Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on how to pack for remote work from your RV! In case you missed Part One, please click here!
Whether you’re looking to take a working vacation or set out on a lifetime adventure, working with a virtual office can allow you to collaborate with your team back at headquarters, coordinate with other remote team members, or submit work on your own based on what your employer needs. Last time we started with the laptop and them rolled on to your internet hotspot, a headset for phone calls, and a wireless mouse because touch-pads aren’t great for long-term use.
Let’s continue where we left off!
When you’re in the world – just you, your laptop, and maybe a companion – it’s important to have a plan along with a backup plan in case the first one falls through!
One of the best backup plans for mobile tech is a portable battery. If you’ve been RV adventuring for any length of time, you’re probably already at least passingly familiar with batteries. For this one, make sure to get something that can charge from the wall and has the right ports to recharge your laptop and phone. Ideally, this is a tool that can come with you if the RV goes in for repairs.
One of the greatest things that has happened in the last decade is consumer-sized and priced solar panels. Some portable battery models can more than happily connect to a mini solar panel and begin recharging off the endless power of the sun.
The great thing about the solar panel is that even if all your electronics died at once (laptop, hotspot, battery, etc) you can always refill the battery from sunlight then refill the others with the same method. The efficiency of this process will depend on the power generation capabilities of your panels and battery.
You may be happy with your laptop, and you should be, but it’s not perfect for everything. Checking instructions when doing roadside repairs, reading in bed, and taking pictures of the stars are all better done with a tablet. If your remote job sometimes results in presentations and social events, the tablet is also a superior device for note taking and presentations depending on whether or not you’re leading a meeting.
You never know when something might go just a little bit wrong. From a crack in your laptop case to swapping out the battery with something cooler, you can always be prepared with the right repair kit.
Laptops are made to be last while being hauled around, but they’re still machines and sometimes something comes loose. For the laptop, bring small screwdrivers, spare computer screws, a set of needle nose pliers, q-tips, Windex, and a razor blade. For the occasional sharp metal corner, bring clean gauze packets, rubbing alcohol, Neosporin, and band-aids.
Sometimes all your other technology and internet-based communication may fail and a perfectly normal cellphone will be the most useful tool. Minimal cell phone plans are quite affordable, so while you’re on the road, it’s always a good idea to have a real phone on you.
In fact, a phone with a real phone plan is currently the most reliable way to call 911 in an emergency, though VOIP and Skype can fill in almost everywhere else. Make sure to keep a cell phone with an active plan and it’s charger with you at all times, just in case.
The final question for remote work from your RV becomes where to put all the stuff you need to be an excellent professional on-the-go lifestylist. You need an incredibly sturdy and reliable laptop bag capable of carrying everything from your actual laptop down to the tiny repair kit in its own pocket. Many people also keep a backup pen and pad of paper along with things like minty gum, extra power cables, and perhaps even a comb.
Armed to the teeth with amazing tech, you are now ready to embark on an amazing sequence of adventures made possible through your internet lifestyle choices. Remote work from your RV is a great experience, especially when you never have to ‘go home’ because your virtual office is on the cloud.
For more great tips and tricks for remote work or to find the right virtual office solution for you, contact us today!
As the digital age rolls smoothly into the mobile age, the ability to let employees work from home or out in the field is an incredible freedom for modern businesses and professionals alike. In fact, it’s so freeing that many companies don’t bother to lease a central office at all because even the business coordination team and top management can telecommute with ease. However, no matter how much fun running an almost purely remote business can be, the legal and functional idea of a business still includes a physical location and an address with a mailbox from which your business can be officially reached.
The good news is that you don’t have to blow your finely tuned budget on office space you’ll barely use due to the convenient existence of virtual offices. A virtual office is a commercial office that shares space between several remote companies. Not only does it provide an address and mailbox, but a virtual office can also give you a place to hold special meetings with clients and host large-team training sessions in the conference rooms.
The question is, which virtual office space is right for you? We have the best tips to help you pick the perfect virtual office space.
When you’re looking for a virtual office space, don’t assume that no one will visit the office just because your business is mostly remote. Clients may want to meet with you somewhere official and it’s not out of the question that you’ll want to call in current employees or new hires for onboarding and training. This means that you want your virtual office to be somewhere that’s easy for everyone to drive to in a relatively central and accessible location.
