Virtual workplace

Setting Up the Virtual Workplace: How to Take Small Businesses to the Next Level

Remote work has been simplified with advanced technology. Here’s how field service companies can leverage these digital tools to set up virtual workplaces.


The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the world in unprecedented ways. With the world shutting down for months and restrictions on free movement in place, we had to come up with innovative ideas to carry on our daily lives. As a result, the world has seen various new trends in this “new normal” that we could not even imagine a few years ago. The virtual workplace is certainly one of them.

Having said that, remote collaboration is common practice for field service businesses. Therefore, it could be fairly assumed that service companies can benefit from virtual workplaces as well. If that is the case, then how do these companies proceed to achieve this goal? And how does that help them grow their business?

This is what this article is all about. Here, you would find why the issue of the virtual workplace is relevant for small businesses, and how to set it up within a limited budget. Here, you will also find some exciting ideas that could help you increase your profits, which is something you are surely interested in.

Introducing New Technologies for Virtual Workplace

There is absolutely no doubt that the global pandemic led businesses all over the world to face extreme challenges. To overcome this, companies everywhere embraced digital transformation and shifted their usual working patterns to remote work. This idea of employees “working from home” enabled organizations to avoid major setbacks that could impact business negatively. As such, this trend has kept the wheel running.

This was no easy task. But technology made it possible. In today’s time, we have access to a wide array of digital tools that enable us to communicate with each other regardless of our location and collaborate to carry on our usual business. Schools held online classes, doctors offered video/teleconsultations, and we even ordered groceries online. Similarly, organizations made arrangements for their employees to work from home. They met over Zoom calls or worked through Microsoft Teams and thus, continued to perform their usual duties.

Even if the crises are almost over, organizations have quickly realized the benefits of remote collaboration in growing productivity as well as adding flexibility and more agility to the processes. And this is why they are looking for more ways to fortify their virtual workplaces and leverage the change for further benefits.

The Relevance of Virtual Workplace in Field Service Management

While remote collaboration is a novel concept for many sectors, it has been a common practice in field service management. Given the nature of their work, service delivery companies always had to facilitate communication and collaboration between their field technicians and the back office. So, is the issue of virtual workplace relevant at all in regard to the service industry?

The answer is yes. It is even more important for small service companies. For other businesses, remote collaboration is a choice at best, or an advantage in some cases. But for field service, it is a necessity, since they cannot perform their jobs within the four walls of an office. They must send technicians to the job site and need them to carry out the work. At the same time, they need to provide the assigned technicians with necessary information, such as job details, previous maintenance reports, and customer address. Besides, it is important to keep a close eye on the job progress so that the customers can be updated accordingly. As you can guess from this, remote work is a necessity for such companies, as is effective remote collaboration.  Therefore, the industry is surely going to benefit from the advanced tools and technologies being introduced to improve remote collaboration and communication.

More precisely, the success of small service businesses depends on the collaboration of their field team and the office. Therefore, if they can set up this virtual workplace using these advanced digital tools, it is going to boost their productivity, performance, and most importantly, profitability.

Necessary Tools to Set Up Virtual Workplace for Small Businesses

With this understanding, we are now faced with the obvious question: How do small businesses set up an efficient virtual workplace? To elaborate, which digital tools are necessary to establish a strong infrastructure for a successful remote collaboration?

Well, the tools are available in plenty. They come with an abundance of fascinating features and lucrative deals as well. At the same time, small businesses are restricted with a limited budget for investing in new technology. This makes the choice more difficult.

So, if you are running a small field service business and looking for some software solutions that could help you with the task, just go with whatever is indispensable.

If you want to set up a virtual workplace for your service company, here are the tools you must have:

Business Phone System

The foundation of successful remote collaboration is communication. If you cannot reach your colleagues and share information when required, you will never reach your goal no matter how hard you work. Popular video calling apps may work for organizations with usual desk jobs, but they won’t work for field service where people are always on the move. This is why you need a business phone system.

A business phone system is essentially a communication system where an organization uses multiple phones interconnected to perform its tasks. Other than talking over the phone, the system also allows for features like conference calling (audio/video), call accounting and metering, shared and private messaging service, headset support, and integration with other apps or software solutions. It can be described as a hands-free communication tool available as both web and mobile applications. With an efficient business phone system, one can also record calls, share contact lists with their respective teams, and generate call transcripts.

Customer Relationship Management  (CRM) Software

Just like team collaboration, keeping in touch with the customers is essential to running a successful service business. To this end, you need an organized system to store all your customer information, keep track of your interactions, and manage their accounts efficiently. But if you are working from a virtual workplace, you don’t have any cabinets to store all this paperwork. This is exactly what CRM software does for your business, but digitally.

This cutting-edge business tool organizes your customer information on cloud storage so that you can access them from anywhere, anytime. You can also share this information with your team regardless of your location, ensuring that technicians have all the necessary information to get the job done right on the very first go. Plus, with this database at your disposal, you don’t have to worry about losing valuable data. They are safe and secure, almost for eternity.

Accounting Software

Accounting and bookkeeping are perhaps the most crucial tasks to maintain profitability in business. But if you are doing this manually, there is a lot of room for human error. This is why accounting software solutions have become the most popular digital tool for businesses everywhere.

Accounting software helps businesses keep track of all financial transactions and reduce bookkeeping mistakes. It increases accuracy, reduces overall costs, speeds up completion, simplifies tax filing, and provides comprehensive reports on overall financial performance to make better business decisions.

Even if you are working from a physical office, you need accounting software to run your business. But if you want to set up your virtual workplace, it becomes a necessity, for you cannot carry around the huge paperwork for the entire financial year and expect it to be in order.

Field Service Management Software

Now, the most important tool for service companies to deliver seamless field service: Field service management software. If you want to run a smooth service business and give your field technicians the best possible support, you cannot do without this cutting-edge digital tool.

FSM software is a smart software solution designed to enable service businesses to take control of every moving part of the operation. It essentially streamlines and standardizes business processes by automating tasks. But the best part of this software solution is that you can do all this from anywhere. You can access it from smartphones or other handheld devices as well, monitoring and controlling your business on the go. With FSM software at your disposal, you can perform tasks like scheduling and dispatching, estimating, time-tracking, real-time monitoring, invoicing, and more.

More importantly, almost every field service software solution comes with an integrated mobile app for field technicians. Through this app, they can report time, accept job orders, update work status, access customer information, as well as create and send invoices directly to the customer upon completion of the job order. Therefore, having a field management app for both the technicians and the managers/business owners is like carrying the office in their pockets. What better example of a virtual workplace could be than this one?

Final Words

To sum up, new technology has transformed the future of field service management. With cutting-edge tools, managers and business owners can easily connect with their field technicians and provide them with the necessary support. For service businesses, where remote collaboration is a necessity, these software solutions have simplified the entire process that was unimaginable just a few years ago. Besides, by introducing these tools in their daily operations, small businesses are now able to improve their team performance, enhance customer experience, increase productivity, and earn more profit.

So, if you own a service business, don't waste your valuable time anymore. Set up your virtual workplace and facilitate the best possible remote collaboration with these digital tools. In no time, you will see your business going to the next level and reaching heights that you have only dreamed of so far.

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