Making The Switch From In-Office to Virtual Services

Posted: 20th November 2020 09:39

With news reports of increased coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, many believe that it won’t be long before the country has to go back on lockdown to get things under control. Non-essential brick and mortar establishments will have to transition back to virtual operations to continue servicing their customers. As adjusting isn’t easy, here are some practical solutions to make the process more manageable. 
Provide Your Team With An Adequate Workspace

The first order of importance is to ensure that your employees can continue working effectively. Start by providing your remote teams with the tools and technology they need to perform their jobs from home. At the very least, every employee needs a suitable desk, chair, and necessary office supplies. They’ll also need a high-quality computer or laptop, high-speed internet, a webcam, earbuds, or headset. 
As each business has different functions and tasks, you’ll need to create a list of tools you’ll need. For instance, if you’re running a virtual law firm, you may need to look into the best platforms for appointment scheduling, client management, and remote depositions
Collaboration Tools
Once your team has well-equipped workspaces, the next step is internal communication, project management, and teamwork. When working on assignments from different locations, remote teams need to be able to collaborate seamlessly. From phone calls and team meetings to document creation and database management, there are several tech tools you can rely on to make their jobs easier to manage. 
For internal communications, emails, VoIP phone lines, chat rooms, and video conferencing software are recommended. Document creation, editing, and storage are best managed using cloud-based software like Google Workspace, where teams can create, edit, file, and share documents, contracts, forms, and other correspondence in real-time. Project management software is ideal for teams to review their tasks, maintain deadlines, and communicate with co-workers, managers, and clients. 
Company Website
Your company website will now serve as your hub for business transactions. Previously, your website served as a platform for your target audience to learn more about your products and services. During the pandemic, however, your site’s function will increase. You’ll need to invest in technologies, plug-ins, and other resources to make it easy for existing and potential clients to contact your business, schedule appointments, and even make online purchases. 
This might include adding a shopping cart, investing in a payment processing service, and installing chatbots and client portals for faster customer service. At the very least, your site needs to properly communicate operational changes so that your customers know how to do business with you during the pandemic. As altering your company website is complicated, hiring a web developer is recommended. They are well-versed in web design and are best equipped to help you ensure your site is not only aesthetically appealing but user-friendly. 
Regular Meetings
You’ll need your team on the same page if you’re going to continue to provide the best services for your customers. As such, managers should conduct regular meetings. An initial meeting should be scheduled to discuss company changes, employee concerns, strategies, and goals. Employees should also be provided with online training and lectures to ensure they’re aware of using the software and keeping client information secure. 
One-on-one meetings are also ideal for managers to support their remote team during this challenging transition. You can learn more about them as individuals, hear about their personal and professional concerns, and then use this information to help ease their struggles for better performance. 
There’s no denying that transitioning from an in-office operation to a virtual one is challenging. Trying to manage your team, meet company goals, and accommodate your existing and potential customers’ needs is no easy feat. Be that as it may, the coronavirus pandemic remains a threat to your business, employees, and the communities you serve. Staying afloat during these trying times essentially means investing in resources like those listed above to help things run smoothly.