Transitioning from a traditional brick-and-mortar office to a virtual one is an excellent way of saving resources and expanding your professional network and flexibility at the same time. However, you will need to know how to streamline this switch to ensure a successful transition. One silver lining that the current COVID-19 pandemic has provided is that it pushed many employees to work from home whenever possible. This, in turn, has laid down the groundwork. Nevertheless, you should also consider the following steps, guidelines, and suggestions so that nothing will be left to chance.
Communicate the Transition to Your Employees
Workplace changes can be quite difficult and unsettling for everyone, particularly for your employees. You will need to make sure that your team is kept up-to-date on the transition by letting them know what to expect from their new office setup. This implies letting them know what practical and emotional changes can occur during the transition and allow them enough time to adjust accordingly. Take the necessary time to consider all the implications that will affect your workforce as a result of an office switch. By taking this conscientious approach, you will stand a better chance of streamlining the transition to a more flexible and affordable virtual office.
Reassess Your Management Style
Even though it was kicked into high gear by the COVID-19 pandemic, telecommuting is expected to continue its proliferation even after this particular outbreak is over. However, working from home will require a different management style than the one used in traditional offices. Many employees will have to juggle their work and personal responsibilities while also sharing their space and time with others in the household. It's important to take these factors into account when transitioning to remote work.
Providing your staff members with clarity and managing expectations on targets will be crucial for their overall performance. Remote work tends to favor a more results-oriented management technique, rather than focusing purely on other productivity metrics such as timeliness, or extra hours worked. It's also a good idea to split your teams into shifts, which will allow more flexibility and the possibility for your employees to develop a sustainable work-life balance.
Remaining Connected With the Team
Colleague-to-colleague socializing helps to build a more trusting, understanding, supportive, mutually-productive, and productive environment. However, while working from home, employees will have far fewer opportunities to engage in social activities with their coworkers. Telecommuters are often excluded from collaborative projects and networking effects that will, in time, have a negative effect on the organization. It's, therefore, advisable that you keep your remote team engaged on a regular basis.
Try moving away from more traditional means of office communication such as email, and start using less formal platforms such as Google Meeting, Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Facebook Workplace, among others. While these tools allow for video conferencing, keep in mind that not everyone may feel comfortable sharing their video from home.
Consider Potential Privacy and Security Issues
When people work from remote locations, they still need to access the company's internal database and resources in order to do their jobs. Yet, accessing this data from external locations can put the information at risk. As such, your staff will need to do so safely and securely, especially when dealing with personal, financial, or, otherwise sensitive information.
It's highly recommended that remote workers do not have administrator privileges unless it's mandatory. Similarly, you should establish some security protocols and policies that will ensure your company is protected against any malicious attacks, ransomware, and data breaches.
With your management and infrastructure in place, the benefits of a virtual office can be realized. If you are interested in switching to a virtual office, know that BSSI Virtual Office provides excellent services at a cost-effective price. For more information, feel free to contact us at your convenience!