Like most small businesses, you likely think about reducing overhead and increasing productivity often. Today more than ever it’s important for small businesses to make the most of our investments. Our focus needs to be on building productive assets rather than stacking up needless expenses. There are so many expenditures in our businesses that are out of our control such as healthcare, etc.
And that makes it even more important to be wise with what we can control.
Unless you need physical office or warehouse space to house your product, there is no need to maintain the overhead expense associated with too much real estate. Productivity technologies, software, and communications make it easier to expand our teams beyond our office walls and local geographical area.
Our teams can be built of people who possess the right qualifications for a position, regardless of their location. As a business owner, this is incredible news. No longer are we limited to the pool of applicants who are able walk in our door and fill out an application. This means that we can:
- Build more productive teams
- Create more value
- Boost our revenues and bottom line
“In the near future, everyone will have a virtual screen so they can obtain all of the information they need to work anytime and anywhere, while maintaining continual contact with their colleagues,” says author Richard Lieberman.
Will your company be there too, or will you be living in the past?
The immense costs of maintaining a full, buzzing physical office can cause financial damage, IT headaches, loss of productivity and other expenses that can now be significantly minimized (and in many cases avoided altogether). Physical office space is an expense. In most cases, your office space cannot generate revenue for your company. Employees, however, are the most important asset in your business. They are the face of your company, and your voice to the world. Shouldn’t you make it a priority to find the best people for your team?
There is no need for you to pay for square footage when you could be paying for productivity.[Tweet “There is no need for you to pay for square footage when you could be paying for productivity.”]
The savings involved in offering flexibility and location independence to your current employees, and to have a wider range of options when recruiting new talent, are practically indisputable for many industries.
However, you may have some concerns with the transition, such as:
- Cost and time associated with transitioning habits and technology from the physical office
- Absence of daily human interaction and limitations of not being able to hold in-person meetings
- Obstacles to developing relationships, conducting training, and having control over your employees’ productivity and time
- Loss of access to your internal network
Concerns over the management, communications and technology roadblocks of making this transition in your business are common but easily surmountable.
- Encourage everyone to embrace the cloud (Google Docs, Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, Asana, VoIP) for easy and effective file-sharing, communications and project management.
- Communication is more important than ever. Schedule videoconferencing and teleconferencing on a regular basis so the human aspect of the physical office is not entirely lost
- Be clear and detailed about expectations around procedures, communications and availability.
Even your phone communications can be optimized to be either partially or entirely virtual – this will keep employees and customers closely linked to the main office with a variety of options:
- Automated call routing and extension dialing
- Designated “ring groups” (such as to an accounting department vs. sales)
- Call queue/representative setups
VoIP features such as these make it very easy to connect your team members, regardless of geographic location.
A business owner has a necessary responsibility to hire the right people for each position, and not limiting yourself to local people that can fill office space will add a whole new dimension of talent, quality and revenue your company to your company.
Making simple and affordable changes right off the bat will make it well worth the transition to virtual work. Even schools are starting to understand this – and the next generation of workers are likely to expect you to, as well.