Many people ask if we have a physical office in the plans. The short answer is that we already have a Virtual Office. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that revenues can decrease drastically but physical rent can weigh you down like an anchor. While we’re fortunate to provide professional services without the need for a space, why work to pay one’s lovely landlord? So what can you do to build a virtual office?

Who is this for?

  • Startups

  • Technology Businesses

  • Professional Services

Keep reading if you’re…

  • Looking to scale your business remotely

  • Struggling to build a remote work environment

  • Hoping to transition the team to remote work

Tips on Building a Virtual Office

  • Codify the way to remote work: Recognize that remote work is a different way of working. Taking a page from Gitlab’s Remote Manifesto, we created a set of Remote-First Workplace Guidelines to guide our team on the principles of remote work. From working hours to attire, your team can review the guideline as part of the onboarding experience.

  • Holding regular meetings, but virtual: Like any organization, we have a recurring cadence of huddles and townhalls with our teams. Apps like Asana and Woven can keep you organized. And keep it all-business in these meetings with agendas, minutes, & action items.

  • Provide multiple ways to communicate: The less email the better. Amen to that eh? Encourage staff to email, Slack, Zoom, call where appropriate. Integrate Zoom with Slack and Google Calendar to make it easy to hop on and off.

  • Provide training and coaching: Again, remote is a different animal. Train (and coach) your staff on communications. Older workers may need extra TLC with Slack and ironically, younger staff need coaching with talking on the phone. Admittedly, there are new norms to remote work, so we share tips on remote-work topics such as managing burnout and focus.

  • Co-work when needed: Meet at local co-working spaces whenever there’s a need to discuss in-person matters. We willingly pay the price premium for hot-desk day-passes or hourly meeting rooms to carry out partners’ working meetings, staff onboarding, and client meetings.

  • Budget for a virtual office: Spend that rent savings on proper tool such paid Slack & Zoom accounts. Along with co-working spaces & meal deliveries, ensure there is little difference in working from home. Minor tweaks to a home setup such as HD webcam, full-sized keyboard & mouse, and a second monitor will ensure your team has the means to work effectively.

  • Build a virtual office culture: Look at ways to recreate the vibe of a physical office. Using Zapier and Slack, we created an Office Admin bot lovingly named Archie the Admin (Archie’s emoji 🧔). Along with Birthday Bot and Slackbot, this Bot Team keeps the mood cheerful with fun messages and reminders.

  • Organize fun virtual events: Just because we’re virtual doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. The pandemic forced our annual Christmas party to go virtual. Instead of dinner, we organized a family event with a home scavenger hunt & decorating contest and food delivery. Virtual team building will never recreate the in-person experience, but are you going to sit at home waiting while for team culture to build itself?