In fact, your employees might wind up coming in more often than you realize if your virtual office has a full suite of office techs like high-speed internet or enormous office printers capable of scanning and printing complex packets of paperwork. To ensure that your employees will have access to any office infrastructure they need on the rare occasion when all their resources aren’t at home, choose a virtual office that provides additional value through available tech.
Considering that it’s likely that you will be spending some time in the offices and conference rooms of your virtual office, you’ll want to actually visit and take a look at the facilities before you commit to an office space. Not only do you want nice spacious areas for training, you may also be looking for at least one private, elegantly decorated conference room that will be perfect for impressing clients who want to meet ‘in your office’.
Speaking of decor, how your virtual offices are decorated and the style they embody matters more than you may realize. Each company has a style and you should be looking for a virtual office space decorated in a way that suits your business and brand. If you’re a very serious business, look for serious, somber, and traditional decor to enhance that for visiting clients. If you’re more light-hearted and personable as a brand, you may want space that is more trendy or laid back.
Finally, there’s more to a virtual office space than even the mailbox, printers, or conference rooms. There’s also the perks they offer you and your employees for being valuable members and clients. Some virtual offices offer catered conferences and training sessions, some will help you with accounting, and some will even make and maintain a website for you! Check out the perks available at each virtual office you’re considering and see what works best for your company.
Choosing a virtual office is about more than just an address and a place to pick up your business mail. It’s a central location, a meeting place, and somewhere you can connect with other mostly remote businesses in your area.
For more information about finding the right virtual office for your business, please contact us today!
To create a thriving company many pieces of the puzzle must come together. Is your product or service in high demand and can you make a profit off it? What does your competition look like and how big of a threat are they?
Most importantly, what about your talented team of employees? They are your most expensive and valuable asset. It’s through their hard work that your company can grow and thrive. You want them to remain motivated to excel in their positions, which means you need to be a company that has a purpose employees can stand behind. They need to have the autonomy to shine to help your company thrive. So, how does a business owner bring these traits to a company?
Many companies have a set of core values and a mission statement, but the business’s purpose is different. The purpose is what you are doing for your customer; something like making their life easier in some way or solving a pain point that they have. It differs from the mission or core values because – and we can’t stress this enough – it’s not about you! It’s about your customer.
Autonomy is employee focused. It is allowing employees to have control over their work, whether that means giving them the choice of the projects they choose to take on or deciding if they want to start working virtually. In many organizations, autonomy is ‘reserved’ for senior employees. Junior associates can become unmotivated and leave when they feel a lack of autonomy in their position. This type of turnover is costly; you want to avoid it at all costs.
Hiring a team that backs your purpose will ensure that everyone is literally on the same team. An employee that cannot get behind the purpose of the company is not one that will be motivated to grow with the organization. Employees that agree with the business’s purpose will be far more intrinsically motivated to excel in their positions.
To grow your business, you need a talented group of people to reach that goal. If your style of management is “I sign their paychecks, so they will do what I say”, you will have above average turnover. You may struggle to find good help to replace them, too!
Your relationship with your employees should not be transactional. They are valuable members of the team and you need to convey that with your words and actions.
A clear and positive purpose will garner a loyal group of repeat customers. If some of the customers are also your employees you’ve created an excellent purpose. This will naturally lead to increased profits as well.
Fast company has some great examples of high and low purpose motivation companies. Companies like KIND and Seventh Generation have a high purpose motivation. Their products are not the least expensive on the market, however, they still have a loyal following because customers agree with their purpose. Companies like Monsanto and Marlboro have low purpose motivation. They are less likely to have loyal customers that support them.
In order for your team to feel that they have autonomy in the workplace, they need to know that you value their contributions. They don’t want to feel like a powerless cog in the wheel. Some employees may value a virtual workspace so they can work from home. That way they aren’t stressed out dealing with rush hour traffic and can be home earlier with their family. Some may value additional vacation time after meeting a big deadline. Others want their pick of the projects they can take on. Get a feel for what makes them feel valued so they can feel in control of their work. This will increase your team’s motivation, too!
