3 December, 2018
Are you looking for ways to make your virtual office more productive? Read on to learn the top 7 ways to increase productivity in your virtual office.
You know what a virtual office is and you know that it’s better for your business than a traditional office (if you play your cards right). You also know what your awesome team is capable of.
You just don’t know how to get your virtual team to perform at the level you want.
The good news is there are tried and true ways to increase productivity in a virtual office. Here are seven of our favourites.
1. Streamline Communication
Communication is vital to the success of any office. It’s vital to the success of a virtual office where you don’t see employees in person and can’t stroll down the hallway to say hello.
The good news is that in the Internet age, you have tons of options to boost team communication (beyond your email inbox).
One of the most popular tools on the market is Slack, a project management app that’s basically Facebook Messenger for the office. You can create group chats, direct message, attach files, even call your employees.
2. Stay Flexible
One of the attractions of a virtual office for employees is that they can work wherever they want. They don’t need to worry about a morning commute or sitting in their cubicle all day.
For your virtual office to succeed, you need to apply that flexibility to your overall office mindset.
As a rule, flexible schedules are your best bet for a virtual office. If an employee knows the traditional 9-to-5 isn’t their most productive time of day, they can shift their schedule accordingly. They also know that they’re free to take a break or eat a snack whenever they need to, which boosts morale and productivity.
3. Build a Personal Connection
There are many benefits to a virtual office, but if you’re in two different time zones, you’re just not going to see each other face-to-face that much.
This is why it’s so important to foster a personal connection with your employees.
We’re not saying you need to be best friends with your employees; you still want to maintain a professional relationship. But there’s value in recognizing that your employees are human beings with their own personalities.
If you take the time to recognize your employees as people, they’ll appreciate the extra effort.
4. Use the Right Tools
In a regular office, filing, meetings, and paperwork are the tools of your trade. In a virtual office, you need to make clever use of an arsenal of digital tools.
For communication (that won’t end up in the spam folder) you can’t go wrong with Slack.
To share documents between employees to keep projects rolling, check out Office 365.
And since there’s no getting around a face-to-face meeting now and then, it’s a good idea to utilize Skype to run your business meetings. Even better, you can now get Skype with Office 365.
5. Reevaluate Your Tools and Practices Often
Every employee knows that regular check-ins are a fact of professional life. It’s a way of making sure everything’s working and everyone is on the same page.
The same basic principle applies to your tools and practices.
As the old adage goes, change is the only constant. This is especially true of virtual offices, where so much of your business relies on technology.
Because of this, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of your business and try out new practices from time to time that will help your business continue to evolve.
6. Plan Meetups
Isn’t it amazing that in this day and age, you can have an office of 20 people who aren’t even on the same continent?
That said, you can’t forget to plan meetups every now and then, even if it’s only once a year.
This goes back to our earlier point about establishing personal connections. Whether your employees are in the same city or scattered around the globe, it’s important to have in-person meetings occasionally in order to help your employees connect with you and each other.
Working in a virtual office every day (which, for many employees, means working remotely from their couch at home) can get boring and lonely for employees. It’s easier in a virtual office to feel distant from your business because you could easily be hundreds of kilometres away.
Real human contact in the form of in-person meetups allows your employees to converse, laugh, and engage with their real, human coworkers, helping them to feel more connected to your business.
7. Spark (Healthy) Competitiveness
Finally, don’t forget to spark some healthy competitiveness among your employees.
All employees benefit from encouragement, and everyone likes working for a concrete reward. It will also help your employees engage with each other, which will help your long-term retention.
Even better, businesses can do this in a variety of ways, from bonuses to employee recognition awards to games. An office with a large staff of freelance writers, for example, could offer bonuses for the top five most productive writers each month.
By receiving recognition for work done well, employees will feel valued by the company and will be incentivized to continue doing good work.
If you play your cards right, you can even use this competitiveness to encourage group collaboration.
Need to Increase Productivity?
Do you still need to increase productivity? Your first problem might be that you’re still using a traditional office instead of a virtual one.
Virtual offices have huge potential to revolutionize the way you do business. You just need to take the plunge.
That’s where we come in. Click here to see how we can help you get your virtual office off to a great start.