If you’re like most small business owners, you rely on your virtual office to keep operations running smoothly. But if you’re not getting the results you want, it’s time to reevaluate your setup. Here are five reasons your virtual office may not be working for you.
You Don’t Have The Right Tools
It is true that there are pitfalls and disadvantages to virtual offices. But, a lack of appropriate tools can also fail your virtual office as well. With the right tools, you will increase the chance of having a successful virtual office.
Here are five pitfalls if your virtual office doesn’t have any proper technological tools:
1. Communication Problems
If you’re working away from your co-workers for a long period of time, communication might be an issue since it’s difficult to catch up with them and know what’s going on and what they’ve been doing without communicating frequently through calls or other IM conversations.
2. More Expenses
If you think having a virtual office gives you the chance to save on monthly rental fees, think again since there are other additional work expenses that you need to prepare yourself. You will need your own telephone service either through direct dialing or through Voice over IP (VOIP) instead of using their landline phone service, fax services, and broadband internet connection at home. This means another investment on your part. Even with wireless connections like 3G or Wi-Fi, these limit your mobility especially if you want to go out of town for business purposes.
3. Poor Communication Skills
The lack of face-to-face communication can make the quality of the projects suffer because employees don’t have the vocal and body cues to know what’s really going on with their work. If internal communications are not being managed properly it gets lost in translation on chat apps like Slack and Whatsapp.
4. More Gadgets
If you’re not working in the office, naturally you’ll need other technological tools at home or wherever you are to be able to do your job well. You will also need a separate telephone line depending on the needs of your business especially if there are clients who prefer talking through phone lines instead of communicating via IMs or emails. This means more money out of pocket for you since these tools cost additional. As mentioned, this can also limit your mobility too if you want to go out of town for business purposes so it’s best that your virtual office should have everything ready beforehand.
5. You’re Not Using The Right Technology
A virtual office is a perfect solution for people who are constantly on the go, making it nearly impossible to commute into an actual office. With telecommuting becoming more and more popular, the demand for these types of offices has risen dramatically. Virtual offices offer desks that can be used anytime, phones that keep employees connected whether they’re in their home office or halfway across the world, and mail services that ensure important documents don’t get lost along the way. However, without utilizing technology properly, your virtual office may not function as well as you’d like it to.
Your virtual office is supposed to give you a lot of freedom. You can work from home, or travel, and still have the benefits of being part of a local business community. But some hidden fees in contracts might hold back people from taking advantage of all that’s offered through a virtual office provider.
Hidden fees can make good service unaffordable. Most people think about how much they’re going to save by working with a virtual office versus renting actual office space when they’re considering which type of workplace makes the most sense for their business. In many cases though, the real savings come once you add up all the expenses involved in working out of an actual office.
For example, if you hire an assistant to come into the office with you every day, then that’s money that could be used for rent. If you have to pay for overtime because someone has to stay late at night to meet with clients, then take a guess where some of those extra costs are going. One of the things people find out about virtual offices very quickly is how affordable they are when compared with other options.
Virtual offices typically don’t include extras like free use of conference rooms and fax machines. The idea behind many virtual office plans is that it’s still cheaper than renting space in an actual office building even if you use none of the services included in the plan (like free secretarial support or business
Lack Of Team Dynamics
A virtual office isn’t working when there’s no “team” dynamic. The people who join such arrangements need to know that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. They want to feel like they belong and that their contributions are meaningful to the company as well as personally beneficial.
When an arrangement’s structure is too loose or disorganized, it can reduce time-efficiency and employee productivity (not to mention morale). Disorganization and lack of communication result in mistakes and wasted resources, which can cause clients to jump ship for greener pastures.
An environment without clear guidelines also tends to let down employees — especially those who work hard enough to excel in face-to-face settings — and that kind of frustration is difficult to overcome.
Teamwork is key in every type of business, regardless of whether employees are based in different locations: Without it, a virtual office can quickly become ineffective and fall apart under its own weight.
Difficulty In Managing Accountability
The biggest problem faced by a virtual office is that it lacks accountability. With physical offices, employees come to the office on time and do their work; there is hardly any place for excuses.
Imagine you are on a business trip and meant to send your latest report back before the morning. If something happens along the way (for instance, you get stuck in traffic or your laptop’s battery dies) and you fail to deliver, someone will be there at the office who can take care of this for you. But if you work remotely, the chances of completing an important task within the given deadline are slimmer.
What makes working from home great also contributes to its downfall – because there isn’t anyone watching over your shoulder telling you to get on with your tasks.
As a business owner who is trying to get the most from your virtual office, you’ve probably realized that it can be difficult. You may have even considered giving up on this type of work environment altogether because of these challenges. But don’t worry! If any of what we’ve discussed has resonated with you or if you would like more information about virtual offices, give us a call today!
Are You Ready to Find Your New Virtual Office for Your Business?
Victory Workspace has been serving professionals in the Walnut Creek, California area for over ten years, and even after the Covid 19 Shelter in Place is over we are here for you. We offer Virtual Offices, a large variety of coworking spaces, short-term office rentals, meeting rooms, and a welcoming event space with plenty of free parking for you or your guests. All that while providing our clients with daily opportunities to network with other business-minded professionals just like you! To learn more, set up your free tour or inquire about which one of our services might be right for you, reach out to one of our amazing Community Guides at Victory Workspace for more information.