Many business owners, entrepreneurs, and sole traders rely on virtual offices to keep business costs low and enjoy a better work-life balance. Rather than commuting to an office daily, you can work from the comfort of your home while providing the same high-quality products and services your customers expect.
Most people find working from a virtual office space straightforward, but it’s not uncommon to encounter challenges that have you questioning whether it’s the right move for your business. Thankfully, you can set yourself up for virtual success by taking the following actions.
Choose an All-Inclusive Virtual Office Provider
Millions of people now work from home, so customers shouldn’t be surprised to discover that your business doesn’t have a storefront. However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to access your business as if it did.
Choose an all-inclusive virtual office provider that offers a range of features for customer convenience. For example, some of the best virtual office providers offer mail-forwarding, reception services, and prestigious business addresses. They even offer access to hot desks and meeting rooms. This is perfect if you think you may need to meet clients in person but don’t want to bring them to your own home.
Establish Set Office Hours
Working from home with a virtual office can offer the illusion of 24/7 access. Your customers might assume they can receive service at all times of the day and night, and you might be more inclined to work longer hours simply because you don’t have to worry about commuting.
However, for the sake of your mental health and to keep customer expectations in check, it’s important to set firm office hours. Consider aligning them with the opening hours of businesses similar to yours or set hours that work for your unique situation.
Have a Plan for Customer Visits
There might come a time when you need to meet with a customer in-person to discuss a project or take care of their needs. However, you may not feel comfortable welcoming strangers into your home, and they may not feel comfortable meeting you there.
Consider having a plan in place for such situations. For example, you could take advantage of meeting rooms offered by virtual office providers or scout out local cafes and parks that provide quiet seating areas with free internet access.
Upgrade Your Technology
A successful virtual office requires an internet connection at the bare minimum, but you don’t want to spend half your working day troubleshooting IT issues. When you start working remotely, consider upgrading your computer and other technologies to ensure their reliability.
At a minimum, you’ll need fast internet, a high-quality computer with an extra screen, a printer, and an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. It’s also worth talking to your local IT experts to ensure you enjoy minimal downtime and maximum productivity.
Lounging around on your sofa with a laptop can be a fun novelty when you start working from home for the first time. However, that novelty quickly wears off when you experience posture-related aches and pains.
To avoid these issues, set up your home office with everything you need for productive and comfortable work days. The most practical elements include an ergonomic desk and chair, indirect and task lighting, and a house plant for well-being.
Working from a virtual office can be ideal for people who want to avoid commutes and high overheads while still providing standout products and services for their clients. However, don’t underestimate the importance of taking the actions above if you want to improve your chances of success.