Remote work has been an emerging trend with the rise of the gig economy. Now, it could be here to stay. The reason is that the recent pandemic outbreak has brought it into the mainstream faster than ever.
For many companies, remote work has become their new normal, even in the wake of the pandemic – it’ll remain a big part of many employees. According to a survey, roughly 98% of workers said they would like the option to work remotely for the rest of their careers.
Now that remote work has only become more and more popular, virtual offices are rising above the clutter. Many companies have already been investing heavily in remote tools to set up their virtual offices. More than 87% of employers said they anticipate prioritizing tech and digital infrastructure investments to support sustained remote work.
So, if you want to set up your own virtual office, you must have the right tech tools in place to help you connect and work with your remote team, no matter how far the distance is. But, with the endless options of remote working tools out there, how do you pick ones that match your remote working needs? Here’s what you need to know.
1) Project management tools
Regardless of the field of business that you’re in, it’s crucial to plan, execute, and control all aspects of your projects. And since you and your team can’t meet in person to talk about some projects, you need tools that help you manage all the tasks (individual tasks, team projects, etc.) in one place.
Project management tools ensure that each task is completed just on time and balances staff workload for optimal time management. It’s much easier to manage your content calendar, plan explainer video campaigns, or create social media posts using project management tools.
This, in turn, will maintain employees’ productivity so they can contribute to their business success.
2) Video conferencing
Remote working means you won’t be able to gather around the meeting room table to brainstorm ideas or simply have lunch together. Thanks to technology, there are tons of video conferencing tools that you can use to keep in touch with your virtual co-workers seamlessly.
The beauty of video conferencing tools is that you only need an internet connection and a webcam, then virtual meetings can be conducted anywhere in the world. You can see your co-worker’s faces virtually and listen to their voices in real-time. It won’t only help you avoid any miscommunication but also increase engagement. If you want to upgrade your video conferencing setup, consider getting yourself a ring light for video conferencing.
- Zoom Meetings
- Google Meet
3) Instant messaging tools
When it comes to remote work, it’s critical to make sure that everyone is on the same page. That’s the reason why communication tools should be one of the top priorities in the virtual office. Along with video conferencing tools, you’ll need instant messaging tools that can bring all of the employees together and work collectively.
Instant messaging tools can enhance productivity by cutting down on sending emails, virtual meetings, or phone calls to know the projects’ status. Most instant messaging tools also allow you to share files within your organizations.
- Google Hangouts
- Cisco Spark
4) Cloud storage
Unlike working in a real office, you can’t get access to your company’s internal servers. And of course, your own devices’ space surely isn’t enough to store your remote work files. That’s why you need to utilize cloud storage to store all the data you need like Dropbox, Google Drive or One Drive.
Your information and data should be housed in one centralized location, making it easier for everyone to manage files and share data even from different locations with different devices. That’s not all, though. Moving all your files to the cloud can also make all the data stable and secure. The importance of cloud telephony cannot be overemphasized.
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
5) Time management tools
In an office environment, a co-workers’ hard work often poses the greatest “threat” to motivating others to get their tasks done. Meanwhile, in remote work, there’s no co-workers’ presence, so it’s more distracting and challenging to stay productive and manage time. That’s why virtual offices must utilize time management tools.
Time management tools help employees to plan and perform daily tasks within set deadlines. You and your team can seamlessly plan and organize how much time you will spend carrying out certain tasks and projects. This way, the employees should have no problem managing time to get every task done efficiently and effectively.
The bottom line
While a unique opportunity and more flexibility, remote work isn’t without its challenges. Fortunately, hundreds (if not millions) of tech tools can help companies easily set up their virtual offices and still connect and engage with their employees – thanks to the technology.
With the help of those tools mentioned above, you’ll be ready to cultivate a productive and efficient work environment in your virtual office. The key here is to pick the ones that match your company’s budgets, needs, and preferences.