More and more companies are opting for non-traditional types of office arrangements. This includes a growing number of virtual offices which can be advantageous to both employees and small business owners. However, along with the numerous benefits, virtual offices can sometimes present unique challenges that are not seen in traditional office settings. A few proactive steps can help tip the scales and make working out of a virtual office beneficial for everyone involved.
1. Dedicated Work Space
It can be very tempting to simply work from your kitchen table or your couch when you have a virtual office. While this may be a fine arrangement for some people, most of the time a dedicated workspace is needed to maintain a decent level of productivity. If you’re lucky enough to have a whole room to dedicate to an office, great! If not, you can always set aside a small corner of another room or even turn a large closet into a dedicated workspace. This can allow you to focus and stay on task when it’s time to work and also to be completely disconnected from work once it’s time to be “home.”
2. Encourage Community
A virtual office can easily lead to isolation if you don’t actively seek out community. Collaboration with your coworkers or employees is essential to maintain productivity and is also an integral part of most successful companies. Fostering community through Skype, email, and teleconferencing is great way to encourage collaboration and to make sure that you and your coworkers or employees are all on the same page and working towards the same goal.
3. Stay Organized
Staying organized is essential to any working environment but is particularly important when you work from a virtual office. There are so many distractions that are added when you work from home, whether it’s your family, the internet, or simply not having anyone looking over your shoulder. It’s a good idea to make to-do lists and give yourself time limits and deadlines if you don’t have already have them. This will ensure that you’re being as productive as possible even if you’re slightly more distracted in your home environment.
4. Dress the Part
Although it might be tempting to stay in PJs or yoga pants all day, getting dressed as if you’re heading into the office will allow you to be much more productive throughout the day. When you spend a little extra time to make yourself presentable, not only will you be more productive, but you’ll also be prepared for that last minute videoconference without having to sprint to your bedroom to change into a halfway decent dress shirt.
Working from a virtual office has numerous benefits for both businesses and employees. It’s a unique environment and has different potential problems that may not occur in a traditional office setting. However, if you follow these few tips you can be sure that you and your employees will continue to be productive no matter what type of office environment you employ.