Creating autonomy, purpose, and motivation within your company can reap numerous rewards. It allows your business to grow a loyal following and it grants you the ability hire and keep top talent.
Purpose and autonomy are valuable tools at the office. At WorkSocial our goal is to help you make your dream workspace a reality. Contact us today!
It might not sound practical to apply game theory to the competitive business world. However, if you listen to renowned author and speaker Simon Sinek at a 2016 TED Talk, you might look at things differently.
When he spoke about how game theory applies to wars, he gave numerous analogies on how “win” and “lose” become more ambiguous. In his explanation, he also equates this to the business world on a large and small scale.
Let’s look a little closer at what Sinek spoke about and his exploration of a business’s typical finite life. You can apply this to your own business and the landlord that owns your building.
In Sinek’s compelling TED Talk, he correlates the business world to game theory by noting how many companies think on a finite level. In other words, many of them stay within definable limits, meaning they’re always out to win.
When they go up against a business that has a long-term vision, the finite businesses often end up losing in the end. They either go out of business or merge with another company to stay alive.
Using game theory to look at business as a competitive game tells you a lot about approaches to business and how many business owners often limit their thinking for growth.
Despite Sinek also equating this to war, you can certainly look at business competitiveness today like an ongoing battle.
Another interesting analogy between business and war comes from Sinek’s explanation of the old Soviet-Afghan War in the early 1970s. In this scenario, the Carter Administration defined America’s interests with a finite policy, though unwittingly creating an infinite strategy at the same time.
The latter occurred when the administration came up with an option to drain Russia of resources over time so the war would eventually stop.
Over a period of years, the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan, ending a war that had lasting consequences.
These type of scenarios sometimes occur by happenstance in businesses. Perhaps your own business has had those moments where you created a marketing strategy that played out a competitor’s resources over time.
With a unique vision for your company, you can become the infinite player that frustrates the competitor staying within the finite box.
So how do you make this occur on a scientific level as well through the use of technology?
To better understand Simek’s ideas as it applies to business, you can look at finite and infinite businesses as values vs. interests.
He notes that when a business identifies its values, they become an infinite business. If they pay too much attention to their interests, they stay finite.
A better way to put this is in businesses asking “what” questions, e.g. “What can we do to solve a particular problem?” When these questions become too restricting, it places a business back into a perpetual finite category.
Maintaining your values means keeping your massive transformative purpose you formed when starting your business.
If you have to pay rent to a landlord in your office building, you’re perhaps stuck adhering to their own rules that stifle business innovation.
It may mean having to adhere to using outdated technologies or working in limited spaces. Obviously, none of these inspire your team to stay productive.
You might want to give the above TED Talk to your landlord to show them how much they’ve blocked your push to innovate.
Here at WorkSocial, we provide tools like virtual offices, co-working opportunities, conference rooms, and training venues. We encourage companies like yours to finally abandon the linear way of doing business and adopt an infinite mindset.
Contact us to learn more about how we eliminate work constraint and scarce thinking in your company.
Trying to keep up with the digital revolution is often an arduous process when you’re overly busy thinking keeping up with ordinary business tasks. No doubt you try to prepare for paradigm shifts and technological change but perpetually find yourself falling behind.
An interesting book written in 2014 by Salim Ismail helps put this in better context so you can understand what the future holds. Titled “Exponential Organizations“, the book became a major hit in the business community and brought forth an abbreviated use of the term: ExO.
You frequently see exponential organizations simply described as companies revolutionizing themselves through the use of technology.
Take a look at what this means and how you’ll know if your company can become an ExO.
We highly recommend reading Salim’s book cover to cover, but completely understanding an exponential organization requires a comparison to what’s occurring today. A typical organization of the last 100 years is one that’s built with hierarchies and focused mostly on ownership. It’s also designed to operate on stability and predictability.
Living in the world today collides with the above organizational structure. Salim notes that today’s business world is full of abundance and exponential technologies.
It’s going to require more adapting and bravely diving into a new organizational structure to keep up with technologies on the horizon.
So how do you go about this using a slightly psychological process? In Salim’s book, he uses a left and right brain analogy to help you get there.
