Successfully managing multiple work spaces can be an incredibly difficult yet rewarding task. Whether your organisation is regional, national or international; if you and your team are not fully equipped to deal with the issues that will no doubt arise, you’ll find your business, and in turn your clientele, suffering because of it.
Disregarding admin, logistics and delivery issues, most of the complications that come with managing multiple offices stem from a lack of communication. The following problems are caused when clear lines of communication are not opened:
Global businesses, whose offices span across multiple countries, will have a whole new slew of issues to deal with, including different time zones, language barriers and cultural associations.
It’s important to foster a collaborative atmosphere with each office. Keep in regular phone contact with each location, and look for all available opportunities to have meetings with the other branch managers, whether it’s face to face or through online meeting software and VoIP phones.
Invest in superfast fibre broadband in order to ensure that your connection is as strong as possible. We’ll look at this in more detail in a moment.
Send internal newsletters every month sharing relative industry information with your employees so they are all kept abreast of recent changes.
We already mentioned superfast fibre broadband above, but it cannot be stressed enough just how integral a strong internet connection is to the successful running of multiple offices.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) provide secure site-to-site connections over the internet, which when used alongside a fast broadband connection, will allow each of your locations to transfer information at incredible speeds. A VPN connection is also far less expensive to run than their traditional LAN counterparts, making them the ideal solution for small to medium sized businesses.
Investing in VoIP technology will give you complete management over all the calls coming into your business, allowing you to forward calls to employees wherever they are, monitor calls for training purposes and increase customer satisfaction.
The more offices you own, the more that can go wrong. Don’t look at this as a warning though, instead think of it as a reminder to be prepared. Hire an onsite IT technician in each location in order to deal with issues as they arise, or alternatively, organise remote support to have solutions delivered to you when need them wherever you are.
It’s down to your company to set up a reliable and secure service to exchange and save information. This is why cloud computing is an invaluable resource for businesses of all sizes.
A physical document storage infrastructure can be costly and limited despite taking up valuable space. Cloud-based services give businesses the affordable flexibility they need to get them off the ground running, as they have unlimited storage capabilities, that can be expanded when needed.
Cloud-based services provide businesses with powerful features, including remote monitoring, e-mail archiving, data backup, anti-spam tools and desktop management tools. This toolset will keep your systems completely up to date and allow your employees to effortlessly share and collaborate on work from wherever in the world they are.
When combined with a VoIP phone system, the cloud also provides businesses with a sure-fire disaster recovery plan, allowing documents and files to be accessed from anywhere with any computer that’s connected to your network. Thus meaning work can continue from wherever your employees are.
Of course the success of cloud-based systems rest entirely on the strength of your internet connection, which is by far the most empowering tool when it comes to communication.
The principles that apply to a single office can be expanded to apply to multiple workplaces. Processes have to be standardised in order to promote a steady and consistent workflow.
Develop common practise maps, the blueprints to your business methods so to speak, in order to inform and instruct your employees how properly to go about their work. This means that regardless of where your workspace is based, your clients will receive the same high quality of service.
It’s not just your business’s processes which need to be mirrored in each of your offices; you’ve also got to consider the technology, resources and systems used. Each of your workspaces needs to be fully equipped to deal with a continuous workflow, and to enable seamless communication between workplaces.
That being said, this standardisation shouldn’t stifle creativity. Your offices will no doubt be heavily influenced by their location, and this is perfectly acceptable. Each individual place’s unique properties should be recognised, but not to such an extent that your service isn’t recognisable to your clients.
Separate offices need to embrace different cultures and work around the different time zones, establishing key connections from their locations that can help inform them of the appropriate customs, laws and common practises.
These are just a few quick tips for managing multiple workspaces, and we’d love to hear yours. Tell us your tips, advice or thoughts on the piece in the comments section below.
Office Buildings via BigStock
Cloud Computing via BigStock