The workplace changed dramatically overnight as the spread of COVID-19 reached pandemic proportions. Governments declared emergencies worldwide, borders shut down and the majority of businesses sent their workers home—all in a massive effort to stop the contagion.
Suddenly, around the world, employees and their supervisors are scrambling to set up home offices trying to keep their businesses operating remotely. We are all adapting to the new virtual office space that, despite common belief, operate just as efficiently, if not more efficiently, than the more traditional brick-and-mortar space.
Web Geeks, like many businesses in the tech industry, were able to turn out our lights on Erie Street and press the power bar in our virtual office overnight without even a hiccup in our processes and service level. We did this because we’ve long been a Microsoft Cloud Partner for years and have built up a pretty robust file-sharing system with Microsoft Teams.
This communication platform easily allows employees to engage in workplace chat, file sending and storage, and participate in video meetings. Employees are able to have threaded conversations and share files with each other effortlessly, which is all automatically saved. Meaning you’ll never lose a document again. Just watch as your email volume plummets dramatically over night.
Web Geeks has become a leading expert with this platform, and it is used every day in the office as well as our home offices. The simplicity of this virtual office can be easily adopted by any company.
With the use of this system, Web Geeks was able to quickly support our clients without any delays. Now that social distancing has now progressed to mandatory closures, many of our clients are still able to continue to do business because of the infrastructure we had the foresight to put in place.
Teams allows Web Geeks to manage dozens of websites and marketing projects all in one place and makes it easy to organize all projects and files.
“The first day we adopted Teams, we reduced in-office emails by more than 90 per cent,” said Derek Spalding, project manager and creative director at Web Geeks Marketing. “I didn’t receive my first email from our staff until after 4 p.m. that first day. That’s when we knew we had the best time-management system.”
Using their expertise, Web Geeks are helping other set up with Teams – so they too can take advantage of this amazing system to improve the workplace. With this software, people are able to meet with coworkers virtually, which is incredibly cost-effective for businesses today and a easy solution to social distancing has caused so many companies.
Teams has a feature that can deliver scheduled reports from Salesforce and Google Analytics on the schedule you set in place, this makes the exchange of information with your co-workers much easier.
With this system, everyone has full access to tools, such as PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Planner, OneNote, SharePoint, and many more, making it easier to share insights, information, and data quickly.
“It’s difficult to remember how the office operated before we started using Microsoft Teams. It’s a great collaboration tool. Teams is integrated with all of the Microsoft apps, especially SharePoint,” said Chuck Capsis, IT director at Web Geeks. “We use SharePoint to store and share all types of files from documents and graphics to photos and video.”
Tabs can be added to add a wide variety of other third-party apps including Adobe Creative Cloud, MailChimp, GitHub, YouTube and much, much more. Calendars can be incorporated to keep track of important dates.
It can be implemented in a lot of different ways. Some offices set up Teams for each department, like IT, sales, or marketing, while others adopt the Web Geeks approach where we have a separate Team for each client. Then we have different channels for various projects like website design, social media, SEO, or print design.
Conversations related to projects no longer get lost in piles of emails but can be found right in our client Team and channel. Finding that file you worked on weeks ago takes seconds because all you need to know is the client or department for the project and it’s quickly at your fingertips. No more seemingly endless searching through long email chains.
Clients can be invited as guest to participate directly in conversations and work with files which has really helped our workflow. Text chat, voice chat, and even video chat options are available for communication purposes.
Web Geeks has worked closely with Holy Cross Services in Michigan for more than years supporting their marketing, fundraising, IT, and compliance requirements. We provide development, hosting and support for their website, as well as providing domain, subdomain and web security support.
We provide consulting and management support for Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT, which is their fundraising and donor software and database. As well, we have provided them consulting and support with their Compliance Science software, an employee compliance database and management tool.
Virtual offices are a simple solution for all businesses that may not need a physical office space but require office services. Especially in a time like this, many companies both large and small are making the switch to virtual offices. This solution helps with the health and safety of all employees and is a cost-efficient solution.
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