No doubt you’ve heard about Massive Transformative Purpose before from associates and competitors. Often abbreviated MTP, it’s the foundation behind exponential organizations.
In the above book, you’ll see MTP reinvented through the prism of a left and right brain construct. The left brain side has the acronym “IDEAS”, and the right brain has the acronym “SCALE.”:
To simplify this further, the left brain deals with order, control, and stability. The right brain deals with creativity, growth, and uncertainty.
Both of these work in concert to create your MTP, or your higher aspirational purpose. What kind of technologies should you start focusing on, though, to make your higher purpose easier to reach?
Take it from Salim Ismail himself with a quote from his book:
“Exponential organizations are the future of commerce, non-profits, and even government. It is the only model that can keep up — and take advantage of — the ever-accelerating pace of technology-driven change that defines our time.”
With this truly definitive way to describe an ExO, the type of technologies you use determines how you prepare for the future.
You’ll find many industry experts mentioning big data as a big part of exponential organizations. No doubt you already know this based on how big data brings more efficient business responses.
The same goes with technologies and methodologies that help eliminate bureaucratic roadblocks. This means using lean approaches where you rid yourself of all wasteful resources to bring more innovation.
It pays to read up on the lean method and why it’s become a big component to making exponential organizations move forward.
You can also look at exponential organizations as allowing employees to work on their own time. The way to accomplish this is to provide virtual offices, including co-working opportunities. Adding conference rooms and training venues also adds more to improving employee performance and making them feel valued.
Using these tools puts you on the path toward the future, even if you need to find reliable technology providers to make it work. Those of you wanting to become an ExO with these tools can do so by contacting us here at WorkSocial.
We work closely with Salim Ismail’s teams, and we’ll help you to finally achieve your massive transformative purpose. Our own MTP is to always bring happiness and wellness into work spaces like yours!
It is a place of business that only exists in cyberspace. An office configuration of this type allows business owners and employees to work from anywhere using technology such as laptops, cell phones and Internet access.
Such an office can provide significant savings and flexibility compared to renting a traditional office space. Meetings can be done through teleconferences and videoconferences, and documents can be transmitted electronically. Some companies even offer office services of this nature to give virtual offices the prestige associated with physical offices, such as an important sound address, a professional answering service, and even the occasional rental of office space and meeting rooms conferences.
If the business has employees, each employee can work from the place that is most convenient for him or her, and the business is not limited to hiring employees who live locally. The agreement of this office, therefore, expands the work options for employees and the hiring options for companies.
There are creative ways in which you can reap the benefits of a physical office space.
If you run a startup, or a business with only a few employees, then you know the importance of ensuring that your expenses are low.
A non-traditional office helps you to continue your usual business operations without additional expenses.
Here are some reasons why you might want to consider a virtual structure for your team’s office.
Most offices that are virtual are based on worker performance, rather than hours spent in the chair. This really ends up encouraging workers to be more efficient, rather than postponing their work. Since the time and tension spent on displacement is eliminated, there is more time to work. This leads to greater productivity and better job skills. It will also mean that extra time is spent on work. When you have a physical office a large part of the time is spent on helping to keep employees on task. When employees are responsible for their own productivity they can design their own schedules that help improve productivity. The typical nine to five program does not work for everyone. When one focuses on the welfare and happiness of employees, it shows that productivity also begins to increase. If your worker still requires access to an office space on occasion, there is always the option of getting a space rented only for eventualities.
How much do you spend on rent each month? By using a virtual shared office space that will prevent you from paying a high rent, the costs of public services, or any other cost that come with having a physical space, are reduced or eliminated. Best of all, then you can pass these savings to your customers, or pay your employees more to attract higher caliber talent. When you can reduce your overall overload, you can allow yourself to innovate in other areas of your business. Keeping your costs to a minimum will allow you to be more productive and efficient, while giving you the ability to innovate on the fly.
When you run a physical office, there are a ton of other costs that you are going to incur. The costs of installing and maintaining the office can be incredibly expensive. For example, you have to buy desks and office supplies for the entire office. You have to provide the office, store the kitchen, pay for the insurance, and buy any other supply that your office requires to operate. This will require a very large upfront investment, as well as the monthly maintenance and replacement costs of equipment that you will eventually incur. With an office like this, you have the possibility for workers to work from home, or use a shared office that is already fully furnished.
