Every day, more and more bookkeeping firms are taking their business virtual. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work. Many companies are finding that remote work has its advantages. Going virtual allows you to widen your talent pool, avoid the potentially high costs of renting and maintaining a physical office, and maybe even increase your productivity! If you’ve been hesitating to make the switch OR have recently decided to go remote and have been finding the change difficult, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered with the four tips for moving into your virtual office!
Communication is key
When you aren’t seeing your co-workers every day, finding new direct avenues for communication while you work is vital. While email is always useful, you’ll want to pick an app that will enable quick communication between you and your staff when questions arise. Slack, Microsoft Teams, Client Hub, and Liscio all allow you to send short, quick messages to your team – like texting, but for businesses! Additionally, you’ll need to figure out where you want to hold virtual meetings. Apps like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet are all viable options. Stick to a schedule with virtual meetings just like you would in-person meetings. Keeping to a routine is still important for productivity in your virtual workplace.
Choose the right tech
Having the right software can make or break remote firms. In order for all members of your staff to access important documents and work from home, everything must be digitized and stored someplace safe. Time tracking, delegating work, scheduling meetings, and accessing digital client files are all things that should be on your mind when choosing the right tech stack for your remote practice. Take the time to try out different software to find the best fit for your team. Most companies – including us! – offer free trials to potential customers that you can take advantage of.
Separate your workspace from your living space
While it can be tempting to do all your work from bed when working from home, our productivity sometimes depends on the cultivation of a good environment. If you don’t have a home office, make sure you have a dedicated physical space for work. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to create a space you’ll be happy to hold meetings and scour over paperwork in. Invest in a plant or some quirky desk decor just to make yourself smile! Remember, this separation goes both ways. If you get into the habit of answering emails from bed, then every space in your home will be a workspace. It’s important to be able to decompress and step away from the office – even when your office isn’t far from the dinner table!
Don’t neglect work culture
The biggest risk businesses encounter when they take their work virtual is losing important aspects of human connection. Building strong relationships with coworkers is a necessary part of successful practice management. Having those connections helps us all be happier with our work. Don’t take random chit-chat, lunch hour shenanigans, and office parties for granted. Instead, find a way to incorporate these workplace values of friendship and camaraderie into your virtual work culture. Don’t be afraid to chat about silly things over your communication apps or begin virtual meetings by catching up with one another. We all know what they say about all and work and no play! Also, be sure to prioritize synchronous meetings whenever you can. Seeing faces over Zoom rather than simply emailing work back and forth can make a big difference.
Taking your bookkeeping business virtual can enhance productivity and allow you to widen both your talent and client pools. While there may be certain challenges with remote work, the benefits are numerous. As long as you remain people-focused (even as you become more reliant on technology) virtual bookkeeping can be productive and rewarding.