Softwares for creating a Virtual Office

Would you like to work from home and see your kid when they are actually kids. Or would you rather commute to office, wasting some carbon fueled oil, and time in traffic.

 

Here are some softwares for creating a virtual office from home. if your organization does not have a work from home policy you can refer to the advantages section

 

Advantages of A Virtual Office

1) Zero company overheads – Especially leased rent space that sells by the foot.Save building costs rather than retrench employees.

2) Greater happiness for employees – Most employees prefer it. It also acts as a retention barrier.

3) Lower Energy costs – Employees are more energy conscious while working from home computers rather than offices with bright lighting.

4) Lower Transportation costs for employee

5) Lower Communication costs for employer ( see below).

6) Much lower IT costs

Disadvantages of A Virtual Office

1) Zero company oversight or supervision- When is the employee slacking off. Solution -End of Week Reports.

2) Greater risks if data breaches – Not if you use the softwares below.

3) Loss of Face to Face feeling – Not if you video conference. And you can always have meetings once a week or a month .

Infrastructure for a Virtual Office.

1) Broadband internet

2) VPN for secure connectivity and daily logs of data in and data out on the computer used. ( A good example of a VPN client I have used is

SafeNet SoftRemoteLT Version 10.7.5 (04/2006) ©2006 SafeNet, Inc.

3) VOIP communication -Like www.skype.com

4) Collobrative Software

Google Sites for documentation . http://sites.google.com

Google Docs http://docs.google.com/ Open Office (www.openoffice.org)  for Office Productivity software (if you want lower software costs as well)

www.gotomeeting.com or Citrix (www.citrix.com) for demonstrations or virtual meeting

Open Source Solutions Like R ( www.r-project.org) with GUI Rattle (www.togaware.com for analytical solutions.

 

5) Employee Owned PC ( remember Activity Log is enabled) with Speakers, Headphones and a Webcam.

6) All computation can be done on remote servers (Microsoft Windows Terminal Server or Better Still X Windows Server ) connected with VPN and Remote Desktop (embedded in Windows). This is thus even safer data security than data on emploee’s PC in office.The remote servers are managed by virtual teams of vendors. For huge data requirements try Amazon and www.rightscale.com

Cost of a Virtual Office is virtual ( or zero). There are obvious benefits for both cost cutting employers and employees.

So what’s stopping you from asking your HR manager and your CEO for a Virtual Office Today.

ps- I dont know how to create a Virtual Office with a Mac.yet.Watch this space.

Happy Holidays and a Bonus Tech Cartoon

Author: Ajay Ohri

http://about.me/ajayohri

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