Local Search Engine Marketing Blog

5 Ways to Stay Organized With a Work-from-Home Workplace

Posted in Internet marketing by smallbusinessonlinecoach on January 3, 2012

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I like to share interesting posts and information about internet marketing that read in my Google reader. Let me sort through the junk to bring you the real goods when comes to local internet marketing for small businesses. I thought this was super useful. if you like it be sure to share maybe subscribe to the authors blog: http://smallbizbee.com/index

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With the economic shift from going to work daily at a job site to people finding ways to work from home, one of the solutions for many small business owners has been to hire virtual assistants and other workers to work in virtual office settings. Virtual employees are an excellent way to expand your business and get assistance with the various tasks needed to successfully run a business; from office assistants to sales associates, virtual offices are a way to keep overhead down. However, one of the challenges to this business structure is staying organized and employees on-task.

1. Use Virtual Calendars

Many office programs offer virtual calendars that can be utilized by groups. One way to manage your virtual employees is to schedule tasks and assignment deadlines using this technology. A virtual calendar is one way effectively conduct project management. It allows all parties involved know what their deadlines are and what tasks are needed to complete their assignments on time.

2. Have Regular Staff Meetings

One of the things that many virtual offices suffer from is lack of communication between staff members. Working in a virtual office can be somewhat isolating for staff because they do not have the regular interaction with other staff members. You can use virtual meeting technology that allows your staff to see each other on the screen and use chat functions to ask questions or participate in a meeting agenda. It is also helpful to have regular staff meetings in order to announce upcoming important events. Additionally, virtual staff meetings help make the working environment more “real” for staff members.

3. Assign Deadlines

Many people find it hard to work without hard deadlines and an idea of specific expectations and metrics to determine success. When you assign tasks, include hard deadlines for completion. If it is a large task that you are assigning, assign benchmark milestones that break the assignment into smaller manageable segments.

4. Utilize Email

Email is an excellent method of regular communication for virtual office members. Daily or weekly emails that outline deadlines and tasks are helpful to keep employees on track and aware of tasks and expectations. It is important to monitor email regularly in order to answer questions or address issues that may come up across the work day to help virtual employees with their assignments.

5. Utilize Chat Technology

Another method of communicating with your virtual employees is to utilize chat functions that may be available to you. Have regular office hours scheduled in which you expect your employees to be available for you to talk to and for you to be available to answer any questions they may have or to offer clarification on assignments. Encourage your staff to talk to you in order to avoid misunderstandings or miscommunication that lead to wasted time, effort and money.

Running and working in a virtual office definitely has advantages over the traditional office. In many cases, business owners are able to save money by not having to provide office space and access to technology that virtual staff members provide on their own. While working in a virtual office can provide many benefits of freedom for employees, it is important not to forget that you are still running a business and have certain expectations and needs for professional conduct. Provide venues for staff to communicate with you and each other regularly, be clear about assignments and deadlines and be willing and flexible to address issues that may come up while staff members are completing their assignments.

About the Author: Stacy Gianakura writes for Brainloop, a company specializing in secure document sharing and online collaborative solutions

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