With more workers looking for flexibility and balance between home and work, the percentage of workers with telecommuting roles is growing rapidly. As a business owner, offering this flexibility to your staff may help you maintain productivity and reduce your staff turnover. If you want to provide telecommuting as an option for your staff, you should think about establishing protocols for home office setup. Here are some tips to help you build a telecommuting program that puts your company in a position to succeed.
Simplify the Communication Process
One of the biggest hurdles for companies that are transitioning to a virtual workforce is maintaining communication. It’s much easier to stay in touch and encourage communication when your employees are sitting in cubicles across the aisle from each other. Luckily, out of sight no longer has to mean out of mind for a home based employee.
Install Internet Connections for your home based employee
Set up a dedicated Internet line for each of your telecommuting employees. When your company takes the initiative to set it up, you’ll be able to ensure that it is installed correctly and to the proper specifications. It also puts your business in charge of the monthly bill. It is extremely important that a properly configured connection be installed with adequate bandwidth and quality of service. As a business owner you need to provide the correct tools to your home or remote employee(s). The need to access company files and make calls via the corporate VoIP telephone system with minimal problems cannot be overemphasized!
Use a quality VoIP Communications System
The ability to have employees work from home can have many benefits for a business however true success is when you empower all employees with communication. A properly configured Communications system can accomplish this for your business. Current business grade systems will allow full hansffree intercom dialing, instant messaging, video and presence regardless of geographical location. Once you employees become geographically distant from one another the importance of communication only increases.
Don’t Sacrifice Security
When your staff is all centrally located in a traditional business environment, network and data security are easy to manage. But, having remote workers requires a bit more finesse to ensure that your data is secure. Invest in business grade routing and switching hardware. Consider the best practice of VPN tunnels from the home based office back to the corporate systems. Consider a seperate network altogether for the home based employee instead of the more common "sharing" of the Internet with other home internet users. Even thought these employees may now be working from their homes it is important that they realize that they are utilizing company equipment and comany data. Ensure you are engaged in a centrally managed data back-up/verification solution.
Setting up remote office spaces for telecommuting employees can be a valuable long-term investment. The overhead reduction of having your workforce in virtual offices can be significant, even if you have to make the initial investment in the technology tools for the remote office. If you’re interested in the options available for your business to offer telecommuters, contact us today.