Imagine if half of the workers in the world’s population were workers in a virtually office. There would be less need for travel and that would mean fewer vehicles on the road, which means less pollution and a purer environment. Less fuel consumption means less burden on the economy and less expenses for the worker of any kind. But that only happens with virtual offices.
In modern times, an important factor for the growing stress among the working population is attributed to the imbalance in a work-life pattern. People are always busy with work, they do not have much time to spend with family or for themselves. Maintaining a balance between work and life is also necessary for the overall development of an organization. But giving more adaptability around the circumstances have disadvantages of the balance of working life.
Virtual office workers tend to stick to work and have less chance of leaving work for more enjoyable activities than a traditional employee. This improves the retention rate of the office or organization. Virtual office workers spend time with their family and can have a great balance between work and life, which results in greater enthusiasm and joy at work. As a result, less staff turnover (which also affects expenses).
Virtual office workers no longer have to stick to a regular monotonous routine and do not have to spend much time traveling back and forth from work, which means they remain stress free and therefore do not fall or report ill often. This means a decrease in license applications and increased work production, in addition to reducing physical work tools such as stationery items. You do not need to deliver the printed report to your boss, if working from a distance you can send it by email.
An organization that has a considerable number of virtual office workers, can save a good part of their office space that they can put to better use. What do you think of a special room to receive customers? Or maybe a space for specific meetings. Or, to expand your business and add more staff.
Speaking of adding more staff … the company can now hire more efficient and capable candidates from even faraway places. Therefore, they get a broader fund of resources to choose from.
This is no surprise. A considerable amount of time is saved in the form of constant meetings since there are only urgent or weekly meetings or once a day with a virtual office worker, a lot of time is saved in mundane matters like these, which can be effectively put into a productive departure. Usually, the delays are due to small time leaks: greeting on arrival, review pending, give orders, pick up the papers (or even look for papers between the papers), go for coffee, and so on.
Small businesses and startups often do not have the resources to rent a place as an office. If you work with a team of virtual office workers, then this problem is solved and can lead to a good functioning of the company, which can lead to its success. That is, we all want the company to be huge and powerful, but something starts. And in this case, it is about saving costs, as we have already mentioned. Intelligent decisions lead to reaching goals sooner and n accelerated a constant growth.
Relocation is a major problem with regular employees, but with workers in an office of this type, this problem does not arise at all and the office can be located or moved anywhere, employees do not change.
Those who succeed as workers in this style of work are those who can handle work independently and can work intelligently to meet deadlines. Not everyone can work under this scheme. But it’s ideal! So you can debug anyone who is not being productive. Both, the workers and you favors them.
In cases of certain jobs such as bookkeeping or writing work, if a person is found to have special talents but is physically disabled, the organization can designate them as virtual office workers and can earn their virtual help. Therefore, this system helps maintain diversity.
We live in a world where advanced technology allows us the opportunity to communicate, work, and flourish remotely. The ability to work from home or manage a successful business without a physical office is a fantastic development in the business world because it comes with some unexpected benefits. Reducing overhead and increasing productivity are two of these incredible perks, but there are also a few downfalls to doing away with a physical space altogether.
While all companies – both large and small – strive to run a lean and efficient business, the lack of a physical office building isn’t without its drawbacks. For the most critical of business meetings, having a physical space in which to convene can yield significant benefits in your company’s perceived level of professionalism with clients. It can also contribute to more fluid communication between employees and the establishment of a “company culture.”
Enter virtual office providers like WorkSocial. WorkSocial is leading the charge in shared office spaces by providing customized packages that give your business access to a remote work environment with private meeting rooms, printing, secure access, and reception.
Check out some of the great benefits of utilizing a virtual office provider below!
Virtual offices are far less expensive than owning or renting a permanent space. Without the many costs typically associated with brick-and-mortar businesses (utilities, hardware, insurance, etc.) your budget can be redirected to focus on what’s most important to your business. Do you want to invest in your team or spend more on marketing and branding? A virtual office can help you meet those goals by freeing up a big chunk of your budget.
