calls has changed over the years. For businesses that rely on phone services to connect with customers and other constituents, you’ll need a VoIP system. Basically, this just means that instead of phone calls routing through a traditional phone line, they use software and go through internet connections instead.
This is beneficial for your employees, as they can easily log in to the phone system and take calls throughout the day. The system not only logs each call but can also record calls for training purposes, as well. When you’re moving to a remote model for your business, using some sort of VoIP system is essential.
Making the jump to a virtual office is a no-brainer for most companies. While some work requires production crews and office staff availability onsite, other companies — especially in the technology industry — can leverage a partially or fully remote team. You’ll find that many employees are more productive throughout the day with fewer meetings and fewer interruptions.
With these tools in place, working on big projects becomes simpler, people can learn to collaborate differently, and the workplace can more easily grow in the future, as well. For companies who desire growth, there’s no doubt about it. Leveraging remote workers is key in these modern times — and absolutely critical for a company’s ongoing success.