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Women Are More Productive in a Virtual Office – Here’s How to Set One Up

Studies have shown that women are more productive at work than men, and that women benefit from having a virtual work environment. Why do women have more success in virtual offices?

Businesses are always looking for the best ways to maximize profitability without losing out on service. They want to be able to attract the best employees, and are also looking to compete in a global marketplace where flexibility and responsiveness are key.

With the cost of real estate always increasing, one important option for creating a responsive and high functioning workplace is a virtual office. Women in particular tend to work longer hours and be more productive in a virtual office space.

What is a virtual office

A virtual office is a business that runs without a centralized location for its work force. Workers may be scattered throughout countries and time zones, yet still work together. They communicate about tasks, socialize about their lives, and create work both independently and together. This can often be done even more seamlessly than in a physical office. The kind of global talent that can be accessed in a virtual office is certainly unattainable in a physical space.

Studies have shown that women are more productive at work than men, and that women benefit from having a virtual work environment.

Why do women have more success in virtual offices?

Flexibility available when you work from home

Women are often expected to be the caretakers in their family, both of any young children and of any elderly parents. It can be difficult to balance doctors’ appointments, unexpected sick days, and the basic ins and outs of being a caretaker with a 9-to-5 job. Many women struggle to maintain high quality careers because of these mixed expectations.

Because of this, more women are looking for careers that offer work from home or flex time options. They are starting businesses that can be run from any location, as long as they have a laptop and a WiFi connection. Businesses that maintain virtual offices may be able to tap into a highly skilled workforce that can’t work a traditional American set of hours.

Change in perception

It’s no secret that women face a significant amount of sexism, both overt and institutional, in the workplace. One benefit of a virtual workplace can be that women may be able to find a better balance. It’s harder for someone to interrupt you when you’re sharing ideas on a message board, and it’s much easier to point back and say “Actually, that idea was mine.” This may help to level the playing field for many women.

How to set up a virtual office

Once you know that a virtual office is right for your business, what’s the next step? Many companies find that setting up a virtual private server is an important part of making sure that everyone has enough access to company resources. Along with this, you’ll have several important decisions to make.

Figure out how employees will socialize and network

One key factor in setting up a virtual office is deciding how you’ll encourage employees to socialize and network. Having a virtual office means that your employees won’t bump into each other in break rooms or hallways and be able to brainstorm together about projects.

You need to create that a virtual space for them to do that. Some companies create private pages or groups on traditional social networking sties, but several companies have designed cloud-based programs that encourage a more work-friendly kind of conversation.

When you use this sort of platform to encourage your employees to talk, you create a better work environment, create more collaboration, and make sure that people have the ability to talk to their peers and their supervisors.

Find software to complete work and organize tasks

Along with socializing, you want to make sure employees are clear on what software will be used to organize tasks and complete work. There may be open source software that can be used across an organization, but more often you will want to find cloud-based programs that everyone can access. Real time collaboration is often key, especially with written work.

Make sure everyone is on the same page about how software is to be used, and consider developing quick cheat sheets on how to get things done. Make these available in a company specific wiki!

Hire employees who are comfortable with remote work

There’s one kind of employee you can’t hire when you’re building a virtual office, and that’s an employee who isn’t comfortable with technology. Virtual offices require employees who can – at least to a certain degree – trouble shoot their own computers and networking, figure out why they can’t login to the website, and follow directions to make sure that things are submitted properly.

Make sure to talk to potential employees about their comfort with technology. Make sure they understand that if they don’t understand how to have a conversation in text, they’ll need to learn how to do so, and quickly. Video meetings and calls are absolutely still a part of working in a virtual office, but the focus will be on text communication and email.

With a little work, a virtual office can reduce your business’s overhead by avoiding the cost of a physical office. It can open up your talent pool to let you find workers who are the absolute best you can afford. And you can work to create something new and exciting that you might not have been able to manage otherwise. You can also create a space that is an ideal working space for women who otherwise might not have access to your company at all.

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