Remote working is no longer a luxury reserved for the freelancer or a few lucky employees. Toward the end of 2019, and now as we move into 2020, it is being demanded by those in ‘mainstream’ jobs. An obvious solution to ease some of the housing crisis, the endless repetitive daily commute, and a game-changer when it comes to the much sought-after ‘better work-life balance. More than that tho’, it is increasingly being accepted as a valid option by employers.
The sweet spot where technology, affordability, and interactivity, meet allowing for greater visibility – trust – to facilitate remote working. Interested in some stats? Read The Ultimate List of Remote Work Statistics – 2020 Edition
As an employer, it is essential to ensure a flexible working environment where your employees can execute effective business projects efficiently, in real-time – regardless of where they are. When done properly remote working can give an edge over the current working environment and enhance efficiency for both the business and the employee satisfaction. Of course, there are many reasons for accommodating flexible working conditions:
- Unforeseen circumstances – weather, child or family illness, (extended) holiday, business trips & conferences;
- Small number of staff work from home occasionally or whilst travelling;
- Office, desk-based & mobile staff roles;
- Business or retailers with multiple branches (such as Golden Discs) and
- By design, distributed / remote-friendly companies (such as NearForm and Automattic – listen to distributed.blog podcast, see ‘Irish Companies Who Hire Remotely)
On a practical level, business owners/managers need to incorporate remote working practices into their IT strategy. Read “The 2019 Recipe to high productivity”.
We at SenSys have put together our top suggestions for some of the best IT and communication tools your employees need for effective remote working:
1. Real-Time Communication and Conferencing
Managing remote employees need not be a tedious experience. There are necessary tools that are needed for employees to work effectively remotely.
Communication is vital to ensure the accountability of your remote working employees and keep track of the business progression. Rather than see your colleagues in the same location, we need to adapt to ‘seeing’ them online.
This is where the services of a mobile communication platform like 3CX.com come in. It’s a mobile communication system that can fit any size and type of business structure out of the box. Whether it is out of office calls or a face-to-face web conference meeting, live chats, or CRM Integration. It’s what we use ourselves at SenSys Tech. The platform enhances work flexibility and employee collaboration to ease knowledge sharing and speedy project completion. It is compatible with both Android and iOS devices so your employers can communicate at any point in time when needed.
2. Project / field management
Basecamp has features that allow the users to remotely assign a task, follow up on the process, and confirm when completed. While ServiceMax helps with order tracking and inventory management.
3. File sharing
As a business, there are essential documents that need to be registered or shared in the course of operation. Ensuring that the systems of sharing these documents is easy and natural for employees in real-time is paramount for operating normal day to day business.
Systems like Microsoft 365 or Google Drive offer good experiences for easy file sharing, employee collaboration, and file generation to further facilitate productivity. Read more about cloud solutions and the questions you should ask to aid decision making here: https://www.sensys.ie/it-networking-and-infrastructure/google-cloud-services/ or download our eBook: “Cloud Services: A non-technical guide to moving your business to the cloud”
Your choice of provider & package will largely depend on your business requirements. For example architect, accountants, solicitors may have large demands for file size, sharing & version control.
Access to your firm’s server from a different environment in real-time is a paramount concern for management and staff in multiple locations whether it be satellite or branch office, home workers, or staff on the road.
However, with Cisco Meraki, your employees can work comfortably on their devices from anywhere globally; as though they were working from the office. Networking creates confidence in employees and at such, would enhance positive results.
Integrating a virtual private network (VPN) with your server, and giving people access by logging in using what is called a VPN client – will generate a deeper layer of security for external connections to your server. (https://documentation.meraki.com/MX/Client_VPN/Client_VPN_Overview)
It is vitally important to have systems in place for backups and recovery, whether you are a freelancer, hiring freelancers, employ remote workers or have a fully distributed company.
How do you imitate, or enable the ‘water cooler moments’ – without the water cooler? It is vital for creating a sense of community, building camaraderie among the staff. (read “3 Huge Benefits of building virtual water coolers”) – SenSys recommend using tools such as Slack, MS chatter or Google hangouts (for fewer numbers) as conduits for conversing among and with your people in conjunction with formal induction programs.
On a wider scale, in addition to government support for the future of remote working in Ireland, there has been a growth in the number of co-working spaces in this country (DoSpace in Dublin, tcube Edenderry, Coworking.ie ) and online communities on all the social channels (see Best Slack Communities for Remote Workers).
Taking time to plan around our top 6 considerations (communication, project management, file sharing, networking, security, communication) through thoughtful implementation and testing out of the right tools for your employees should go a long way towards guaranteeing the effectiveness and efficiency of your remote workforce.
What happens when if you struggle to navigate through with the setup process? Sensys Technology is always available to assist. We have experts in Information Technology, as well as real-time communication analysis to help increase productivity & gain efficiencies in working with all of your employees.
If you are considering setting up or upgrading your networking system, phone/communication system, or general IT services; Sensys Technology offers a free consultation.
Join the conversation with these hashtags:
#remotework #digitalnomad #Flexibleworking
#GrowRemote #Remoteworking #worklifebalance
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Get further inspiration in this article: https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/it-management-distributed-workforce/