Yes, working in a fully virtual office offers you the freedom to work from home or from the nearest Starbucks, but having access to a remote work environment increases the ways in which you can conduct your business. It creates a physical presence for your company, is supported by its own staff, and gives employees the flexibility to come and go as necessary. Work anywhere, anytime, and still have access to a beautiful conference room!
Customer engagement is a major part of many businesses. WorkSocial can provide you with a remote work environment to meet with your clients in-person or provide answering services that will ensure your calls are handled professionally. In any case, your business will benefit from the ability to connect with clients in a professional setting whenever you need.
Studies have revealed that businesses using virtual offices are experiencing increased productivity. By providing answering services and basic administrative functions WorkSocial can help you and your staff focus on important projects and primary business matters. Also, because many employees report being happier in a remote work environment you can ensure that greater personal progress will be made while a central location keeps your whole team connected.
Because your office is not confined to an established, permanent space you actually have a greater opportunity to expand your business. You do not have to worry about maximum occupancy when most of your staff works remotely and so you can feel free to hire and grow without feeling limited by your physical resources. Virtual office solutions like those offered by WorkSocial can promote growth in your company because it helps you free up your resources to pursue continued growth.
Selecting a virtual office comes with a host of benefits, that much is certain. There is the cost-saving angle to consider for sure, and it will save a lot of resources no matter what stage the business is at. A virtual office also provides employees with a sense of flexibility and ease and provides innumerable facilities needed to run a business smoothly.
Virtual offices are a great solution for both large and small businesses and are an easy solution for many businesses that would like to have office facilities but are still in their growth phases.
It is important to select something that will both fit and accommodate your needs in both the short-term and long-term. Here are the most important factors to consider when selecting a virtual office.
This one might sound incredibly simplistic, but it bears repeating because it is very important to be thorough in the selection process. Oftentimes many will end up selecting a virtual office without doing any research because they need it quickly, but that ends up becoming more costly in the long run.
If a virtual office does not have all the facilities you need to operate your business, keep other options in mind. If you anticipate rapid expansion, ensure that facilities are in place and that the virtual office can keep up with your growth.
The earlier point directly ties with this one; how flexible is your virtual office solution? Do they nickel and dime for each change, or are they able to accommodate your needs and provide solutions immediately? And what sort of approach are they taking? Is it more one-size-fits-all or tailored to specific needs?
Each method has its pros and cons, so it’s important to work out what will be the best solution for you. If it has standardized offerings, then it takes out the headache of needing custom solutions. However, if your business is niche or is growing, then you will likely need a virtual office that offers flexibility in handling them.
What exactly do you need from your virtual office, and how is this solution fitting into that? Some people opt for basic virtual offices with services they do not actually need while others struggle to find the right solution. This usually boils down to being unable to articulate exactly what the virtual office is being used for early on in the process.
Of course, it’s difficult to anticipate every single need, but you will likely have a fair idea. Will there be lots of conference calls, meetings, and client visits, or is it more for employees to have a central base? This will dictate what your usability needs will be, so it ‘s good to go in with a clear idea.
Are there other tenants and virtual office holders that they are managing? Are those tenants satisfied with their packages and offerings? Do not be afraid to ask for references and success stories, and even consider contacting others using the virtual office! It is better to have an understanding of who you might be sharing space with early on, and get a sense of their workload – especially since shared workplaces might be involved.
It is also important to determine the scale and size of their shared workplaces and whether that’s even an option you will really need. It is definitely great to have other businesses around to grow and learn from, but it might also prove to be a distraction or a nuisance.
At the end of the day, a virtual office is your home base and a centralized place for employees. So for a mutually beneficial business relationship, it is integral that your missions align and that you have similar viewpoints.
Is the virtual office service focused on customer success and happiness? Is their work informed by a higher purpose of customer satisfaction or are they simply just uninvolved in it all once they have handed you the reins to the office? There are different approaches to managing customers in the long-run and short-run – what is it theirs and does that align with your own viewpoints?
To get started with the virtual office process and learn more about how we provide purpose and convenience for a great office experience, please contact us.