Offering work-from-home opportunities to your employees can be a huge incentive and help you cut operating costs, but it’s not just as simple as giving people permission to do so. It’s important that you have the right systems in place, employees have the right equipment, and you are able to manage the effectiveness of remote work.
It might sound like an impossible feat when you lay it out like that, but these 7 work-from-home essentials will help you smoothly integrate remote working into your business.
It’s easy to give employees access to all the necessary equipment they need to perform their job in the office. Depending on your business’s budget and each role, this can become more complex when it comes to work from home.
For many employees, they’ll simply need access to a computer. If your employees use a company-issued laptop in-office, you can allow them to take those home so that they have all the programs and capabilities they need to perform tasks. For others, like sales associates or customer service representatives, you may need to supply headsets and work phones.
In some cases, you can keep it simple but in other cases, you may want to make sure that employees take all their equipment with them from the office so they have everything they might need.
Secure Remote Access
One of the biggest hiccups remote workers face is the inability to access company data when they need it most. By providing remote computer access you can overcome this hurdle using the cloud. This allows employees to access the information and files they need from wherever they’re working, at any time—so long as they have the credentials.
While you want to trust that your employees are on-task and working to their utmost productivity, it’s not always a smart business decision to simply leave that up to chance, especially if the services you provide are based on hourly production. It also helps employees see where their own time is being spent.
Time tracking can also help you make important decisions about pricing, hiring, and other business needs. For the most accurate data, use a free time-tracking app that your employees can install as a browser extension. This will allow them to record their time for different projects.
Project Management Software
Another way to boost productivity and workflow efficiency is by using project management software. This will help provide a high-level overview of where different projects in the pipeline are at as well as detailed activity updates that teams can use to work together.
Project management software is essential for any business, but especially for those that allow remote working. Optimize how your team works together and automate processes to make sure your team is working together as smoothly as possible. Not only will it make their jobs less frustrating, but it can also help you cut costs associated with wasted time.
Internal Communication App
Inter-departmental communication is one of the biggest challenges many businesses face, and it’s often made worse by working from home. However, that doesn’t mean that this problem can’t be solved. Create an account for a business communication app and have each of your employees create their own login for their individual profiles.
These apps make it easy to communicate through direct messages or public channels that streamline problem resolution and collaboration. Plus, they help build employee relationships.
Even though your employees aren’t in the office, that doesn’t mean they don’t have concerns, conflicts, or questions related to their job or the workplace. Providing access to HR is important to ensure that your employees have an outlet to resolve any work-related issues they may be having.
But how can you do that when employees are working remotely? Give your employees access to the company HR representative by having virtual office hours. While it might sound complicated, it’s actually fairly straightforward thanks to video conferencing technology. Simply give your employees access to a video app with login credentials and allow them to schedule meetings through a calendar that’s accessible to everyone.
Design & Development Tools
In addition to being able to update progress and collaborate on projects in a general sense, employees need to be able to provide feedback and collaborate on the development of certain projects—this especially true if a lot of graphics or web design is required for what you do.
Make it easier for your employees to get multiple hands on mockups and deliverables with a design and development tool.
With these 7 work-from-home tools, you and your employees will be well-equipped to perform at the highest level.