Have you ever wondered how easy it would be to eliminate your office and go completely virtual?
The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have many small businesses in the Fresno area looking for ways to streamline and reduce costs without hampering the growth of their business.
One thing that the mandatory stay-at-home orders did was force companies who may not have considered it before to use a remote workforce. Their office stayed pretty much vacant while employees continued their normal workflows from home.
What small business owners realized was that with the right cloud services and security protections in place, their business could run just as effectively virtually. Meaning, they could save a lot of money by doing away with a physical office all together.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, a full-time remote worker can save a company $22,000 per year.
The cost savings from using remote workers includes:
- Higher productivity for the same pay
- Continuity of operations
- Improved employee retention
- Real estate/space savings
- Less absenteeism
Now, just imagine how much you’d save if your entire workforce was remote and you didn’t need to pay for office space rental and all the utility costs, furniture, and other costs that accompany a physical office.
How do you go about eliminating your office space while still keeping your business running smoothly? We’ve got several tips to help, below.
Tools to Successfully Transition from a Physical to a Virtual Office
Cloud technology has made it possible to work from anywhere, while still serving your customers and keeping your business running smoothly.
During the pandemic, companies had no choice but to figure out remote operations to keep their doors open virtually. Now, they see that their small business could actually be run with much less overhead if they lost the office space for good.
If you’ve been considering eliminating your office space, here are the tools to put in place to help you move from a physical to a virtual office without missing a step.
Adopt a Cloud-Based Storage Solution
You need a secure place for your digital files that everyone in your company can access from their home offices.
A cloud-based storage solution, such as OneDrive, makes it easy for everyone in your company to access and share files. Having all your files in a single centralized place, instead of spread out over multiple devices, also gives you better security and the ability to back up all your files to ensure none are lost due to something like a hard drive crash.
Create WFH Policies to Reduce Cybersecurity Threats
When you have a remote workforce, you need to be clear about policies, especially when it comes to cybersecurity.
Your Work-From-Home (WFH) policies should include protections for devices, how employees connect to cloud platforms (i.e. through a VPN), and include policies on shadow IT, updates, etc.
You should treat employee devices just like you did when they were in the same physical office, and ensure you have policies in place to reduce your data security risk.
Read our “6 Tips for Securing Your Remote Workforce” for ideas.
Adopting Tools to Improve Communication & Efficiency
It’s vital to have cloud solutions in place that keep your team connected and productive. The fewer tools that employees have to learn the better, which is why Microsoft Office 365 is a platform we recommend often.
Besides having cloud capability with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, the platform includes a powerful communication hub – Teams.
Microsoft Teams allows for real-time messaging, video conferencing, audio calls, and channeled communications that can keep everyone on the same page. It can be used as a virtual office space where your team can connect throughout the day.
Another benefit you have with Microsoft 365 is that it wraps several virtual tools into one, including OneDrive cloud storage, SharePoint for a company intranet, calendaring, task management, email and more.
Additionally, Microsoft is always adding value to the program through things like free stock images, fonts, and AI-based automations.
Use a Cloud-Based VoIP Phone System
One of the last technologies tying businesses to a physical office is a phone system. Old analog PBX phone systems are becoming antiquated as VoIP solutions offer crystal clear quality, with many more features, and the ability to answer your phones from anywhere.
By using a cloud-based VoIP phone system, not only do you lower your monthly phone costs significantly, your team can also have all the features enjoyed by enterprises in a phone system that can be answered from anywhere and on any device.
Are You Ready to Lose the Office & Go Virtual? We Can Help!
Unity IT can help you put the foundations in place for a vibrant and productive virtual business that allows you to significantly reduce your overhead without sacrificing productivity or capabilities.
Contact us today to schedule a virtual office consultation at 559-297-1007 or reach out online.