Incredible shifts are taking place in terms of how people conduct business. Most companies are taking advantage of efficiencies provided by the internet and other tech tools , but many have yet to understand and take full advantage of what going virtual truly means.
Opportunities for better productivity and security continue to crop up in ways never before seen, and it’s an exciting time for businesses eager to step out of the brick-and-mortar mold. But before we get into productivity and security, let’s discuss something that’s at the very core of every business that has successfully gone virtual: collaboration.
At the heart of it, virtual offices exist to bypass physical limitations like space and proximity. They are proof positive that teamwork—productive teamwork—can exist outside the four walls of a traditional office space. Practically any business can create a collaborative work environment by putting different technologies to good use.
What are these technologies?
Examples of virtual collaboration tools that form the backbone of virtual offices include:
- Document collaboration and desktop-sharing apps. These tools allow team members to view each other’s work and edit shared documents real-time, which makes the group’s creative process faster, easier, and more transparent. Even team members who aren’t available at the same time as the rest of the group can access and contribute to shared work files—a must for businesses spread out across different time zones.
- Teleconferencing tools. Emails still play a starring role in virtual and traditional office communications, but when it comes to meetings that require real-time face-to-face interaction, teleconferencing tools are the closest thing virtual offices have to a conference table. They make it possible for users to talk business with people from all over the globe as if they’re sitting right across the table from each other.
- Presentation tools. Talking about ideas is one thing, but fleshing them out and presenting them visually makes your message more powerful. Presentation tools like tablet-based whiteboard apps and shareable presentation software provide a new medium through which users can share ideas even if their audience isn’t in the same room.
But going virtual doesn’t end with collaboration and communication. In Part Two, we’ll find out how virtual offices promote productivity with the help of technology. Stay tuned!