There are many reasons that your team may want (or need) to work from home, and there are many reasons to allow them to do so. A 2019 survey by OwlLabs indicated that 71 percent of remote workers are happy with their job (as compared to 55 percent of on-site workers); remote workers responded that they are 13 percent more likely than onsite workers to stay in their current job for five more years than onsite workers will; and when respondents claimed to be working longer than 40 hours per week, onsite workers were doing so out of necessity, while remote workers did so out of desire and enjoyment.
These statistics outline that by allowing employees to work from home, your company will see some very tangible benefits. Like any human resources strategy, however, you’ll need to keep a few considerations firmly in mind to get the most out of it.
Treat It Like Business as Usual
When you are working with your remote employees, it is important that you don’t focus exclusively on your in-house staff. Maintaining communication with every one of your staff is necessary for your operations to continue, so if anything, you need to encourage your in-house workers to regularly check in with your remote employees and involve them in their processes. You should also avoid the temptation to hold off on meetings. Again, don’t act like anything has changed as a result of your employees working from home. If you have regular meetings at a given time, continue them, and simply use the technology available today to include your remote staff members.
Provide the Means to Communicate
Speaking of which, it is also important that your remote team members have the tools that allow them to communicate with their contemporaries. If you haven’t already done so, consider switching your telephony to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution. This will enable your remote staff members access to your business’ phone system, rather than using their own for professional purposes. Other useful collaboration tools include things like video conferencing, instant messaging, and (of course) business email.
Give Them Access and Tools
Your remote workers aren’t going to be capable of being productive if they don’t have access to the necessary resources and applications required to carry out their assigned tasks. Make sure they have this access, either by enabling remote access into their workstation or by providing them with a laptop that they can take with them. It is recommended that, if you elect to take the remote access option, this access is secured through the use of a virtual private network (or VPN). This tool ensures that whether your files and applications are stored on-site or in the cloud, that access to data is available from anywhere a connection can be established.
Don’t Forget About Security
It is critical for the health of your business that you uphold remote workers to a higher standard for data and network security. Remote work brings increased risk. Using the aforementioned VPN is just one of the many tools that will work to maintain the integrity of your business’ digital assets. Another important security measure is to be sure that your remote users are forced into using password best practices for authentication. Here are some security suggestions that MyTek, a Phoebix IT security group, recommends as a baseline for remote IT security.
- Hosted VoIP for using phones from any device and anywhere.
- A VPN for secure connections to the office network.
- Remote access policies to ensure compliance and security.
- Remote terminal access to keep files and applications centralized.
- Email accessibility for internal and external communication.
- Conferencing and meeting applications to keep your team engaged.
- Messaging applications to facilitate easy coworking.
- G-Suite/Office 365 for document publishing and collaboration.
- Disaster Recovery solution to prevent productivity-loss issues.
Our IT professionals are here to help you extend the reach of your business and do it to ensure that your assets are protected. Reach out to MyTek, a Phoenix IT security group, today to kickstart your remote workforce on a path to productivity. Call 623-312-2440 to learn more.