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Tips for Working in a Virtual Office

Article by Liam Murphy

Having to commute from your bedroom to your study sounds like a dream come true, but sometimes working in a virtual office can be more challenging than you might expect.

First of all, you’re on your own. That may sound like a great environment that’s free of distractions but you would be wrong. Just because you’re not getting hassled by a co-worker doesn’t mean you’re not going to be distracted. There are plenty of distractions around your home. There’s the TV, the Playstation, the fridge, your bed, your wife or husband, kids.. the list is endless.

In your virtual office, you also might feel a little isolated. Again, you’re on your own and so you need to be able to seek inspiration from things other than face to face communication to motivate yourself to work. Of course, you can pick up the phone and call someone, or email or message them, but it’s different to being in an office environment.

After you’ve managed to focus and get down to work, you might find it challenging to work with team members that are on different suburbs, countries or continents. You might even need to communicate with people that you’ve never met before. It can be difficult because you’re trying to build a working relationship without that face-to-face contact.

So those are some of the cons; however, the pros far outweigh them. You now have freedom. You can plan your working time around your schedule, you have more time with the family, you’re not wasting time commuting and, of course, you can work in your underwear!

Everyone wants to be successful at what they do regardless of where they work, so here are some tips to working in your virtual office;

1. Set Goals for Yourself

No matter if you’re working for someone else or for yourself in your virtual office, you’re working for a purpose and you need to set goals around your daily activities and long term objectives. If you have goals and objectives in your mind, you’ll have a clear idea of what you need to do day to day to reach those goals.

2. Set Goals for the Team

Once you have your own goals, make sure that you have shared goals between team members. This ensures that you are interacting with them on a regular basis. Make sure that you set a timeframe around these goals so that you have a healthy amount of pressure motivating you to acheive all of your objectives.

3. Have Meetings

Just because you’re working somewhere different to your team members, you still need to build working relationships with them, so you should still have meetings. Just have meetings over the phone or use a web conferencing system. Share your notes or a presentation so that you’re all looking at the same thing and make sure that everyone participates!

4. Set Up a Proper Home Office

Even though you’re working in a virtual office from home, you need an environment that is free of distractions. Don’t mix your home life with your office work, if possible.

5. Work to a Schedule

Even though you have the freedom to work to your own schedule, make sure that you have a proper schedule. It’s all too easy to wake up at noon and try to start working at lunch but that’s not going to get you anywhere fast. If you decide to work to your own office hours then you’re going to work more than if you dilly dally or potter around the house while you’re summoning up the courage to start your daily work activities.

6. Use Technology

Technology has progressed leaps and bounds and if you’re not up with what tools are available for communication, improving efficiency and basically making your life easier, then you need to start looking into it and researching. You can practically do anything online now and it will help you to work smarter (pardon the pun). Also, if you’ve ever used the phrase, “back in the day, computers were as big as a room”, then you’ve already passed retirement age and you should seriously consider retiring as soon as possible.

Hopefully, these tips will help you succeed in your virtual office environment and help you to enjoy your newfound freedom in the meantime.

About the Author

Liam Murphy is the editor of VirtualOfficeSales.com. an online resource dedicated to helping businesses find the right virtual office.

Visitors to VirtualOfficeSales.com can search for specific virtual offices or simply browse the directory.

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