Small businesses need to take advantage of everything that can make their lives easier. The power and flexibility of mobile devices have made the concept of a standard office that everyone reports to on a regular basis an outdated one. Many businesses have embraced remote workspaces, with employees working on the road, at home, and around the country and across a globe. A number of advances have help facilitate this move away from traditional office spaces and as more companies evolve on shoe string budget, without the necessary funds for renting an office space, these apps and ideas advance and improve.
Below are some of our favourites, whether you’re a website design company, a software development company, or any office-based business, these programs are designed to streamline your processes and save you time and money.
Cloud technology has become the backbone of the remote worker. It enables easy file sharing and editing wherever someone can get an internet signal. There are a number of programs that work across a variety of devices, making it simple to coordinate your work and save it to a central location, regardless of the distance or time difference.
Dropbox – Essentially an online hard disk drive, it allows you to save anything and access it from anywhere.
Google Drive and Docs – The ideal system for creating and editing on the go, Google Drive combines storage with a software suite that includes spreadsheets, documents, and presentations. It also integrates all of the Google offerings, including Hangouts, Gmail, Search, and Calendar, to create a complete experience.
Otixo – Otixo allows users to combine a range of cloud services into one interface. This is particularly useful when collaborating with clients who may use different systems and services.
Working remotely requires a lot of trust and constant communication. There are a number of systems that make it simple to stay in touch with employees and managers, ensuring everyone is up to speed at all times.
Skype – The most well-known, Skype offers both video and voice calls, and is available across phones, tablets, and desktop computers, and a range of operating systems. It allows group calling to bring together the whole team, and works across both Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Google Hangouts – Ideal for quick catch-ups, it is primarily known as an instant message service, however it also offers voice and video calling.
GoToMeeting – GoToMeeting is a virtual boardroom and gives users the power of video conferencing, alongside screen and document sharing. It has a range of plans that allow for meetings with up to 100 participants and can save businesses a fortune in travel and accommodation costs.
Managing workflow remotely can be one of the most difficult aspects of a virtual office. Everyone needs to know the parts of a project they are responsible for, as well as record their progress and ask questions in the context of what has and hasn’t been completed.
Trello – Trello allows users to divide work up into boards and cards. It is ideal for dividing and distributing work and ensures people understand where the team is at in terms of progress. The card based system makes it easy to provide relevant details to each aspect in a simple, easy to follow way.
The more you use it, the easier it becomes
Practice makes perfect and the longer a system is used, the easier it will become to understand and use to its full potential. While implementing new programs can seem like a lot of work and wasted time early on, the benefits once established and running smoothly are innumerable. Embracing a developing system early will make it easier to adapt further down the track as your business grows. Solid systems that work for both your current situation, as well as future developments, will prevent the need for a drastic overhaul when your operational requirements evolve and expand.