In the last few weeks, virtual operations have been thrust upon many companies that may not have previously explored the possibilities. Ready or not, almost every organization at some level is virtual by circumstance.
Keep’s bookkeeping service is virtual by intent; we understand the model and have embraced it from the very beginning. We must have the ability to work not only with each other but also with clients located across the country.
In planning for our virtual services model, we carefully thought through a number of things that have made us more productive in what we do and how we do it. However, what really makes it all work is our people.
We asked our team to share some of their thoughts about working in a virtual organization. We’re sure your team is finding their own way, but here’s what works for us:
- Stick to your typical work schedule, including break times.
- Dress in your standard work attire.
- Dedicate “scheduled times” to reach out to teammates to cover open questions.
- Set up a workspace away from the rooms you typically use when you are “home.”
- Remove any distractions or background noises such as the TV or radio.
- Make your emails more comprehensive to reduce the back and forth traffic.
- At the start of each phone call, make it a point to have a short personal conversation, much like when in the office having face-to-face conversations.
- Beware of the kitchen. It is very easy to mindlessly snack when your fully stocked kitchen is now only a few feet away.
- Stretch! When you don’t have to walk to see other coworkers or get things off the printer, it is easy to sit for long periods of time. Your body and your brain need to stretch out every so often.
One other item to consider is facilitating easy communication within your team. We find the Slack platform to be invaluable in this regard, facilitating day-to-day communication around the needs of our clients and our projects on their behalf. We find Slack to be more efficient than email; it allows us to aggregate data, files, and conversations into a single “channel,” as they call it. We’ve also gone as far as using it to replicate office dynamics by creating a channel we call “watercooler” for jokes, office conversations, and miscellany.
Working virtually still means working together, and we do that every day for our clients. If you’d like to discuss Keep’s bookkeeping services or simply talk through the options, please let us know. (We do a great virtual cup of coffee!)