Building a remote workforce is smart business.
A remote workforce can slash overhead costs, increase productivity, and boost employee efficiency.
Better yet, it can create happier, more efficient employees.
This in turn can translate into better customer experiences and increased profits.
And who doesn’t want that?
Let’s get into some of the details about having a remote workforce including some tools that make having one easier.
Make Perfect Sense
For small and medium-sized businesses, building a remote work force makes perfect sense.
They need every advantage they can get.
That’s why more and more businesses are creating them.
By 2016 nearly half of the U.S. workforce will work remotely, according to Mashable.
The key to building an efficient, productive remote workforce is technology. Thanks to major technology jumps, remote workforces have taken a giant leap forward.
If you’ve been thinking about a remote workforce, we’ve listed some key enabling technologies you’ll need. They’ll help you create an efficient one cost-effectively:
Savvy businesses manage digital devices entrusted to employees using these six key enabling technologies:
- VPN—A virtual private network is the most critical technology of all. It provides a secure communication channel through public Internet connections.
- VoIP—Voice over Internet Protocol cuts communication costs and increases team flexibility. With VoIP, employees can access their office phone calls from anywhere, send instant messages, forward calls to mobile phones, teleconference with clients and co-workers, and more.
- Data Backup/Recovery—Keeping critical data safe is a challenge. So make sure remote workers have access to backup solutions. They should have a secondary backup system as well. Review policies with them to make sure they’re backing up.
- Network Security—Network security is paramount. Getting hacked can cost you big dollars and create plenty of bad press. Hackers can also hinder efficiency and productivity.
- Malware Protection—Another must-have. Most PCs come standard with firewall and antivirus protection. Upgrade to business-efficient security solutions. And stay on top of updates.
- Collaborative Tech Tools—These are the key to increasing employee productivity and efficiency. Think apps like SharePoint, Microsoft Linc, and GoTo Meeting. Remote workforces are dead in the water without these.
These six enabling technologies are the backbone of a good remote workforce system. Make sure your IT team has expertise in all of them as well as in broadband technology.
While these technologies aren’t as critical as those above, they’re still important to remote workforces:
- Cloud Technology—Cloud optimization is growing more and more critical to today’s businesses. Many companies are transitioning to the cloud for easy access outside the office. Compatible mobile apps are a must.
- Home Office—Employees working from home need good office technology. Don’t skimp on laptops, tablets, and printers. A high-quality headset is also crucial. Skype and SkypeOut are good additions as well.
- Management—You’ll still need feedback and communication tools to manage remote workers. Project management tools, like Basecamp, help also. The cloud-based 15Five replaces status reports.
- Time Tracking—Timecard software technology helps track remote workers (and other off-site employees). It sends data directly to payroll staff, saving time, and cutting paperwork.
Add Technical Services Support
Add to these 10 technologies good technical support or outsourced support desk and an experienced IT staff. Together, they’ll save you time, money, and frustration.
Building a remote workforce can create the competitive edge you need to survive in today’s tough marketplaces.
The key is combining the right technologies with the right people.
Together, they’ll create a remote workforce that cuts costs, increases productivity, and generates brand-building customer experiences.
Got any advice for building a remote workforce?Is good technical support part of your system?