Coworking spaces are all the rage right now. Companies are looking for cost effective ways to house coworkers in separate locations. Consultants are finding coworking spaces a great place to network and get clients. Individuals workers are finding similar communities that are a “hive” of activity for small businesses. Google for Work (Google Apps) can facilitate that true virtual office.
Here are 5 tips to utilize Google Apps for your Virtual Office:
- Use hangouts to engage with coworkers. Instant Message (IM) allows you to get quick answers when you are not in the same office. Conversations go from IM to voice to video to screen share. Screen sharing from your desk is better than looking over someone’s shoulder!
- Store company documents in Google Drive. Think of Google Drive like a virtual filing cabinet. Store important templates and shared documents in a centralized location with easy access. Google Docs within Google Drive offers easy collaboration for the team. Google Docs and Drive allow you to get input into important documents from the team.
- Create Google Forms to capture and consolidate information. Use forms to capture information such as an HR form. You can require users to login and have the appropriate drop down lists. Forms save time by aggregating all input from the different people in one Google sheet automatically.
- Google Sites can be great place to consolidate all of your Google Apps information for your team in one place. Set up a company page site from easy to use templates to quickly gather things like company directories, shared calendars and Google Drive documents. Don’t forget to make sure Google Drive sharing rights are setup properly.
- Use Google Groups as distribution lists for the company. Need to send an email to the marketing team? Create a Google group so that your team can type one email address for the entire team (ie firstname.lastname@example.org). Don’t forget to manage your distribution list as people come and go.
Using Google Apps for your virtual office is a cost effective way to manage your team. It is important to build your processes around your environment and effectively communicate those out to your team. It is also important to make sure that your processes grow with your team. Your future depends on your ability to grow and manage your business as well as your expenses to reach a profitable and efficient business.
Question: How do you maximize your team’s ability to collaborate?
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Jamie Lin loves to share her expertise in providing creative cloud solutions with business owners and organizations that would love to be more collaborative, flexible and productive. If you would like to engage Jamie as the speaker at your next meeting, workshop or event, contact her at email@example.com