Improvements in technology, combined with people seeking a better work/life balance, has meant more and more people want to work from home. Letting people work remotely can have big advantages for your business, from attracting job applicants to improving productivity. However, many smaller businesses struggle with the idea of having people work away from the office where they can’t be supervised, so having the right systems in place is essential. Here are some tips to ensure you are getting the best from your remote workers.
Provide the right IT equipment
Working remotely only works if people have access to all the systems that they need. Providing laptops for work instead of desktops can make it easier, as people can then hot desk in the office, then take it home with them. IT services providers can advise on the best equipment and can help with tools such as:
- The cloud – using a cloud-based server makes it easy to access files on the go
- Work networks – ensure employees can log into your work network on the go
- Collaboration software – if you have remote employees working on projects together, this makes life easier
- Project management software – this is handy for logging tasks and seeing what needs to be done
- Communications tools – in addition to phone and e-mail, you might want a VoIP system
- Hardware – in addition to their laptop, you might need to provide speakers, printers or other equipment
While this may sound like a lot, once it’s set up, people can often work very productively in the peaceful environment of home. The time saved from commuting and office distractions can mean people put in more hours at home, which makes your business money.
Keeping tabs on productivity
It’s important that when you let people work from home, they aren’t running errands or distracted by children. Having them logged into a VoIP system or your work’s system means you can monitor when they’re active, and project management software allows people to easily log what they’ve done and how long it has taken. Some companies also have bespoke software for certain tasks, which logs exact times for each task, so you can compare times taken in the office versus at home.
Supporting remote workers
While your employees are in your South-West London office, it’s easy to resolve issues, but it can be more difficult when they’re away from their desk. Looking for IT support companies is a good way to ensure they can get technical help whenever it’s needed. For example, if they can’t access their e-mail or have a virus, they can pick up the phone and get support. If they live in the South-West London area, they can also get on-site support, ensuring they don’t lose productive work times.
If you’re looking for help with IT for your SME business, speak to Spectronics in Wimbledon. Covering the South-West London area, simply call 03333 444 110 or email [email protected] to find out more.