How to Ensure Your Remote Employees Work Effectively

In today’s business world it has become increasingly common for employees to work from home. To many business owners, this may sound like a recipe for disaster, so how do you ensure your remote employees work effectively when away from the office?

There a number of reasons for which a company may deem it necessary to allow employees to work from home, from travel restraints, to lack of office space or even family commitments.

So how do you ensure that your home workers are working to their full effect and being provided with the access to data and security that they require?

Offer flexibility

Offering flexible working hours is not only appealing to employees, but it’s a good way of filling in at peak times. Home workers may potentially be saving hours of commuting time by working at home, so take advantage of their availability by implementing split shifts.

Manage your home workers properly

There’s no denying that there’s an element of trust involved when it comes to home working, but don’t assume that your employees aren’t working hard just because you can’t see them. Take advantage of technologies to monitor performance and maintain regular contact.

It’s also important to keep your home workers included in what’s happening in the office. Although they may not be on the premises, they are still part of the team, so communicate via regular conference calls or webcasts. A distributed workforce needn’t mean a break down in communication.

Consider the rights of your employees

The law states that although employees have every right to request flexible working, they do not have the right to receive it. It goes without saying that if you, the employer offers home working, then you have the corporate responsibility to protect your employees. Providing remote workers with a GPS location mobile phone gives them the ability to communicate and even alert employers in emergency situations.

Provide the right technology

IT systems must be easy to use and require minimal installation or maintenance. For the phone system, a hosted VoIP system is ideal, with a corporate phone handset deployed in the home of the employee. Seamless access to administrative systems such as CRM systems and accounting programs will mean your home workers can function exactly as they would in the office environment.

Provide access to data

After going to the trouble to set up IT systems with home workers in mind, there should be nothing in the way of employees accessing the data they require,when they require it. A common solution is to provide a VPN service over broadband. A managed business broadband connection and router should help keep management issues to a minimum.

It’s also important that home workers have access to archived data and the implementation of an archiving solution means that all inactive but important data, such as emails and old files, can be accessed remotely when needed.

Protect employees data

Home workers are likely to store any data locally on their computer’s desktop, but this data needs to be protected. To ensure this, you either need to enforce a policy in which all important data is manually stored on central systems or that the data is constantly being backed up via an automated online backup solution.

Providing all of the points above are considered, remote working can prove to be an effective and rewarding system for both employer and employee.

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