Communications today are drastically different than they were even 15 years ago. E-mail has become a way of life and the only communication method you may have with some people. If you think about how you communicated in business in 1985 as opposed to how you communicate in business now, there's no comparison. You probably used your office phone, and... well, there wasn't a heck of a lot more back then... maybe a telex machine. Shortly after that, however, fax machines began to enter the market, then car phones and e-mail hit the scene. Things changed very quickly after that. As technology advanced, the expectations of the amount of work produced also advanced. Now, we produce a lot more work a lot faster and expectations of higher productivity continue to climb because technology is enabling us to do it faster.
With technology advancing so rapidly and workloads increasing along with it, the desire to work from home and alleviate some of the stress that comes along with commuting, juggling family life, etc. has also become very strong. In that respect, the same technology that took away our freedom is also allowing us more freedom than we've ever experienced ... well, except for back before technology forced us to work so hard.
So, what does that have to do with communications and how we can communicate in a virtual business environment? A large part of work in any business, whether you're a sole proprietor or work for a corporation, is tied into communications of one type or another. If you can communicate effectively you can work more effectively. Take advantage of the technology available for communications and use your new found freedom to take back some of your life. Here's how:
- With a simple cell phone you can go to your child's softball game without fear of missing an important call.
- By using wireless web technology via cell phone or a Personal Digital Assistant, you can go the grocery store while you're waiting on that e-mailed file that needs your approval before it can be submitted.
- With a virtual assistant or readily available office services, you can work from your basement but have a professional address, and a receptionist answering your calls.
- With video conferencing you can communicate face-to-face with clients or co-workers across the country without ever leaving your city.
- With teleconferencing combined with Internet presentation software, you can communicate with several people in real time while you're all viewing the same presentation from locations around the world. Sonexis offers these tools.
- Using web hosted office tools you can perform scheduling, send files, communicate via chat rooms or instant messaging with co-workers, or clients.
- In custom chat rooms or with instant messaging, you can have a discussion with several people from different locations and in situations where you can't necessarily talk.
- Via web conferencing you can hold live interactive seminars, meetings, or other get togethers.
So, as you can see, communications in any office environment, whether virtual or not, are now quite simple and possible from almost anywhere. Don't forget, you also have the old standard, wired, corded, telephone you can use.
For some additional advice and information about working in a virtual environment, visit How Virtual Offices Work