The pandemic shutdowns had several downsides for businesses, which they’re still working their way through. One slight silver lining for some companies is that it gave them a glimpse into what it would be like to operate virtually.
Prior to the pandemic, the thought of moving from a physical office to a completely virtual one run from employee homes, wasn’t really seen as an evolution for a company.
But after the pandemic, it can actually be a move that helps businesses recover from the related economic losses faster by dramatically reducing their overhead. And without sacrificing their operations or growth.
Some big names like Twitter, Shopify, and Slack have already announced that they’re allowing some of their employees to work from home permanently. Small and large companies alike are eyeing a different working environment of the future, where remote work is the norm, and a physical location is only used as needed (e.g. retail).
How much could you save if you didn’t have office rent, utilities, cleaning services, and other physical office costs to pay every month?
With cloud solutions like Microsoft 365, VoIP phone systems, warehouse services, and remote support, running your business entirely virtually may be easier than you think.
Putting the Technology In Place for an “Office-less” Business
Many businesses operate without a physical office and their customers aren’t even aware they’re virtual. They use virtual office services with mail handling for an official business address and 3rd party warehouse services for storing and shipping their products.
Meanwhile, their entire staff works from home, which is proven to increase productivity, morale, and employee retention.
What do you need to have in place to successfully operate without a physical office? Here are the key technologies you should use.
Cloud Productivity Suite with Team Communication
Cloud tools are a must when running your office virtually and the fewer platforms you can use the better. Using one integrated platform, like Microsoft 365 or G Suite, means there are less interfaces for employees to learn, less time-consuming app switching, and better integration.
When your data can move fluidly between cloud apps, it allows you to put in place workflow automations that save time and money.
You also want to ensure the platform includes some key connectivity pieces, including:
- Cloud file storage
- Video conferencing
- Organized team messaging with alerts
- File sharing
- Shared calendars
- Document co-authoring
VoIP Phone System
Moving to a virtual cloud phone system is a must for a virtual office. This one piece of technology is a big reason that some people work with a company for years having no idea that they don’t have a physical office.
When they call, they get a professional phone experience, which may have an auto attendant, dial-by-name directory, and classy hold music. Those are just a few of the many features of VoIP, which is also a fraction of the cost of a fixed line phone system in an office.
VoIP gives everyone their own phone line and gives your team the capability to answer the “main line” and easily transfer calls to a colleague. Just because you don’t have a physical reception desk, doesn’t mean you still can’t have a VoIP receptionist that gives your customers the same great experience.
Remote Managed IT Services
All the computers being used to create and store your business data still need to be secure and maintained just as they are if they’re in a physical office.
Through remote support, it’s easy for us to connect to your team’s devices no matter where they are. We can provide them with ongoing health monitoring, PC maintenance to keep systems fast, and vital updates and antivirus management to ensure devices stay protected from a breach.
Phishing attacks and ransomware infections don’t just stay at the office, they’re just as much of a threat for employees working from home. That makes having remote managed IT services vital for your company’s productivity and security.
VPN for Network Security
One consideration when you leave a physical office for a virtual one is that all your employees are connecting from different home networks with varying levels of security.
You may no longer have the ability to use a physical network firewall for a single network that protects everyone but using a virtual private network (VPN) can fill the gap. It can give you the network protection you need to ensure data isn’t compromised due to a hacked residential router.
A business VPN will allow you to add all your employees to a single business plan and give you certain protections like DNS filtering to block malicious websites. The most important protection is that a VPN encrypts online connections, ensuring data is safe even if the network isn’t secure.
Get Help Upgrading from a Physical to a Virtual Office
If you’ve been considering lowering costs and improving efficiency by ditching your physical office, Cris’s Tech Repair can help! We’ll ensure you have the technology backbone in place to help you make your virtually run business even more successful.
Let’s discuss what your virtual office would look like. Call 561-985-4961 or contact us online.