October 2nd, 2019 by admin
One of the IT projects we are doing more and more frequently over the past few years is creating a virtual office setup for organizations. They do this to either augment and support their current office staff so they can work from home on occasion or during off-hours as-needed or they may have some 100% remote employees who need to feel completely part of the mix and have access to all the same tools and data that everyone else has. There are many perks to maintaining a virtually accessible office setup; let's review the facts and dive into how ICX works with businesses to customize their virtual office infrastructure.
While there are many benefits for businesses, including happier employees who take less time off and reduced office overhead expenses, the biggest benefit of a virtual office infrastructure seems to be the on-going continuity and improved productivity that can be achieved by having all the same files, software and communication tools available in the office or away. A two-year study by Stanford University found that there was an impressive increase in work productivity among people who worked from home. The study of 500 people who worked both remotely and in a traditional setting concluded that productivity among home-based workers was equal to a full day's work each week.
Increase Employee Retention
The same Stanford University researchers concluded that people who worked remotely were less likely to leave the company for other employment. The study found there was an overall 50% decrease in attrition among home-based workers.
Decreases Sick Days and Employee Time Off Requests
Some employers question whether the sick day is becoming passé, given that remote workers seldom "call in sick." But the upside for home workers is that they may be less likely to become sick in the first place since they’re not exposed to germs from a shared office space. The federal Centers for Disease Control recommends staying home if you're sick, so remote workers are already ahead of the game.
Reduce Office Overhead
In 2018, there was an estimated $5 billion in cost savings for U.S. companies with employees who worked remotely—and that's just counting part-time workers. In general, embracing remote work options can help employers reduce or eliminate overhead costs, including real estate and operating expenses. The average real estate savings for employers with full-time remote workers is $10,000 per employee every year, according to stats from PGI News.
So how does a remote office work?
Creating a virtual office starts by deploying secure cloud-based software to house your file infrastructure for easy file-sharing and collaboration, Microsoft Office 365 email, and a VoIP phone solution where everyone can still have a custom extension and voicemail box that rings through to their mobile or home phone and is managed via an app like RingCentral. Another bonus is that Office 365 offers unlimited storage, so it can scale to meet SMB business needs easily.
This basic setup will give remote employees the ability to take their laptops to and from the office and while traveling and stay completely up-to-date with everything the team at the home office is doing. You can also deploy a collaboration tool for meetings such as Webex or GotoMeeting and a chat function like Webex Teams or Slack. Together you gain a comprehensive and available anywhere setup that empowers your management teams and employees all the way down the line to work from anywhere.
If you’re ready to virtualize your office infrastructure to give your employees more flexibility, give us a call for a custom quote! We’d love to help your team save money and work more productively.