Businesses are increasingly questioning the need for maintaining a physical office. If your office doesn’t serve as a storefront for clients or customers, then your business might benefit moving to a virtual office.
Benefits of Working Remotely
- There can be significant cost savings for the business from transitioning to a virtual office, such as the elimination of lease or rent payments, hydro, gas, insurance, cleaning fees, etc.
- Cost savings can be also brought to the business owners and employees in the form of reduced transportation costs including less gas, parking and insurance expenses. Additionally, many employees report that with their daily commute eliminated, they have increased productivity and improved quality of life.
- Working remotely can give parents with childcare responsibilities the flexibility they need, which may play a crucial part in employee retention.
- Giving employees the ability to work remotely also allows you to hire outside of normal commuting distance. This can be particularly beneficial in locations with skills shortages, as small businesses can widen their nets and work with the most talented individuals, regardless of where they’re based.
- Giving your employees the ability to work from home allows them to operate in a way that suits them. People can be very particular about how and when they like to work. In an office environment, all employees must adapt to the same approach and at home they have much more control.
How Do You Start?
Transitioning to a remote office requires careful planning and consideration. It is very important to involve your team in the planning process and to develop strategies addressing concerns that might arise.
As things don’t always go as planned, it is wise to have a trial period with employees working from home part-time. This will provide an opportunity for staff to become comfortable using new technology, such as video-conferencing, before the final transition date. It will also help identify any potential workflow or communication issues, ensuring that customer or client satisfaction is maintained.