Companies that never before dreamed of being run virtually, found themselves with empty offices and employees telecommuting due to COVID-19. During the height of the stay-at-home orders, approximately 88% of organizations were being run with remote employees.
During this time cloud technology has shone and showed just how important it is. From cloud productivity suites to video conferencing, and even remote computer support, business owners in Framingham, MA and the rest of the world found that running a company virtually just required having the right tech tools in place.
This realization has led many business owners to ask themselves, whether they should just move permanently from a physical to a virtual office.
Rental for a 1,500 S.F. office space in Boston can range between an average of $3,000 to $7,500 per month, depending on location. That’s a lot of saved overhead for a business, not to mention the costs for utilities, internet, furniture, etc. if you choose to go virtual.
If you’ve been considering closing your physical office all together and running your company completely virtually, there are certain key technologies you need to have in place for a successful transition.
VoIP Phone System
It’s imperative to have a cloud-based VoIP phone system if you want to continue projecting a professional image to customers while running your office from employee homes.
93% of customers contact businesses for support by phone.
VoIP systems, like PTG Voice can enhance customer service and your business reputation by offering a professional calling experience. VoIP phone systems offer all the enterprise-class “bells and whistles” while giving you the ability to answer your phone lines from anywhere and any device.
Some typical features include:
- Auto attendant
- Dial-by-name directory
- Call transfer and forwarding
- Hold music
- Ring groups
- Automatic voicemail transcription
Team Video Communication/Collaboration Platform
When your team can’t connect in person by walking into an office, it’s important that you bring that same connection to them online. Otherwise, you’ll have employees feeling disconnected and potential drops in productivity.
A platform like Microsoft Teams can offer a virtual office space in place of a physical one, allowing employees to connect to each other easily via messaging, file sharing, and voice/video calling. You can also use the video conferencing feature of the app for meetings with people outside your business.
Microsoft Teams grew from 44 million active daily users to 75 million in just a month between March and April 2020, showing just how vital a team collaboration platform is for a remote workforce.
ERP or Other Cloud Productivity Suite
One mistake that many companies make when choosing cloud technology is to do it piecemeal, adding one app here and another app there. They end up with too many different applications for employees to juggle that don’t all integrate well.
You want to streamline your cloud technology when you’re relying on it to run your business virtually. This means choosing large platforms that hold several integrated applications inside.
Depending upon your business type, this may be an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application that includes features like accounting, CRM, and human resources. Or it may be a platform like Microsoft 365 that includes the Office programs along with cloud storage, team collaboration and other apps.
Remote Computer Support, Security & Backup
You need to continue protecting your data and devices when they’re no longer located in a single physical office. Those computers are still susceptible to malware infections, data breaches, and breakdowns if not properly maintained.
Using a remote support plan like Cloud Care Pro can provide your team with the technology support they need to stay productive and secure.
This remote support plan includes features such as:
- Dedicated support that is 1 click away
- Daily automated cloud backup
- Managed security updates
- Antivirus & Anti-malware
- Proactive monitoring 24/7/365
Business Virtual Private Network (VPN)
To secure connections to your business data and cloud accounts, it’s important to have employees connect through a VPN. VPN’s will automatically encrypt connections, reducing the risk of a breach due to an unsecure or hacked Wi-Fi.
Many VPNs also give you additional protections like DNS filtering to block malicious phishing sites. They’ll also give you visibility into which devices are accessing your cloud accounts.
Virtual Office Address
One more type of support that you’ll want to have in place is a virtual office address. These services allow you to have a physical street address (rather than P.O. Box) to use as your business address, which adds a layer of security between your home and business.
These services will also typically offer mail handling services, where you can view incoming mail online and then have it sent to you or pick it up. They’ll also often offer meeting and conference room rental by the hour should you need to meet a customer or want to have an in-person team meeting.
Get Help from Pro Tech Guy for Your Move to a Completely Virtual Office
It’s possible to run a productive and growing business these days without any physical office space at all, but you need to have the right technology structure in place.
Contact us today for a consultation. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.