For years the image of working has been linked to a physical office. But with the progress of technology and changing requirements of the workforce, Virtual Offices are becoming more and more mainstream. These days your office is wherever you are.
So you sign up to your new Virtual Office in London, and have started impressing clients with your new prime address. But how do you manage your business, employees and clients from this ‘virtual’ environment?
Here’s some of our favourite tools that help making remote working manageable:
Once the new kid on the block. Now the old faithful that everyone turns to - simply because it just works (most of the time!). Great for calls both local and international, conference calls, screen sharing and messaging. And being so widely adopted, you can’t really go wrong with it. A staple in any home office arsenal.
When you want to keep in touch quickly and easily with colleagues working remotely. Or if you need a quick answer from a colleague, instant messaging can be much more effective than traditional emails. There’s lots of providers these days. On a Mac you can iMessage, on Google you can Gchat. You can now even use WhatsApp from your desktop. Skype is also widely used for instant messaging. GroupMe is also a new player gaining a lot of popularity.
Google Hangouts are getting better and better and becoming a serious contender for Skype’s dominance. Users can jump into calls on the laptops or phones, and it easily highlights who is talking so you can feel more ‘in the room’.
Great for keeping one set of documents and files in the one location for access by all your team from any computer. Files are instantly saved across phone, tablet and computer in the cloud. It works well. Box.com is also good and the pro version allows files to be ‘locked’ for more security.
Great for projects where you need to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Or even if you just need a good way to store the latest version of a document. Plus you get access to the previous versions should you need to check back and restore anything you might have deleted by accident.
The new kid on the block, promising to ‘change the way you communicate’. Slack allows teams to collaborate and communicate with everything in one place, instantly searchable, wherever you are. Multiple forms of file sharing and messaging in one app allowing you to keep track of all projects in the one place. A relatively new way of doing things, but could quite easily be the future of team communication.
So there you have it, our tips on some of the best tools to use at the moment, especially if you use a virtual setup for your business. Use some of the above and you'll never be out of touch. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, we'll leave that up to you!