2020 was a revolutionary year for the hottest, most disruptive career trend yet: the shift of the future of work to the virtual realm.
In the UK, sixty percent of the adult population, about 23.9 million Brits, work remotely. Born into a pandemic world, virtual offices quickly morphed into the most welcome seismic shifts in all industries.
Besides the obvious perks of working from home, you may be surprised at the benefits your bottom line will have as well. Working from your virtual office means you will save significant money in overhead costs. Data shows that in the UK, workers saved about £1.1 billion in one year. And as we all know, with lower overheads, higher profits follow.
Here we have five tips to set up a new virtual office.
1. Create a Legitimate Business Entity for a Virtual Office
First impressions count, so you must offer an uber-professional company to the business world.
Every time you send an email or host a meeting, your business brand is visible to all. Below are the top three things to do before you start reaching out to business contacts:
- Spend the money to create a legal business entity. Create a URL with a proprietary name and be sure it’s registered with the UK government. And, if you are finding it hard to find a legitimate office address, choose the best registered office address provider around you.
- Never use your personal email for any communication. Instead, create an email address using your business name URL. Gmail does not cut it.
- Create a dedicated phone line for your business. Do not use your private phone number.
2. Set up your Physical Work Space at Home
Whether you’re setting up a prestigious virtual office in London or working from the suburbs, your remote offices must scream ‘professional’ on every level. When you’re working from home, it’s just like real estate: think location, location, location.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts.
Do: Create a quiet space used solely for your work. Even if you are repurposing a closet, your virtual office’s most important thing is to offer a peaceful, private oasis built for success.
Do: Stick with business hours. Especially since you’re working from home, you need to keep a firm separation between your career and free time. Burnout is a real thing. A survey in Monster reports, “69% of workers are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home during COVID-19, a 35% increase since early May (51%).”
Don’t: Don’t roll out of bed for meetings. Always look professional for your Zoom meetings. Use professional photos for your virtual meeting background.
Don’t: It’s best to host in-person meetings outside of your home. There are numerous professional workspaces in London for under £65 per month. Take advantage of the new shared workspaces, and you’ll look skilled yet cutting-edge in all your meetings.
3. Connectivity is Everything
The internet fuels the hub of your new virtual office. As you know, not all internet connectivity is alike. It’s always best to purchase the internet at the highest speed you can afford. No matter how strong your internet is, you may experience outages that stress your business.
Consider creating your hotspot. Contact your mobile phone service provider and request adding a personal hotspot to your phone. Then, if your connectivity cuts out, simply pair your laptop or other devices to your hotspot.
4. Build a Professional Website
When you set up your proprietary domain name, be sure to take advantage of the often free or reduced costs to add in a landing page or website for your business. Companies like Squarespace, SeekaHost or GoDaddy are excellent resources for your virtual office.
A well-designed, clean site will offer a strong brand to your visitors and help grow your sales. Be sure to format your website to look beautiful on mobile devices since 52.2 percent of all online searches are on mobile phones.
Here are some vital tips on what to include on your website.
- Content may be king, but it must be brief. So, use an exact, crisp copy.
- Stand out in a crowded space – Live Internet Stats reports there are “1.9 billion live websites with over 3.5 billion searches per day.” Make your content engaging.
- Use visuals – Website content featuring photos or videos perform on average about 94 percent better.
- Offer customer service – Potential clients more easily become customers when you offer vital customer service.
5. Float on a Cloud with Your Business Platforms
Cloud computing is essential to virtual offices. You need to store data, access numerous programs, share information, and communicate with colleagues. If you consider which apps you use now, from Dropbox to Google to any business platform, you are already enjoying the convenience of cloud computing.
Using cloud computing means all of your assets are safe, secure, and available anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Since power outages and blackouts do occur, your cloud will keep all your data safe and access it from various devices.
From creating a legitimate business, enjoying a quiet workspace, employing a hotspot, offering a mobile-friendly beautiful website, and relying upon cloud technology, you are on your way to the shortest commute of your life.