In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in Singapore went through a lot of disruption, along with the rest of the world. They had to quickly transition to a remote working environment during Circuit Breaker, leaving offices empty.
While this has typically been a hardship for many small businesses, it has also led to a realization that a business can be successfully run virtually with the right cloud solutions in place. What benefits have businesses seen from having employees work from home?
- Improved productivity
- Fewer personal/sick days taken
- Improved employee morale
- Lower costs for both businesses and employees
It’s estimated that a company can save approximately $22,630 USD (S$30,721) for each full-time employee that works remotely from home. That cost savings, along with the need to keep overhead low in the wake of revenue losses due to the pandemic, have left many businesses wondering… “What if?” What if they moved their operations out of a physical building altogether and just kept running operations remotely? If a business has the opportunity to downsize office space or get rid of it altogether, it can mean a significant reduction in overhead. Today’s technology tools make this possible to do without missing a beat with your operations and how customers perceive you.
Choosing the Right Technology to Run an Office Virtually
Services like virtual office and mail handling make it easy for a company to still have a physical address for a business and meeting room access without having to actually rent an entire office space. Even companies that warehouse and ship out products can use 3rd party warehousing and shipping services to handle that part of their business for them, allowing them to lose their physical office. To make a successful transition means putting together the right technology tools to ensure your business and employees have everything they need to operate effectively and serve customers remotely. Following, are the tools you should put in place to successfully transition from physical to virtual to improve business continuity and reduce costs.
Cloud-based VoIP Phone System
There are most likely companies that you do business with that you have no idea are run completely virtually. When you call, they have a professional phone system with hold music, transfer capability, and more… everything you’d expect from a professional company. VoIP telephony is typically the reason people believe they’re calling a physical office when they’re not. It offers enterprise-class phone features that allow for expert call handling and caller experience while allowing a business to be run virtually by remote employees. For a business to run successfully without a physical office, using a VoIP phone system to power your phone communications and customer perception is a must.
Team Communication Platform
When you can’t congregate in a conference area or near a watercooler to touch base with colleagues, it’s important to have a virtual way to connect to coworkers and supervisors throughout the day. Platforms like Microsoft Teams offer multiple team communication and collaboration features in a single integrated platform that can allow your team to:
- Instant message
- Share files
- Collaborate on documents inside the platform at the same time
- Communicate with status messages, @mentions, and alerts
- Connect via video and audio call in seconds
All-in-One Cloud Productivity Platform
The fewer tools your team has to use in their daily work, the better. When you use one platform that includes several apps inside, you have the ability to automate processes and data security much easier because all tools are integrated natively. They also use a shared database of information, reducing manual tasks spent moving data from one app to another. Look for cloud platforms like Microsoft 365, G Suite, or enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications that incorporate things like inventory, customer service, and accounting in one overarching cloud tool.
Remote IT Management Plan
Just because employee computers are no longer in a single office, doesn’t mean they don’t need the same service, support, and protection. In fact, they need it even more since it’s more difficult for a business owner to know the status of devices spread across a variety of employee home offices. Using a remote IT management plan from Managed IT Asia means that your employee workstations are always supported through proactive maintenance, update/patch management, managed antivirus, and security monitoring. Employees also have the tech support they need, when they need it, so they’re not left struggling with an issue on their own.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
When your team is connecting through multiple home Wi-Fi routers, trying to keep all those routers secure is going to be an impossible task. Instead, secure their internet connections using a business VPN. By having employees connect through a VPN, all their traffic is encrypted and secured, no matter the security of their wireless network. You also gain visibility into connections to your cloud applications by device, making it easier to spot any potential account attacks.
Get Help Making the Switch from Physical to Virtual!
Managed IT Asia can help your Singapore business with the leap from a physical to a virtual office without skipping a beat in productivity or customer care. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. Call +65 6748 8776 or reach us online.
MANAGED IT ASIA, we are an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses across Asia. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!