How to set up your virtual office

Virtual offices were unfathomable for some of the older generations a few years back. Up until last year, only 35% of Generation Xers worked from home while 62% of millennials took it up as an alternative to the usual office setting. Compare those stats to baby boomers who worked from home at a mere 3%., according to a recent survey.

COVID-10 changed that outdated view as most people now prefer or are forced to work at home. A virtual office offers plenty of flexible options, foremost is the workspace. Another advantage of working from home is you get to save on time in commute to and from work and don’t forget that you get to save money on food as you don’t have to buy from the restaurant when you’re at home. You’ll have a bit of time to prepare your own delicious and nutritious meals in your own kitchen. Most of all here’s my favourite advantage in setting up a virtual office – no office interruptions. No one bothers you asking for help on tasks they can’t do or personal problems that they talk about almost every week.

A virtual office consists of these 3 basics:

  • Business email/address
  • Virtual meeting/conference room
  • Mail management

If you’re new to virtual offices or have just set up one but not sure if you’ve done it right, here is a guide on how to set it up and become productive in no time:

1.Start with setting up your workspace
This is the pillar of having a virtual office, the ability to work anywhere in the world. However, working solely from home is not acceptable to everybody. If you’re one of those who still prefer to go out to establish a separation between home and work, consider co-working spaces that are near your home. They offer shared-working space or a separate room where you can work independently or in teams. They require a small fee to cover for the usual office expenses such as internet, rent, and electricity.

2. Getting the right tools
Working from home requires you to have an efficient way of communicating with clients and coworkers. Email is the usual way of communication but it takes a lot of time. Slack is a great way of keeping in touch and is more real-time than emails. Teams also need to meet a few times to discuss their goals, progress, and results. Zoom and Webex have good video-chat capabilities to get things done.If you want tasks to be scheduled and done on time, there’s Asana  and Trello that can help you manage teams. For file sharing, there is Google docs.

3. Use Cloud-based Data Storage
There’s been recent controversy about the security of data stored in the Cloud but when properly utilised it can save you from losing data due to hard drive failures. Examples of Cloud Storage apps are Dropbox, and Google Drive.

4. Stay organised
Working at home doesn’t mean working less. On the contrary, some people find themselves more productive when working at home. To get nearly all your tasks done on time, a simple solution is to list your planned tasks on a notebook or post-it notes. Sometimes you can get busy and forget to look at your list so you can also use Google Calendar, Asana, Trello or other organizer apps to send you alerts or reminders.

5. Enjoy your time working from anywhere and embrace the virtual revolution
There’s always a new app launched every few weeks or months so review your options. If there is a need to switch in the apps you use, then feel free to do so. Keep on studying and updating so you won’t get left behind in the latest trends for virtual work.Design and decorate your workspace. Add a nice rug at your feet because you’re at home. Make it comfortable for you. Accept that virtual work is real, is here, and will be in the future. We need to be flexible to succeed.

Remote work and virtual offices have changed the way we get things done. Though there is a lack of face-to-face interaction which may add to feelings of isolation as most of us work from home, it still compensates well for our need to keep earning money, stay productive, and keep businesses afloat especially during this time where we need to keep distance from most everyone.

Holly is a freelance lifestyle writer. Her focus now is to help readers update their interior decor. Holly is currently writing for Land of Rugs.