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Top 7 Tools for a Smart Virtual Office

Kevin Nouse - Freelance software developer

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With the digital world steadily claiming its blissful realm in almost every aspect of life and business, virtual office operations are getting more and more relevant today. As per the figures revealed by a recent survey, 62% of small business entrepreneurs, 55% of medium business owners and 69% of large corporations are inclined towards virtual operational facilities. While starting my own business a while ago, I discovered that you have some real skilled people scattered all over the globe & a virtual office enables you to tap those talents across the border, without any of us needed to cross the regional boundaries physically. However, managing the remote offices & employees call for an excellent set of smart tools. I am listing below the top 7 tools for a virtual office that would not only ensure a smart office management but would also assure the best impression of your office.

  1. Cloud Communication apps
Easy communication is fundamental to a functional workplace and since I had most of my staff working remotely, I had to be extra cautious here. After a good discussion with seasoned virtual office experts, I came to know about some really useful cloud-based communication apps. These apps function like chat rooms assuring real-time communication with your employees (irrespective of their location) & also come up with in-built features especially designed for business. Employees log in to the app as they start working for the day, greet the colleagues & keep each other updated about their operations throughout the day, much like what happens in any land-based office where colleagues sit together. A few good options here would be Slack, Flowdock etc.
  1. Registered office address in London
One of my main reasons to go virtual with my office was the rocketing rental fees for commercial space in London. But then again, to ensure a perfect corporate impression, one needs to have a registered office address in the city. In the words of Robert Carter, the new Business Manager of Your Virtual Office London – "A registered office address renders a credibility quotient to your company as consumers do not usually trust businesses without a registered office address. This is why, it's vital to have the registered address for your virtual office even when your employees work remotely."
  1. Collaboration tools
You will often have a group of employees working together in one project but collaboration gets tough when they are not physically in the same place. However, not to worry as you have cloud collaboration tools today where your entire remote workforce would be able to check what other team members have done with the project and then proceed on accordingly. A few examples here would be Github, Evernote etc.
  1. Web conferencing aides
Regular meetings and presentations are necessary to ensure successful office operation. But when you have your workers working remotely and you can't meet them physically for real-time face-to-face discussions, there are web conferencing aides to go for. In this case, you would have to download desktop sharing app in your computer & then you will send a specific relevant link to the meeting participants. As soon as they would click on your sent link, they would be able to join you in the live web conference for an easy face to face virtual discussion.
  1. Cloud storage programs
In a typical office, your files are stored in your office shelves from where your employees working in-house can easily access the data. But what to do in a virtual office where you have employees scattered remotely? Well, you have the cloud storage programs today which will store your files online on cloud and assure their accession to your employees anytime, anywhere, irrespective of their location. Your chosen option must assure automatic data synchronization to guarantee most updated file versions. Besides, as experts suggested, I am always particular about encrypted solutions only for optimum security of my virtual files.
  1. Virtual call answering service
Immediate response to your client calls is really important to ensure content clients. But in my virtual office, I saved myself from the huge cost of maintaining an in-house customer care team and rather opted for virtual call answering service. As the business owner yourself, you might not always be available for taking the calls but the virtual call answering companies will always have somebody dedicated to talk to your clients.
  1. Cloud online backup
The cloud online backup tools would enable you to store contents of several computers on one single virtual account & assure updated backup for each employee through one single dashboard. Your hard drive might crash down but the cloud solution would assure complete security for your data, despite any hazard.

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