Communicating in the virtual office

A Macbook sits on a kitchen table making for an impromptu virtual office.

New nonprofits more than any other organization are cognizant of overhead expenses. So the rise of the virtual office certainly has its appeal. Are you able to offer your programs and services successfully without a physical space? More importantly, how would team members communicate if you’re not located in the same building?

Many new nonprofits start with free gmail accounts for email communications. I’ve seen several that are as simple as [email protected] so they aren’t even paying for the Business Google Apps account. This is perfectly acceptable and I think people appreciate your savviness to find solutions that will keep you focused on your mission.

With the introduction of tools like Slack (http://slack.com), which has a free plan option, you can now have a robust instant messaging system as well. We work virtually with our team members and ask them to log into Slack during business hours so that we can quickly and easily reach one another with small one off requests.

What’s even better than instant messaging with Slack? Adding integrations with tools like Trello. I have one Slack chat that updates me anytime someone adds to or comments on my To Do List. It brings all of the conversations into one place so that I don’t have to look at multiple tools all day long. It is definite boost for productivity.