Employees are no longer tied to their desks and there is a huge opportunity with modern technology to work more effectively remotely than we ever have before.
Many large businesses have been employing remote workforces for years and reaping the benefits. Here are six advantages for small and medium-sized businesses of a remote workforce:
1. Employee Retention and Satisfaction - Allowing members of your team to work remotely is a huge benefit to many people, especially those with families or who live further away from the office.
2. Productivity – people waste huge amounts of time each day being interrupted, having casual conversations and commuting to and from the office. Working remotely eliminates much of that time.
3. Reduce Costs – when you have people working remotely you do not need a permanent desk or office for them, a phone line and other items that add to overhead costs.
4. No More Showing up Late for Work - if someone isn’t commuting, they won’t get stuck in a snow storm or have their car break down. In many cases, all they need to do is roll out of bed and they’re ready for work. This can even eliminate some sick days.
5. Draw From a Wider Talent Pool – when you allow people to work remotely, you can find people who may not have been able to work in a conventional way because of the location or hours you work.
6. Expand Business Beyond Your Doorstep - remote workers can allow you to expand into new locations and markets that you couldn’t otherwise because of the costs of setting up a new office.
How to Setup a Remote Workforce
In order to be able to properly accommodate a remote workforce you need to have the right technology in place. While our next blog will review applications that enable a remote workforce, you also need the basics from an IT infrastructure point of view.
Some of these basics include:
- A strong firewall that allows for secure remote access
- A strong quality and fast internet line both in the office and at the location of the remote worker
- Server infrastructure that can accommodate terminal services if that remote access solution makes the most sense
- An email system that works as effectively outside the office as it does inside (hint: look at Office 365)
- User education on the importance of saving documents on company IT infrastructure or cloud-based services instead of saving them to local computers.
Just remember, if the basics haven’t been done and you are not using the right applications, having people work remotely can turn into a productivity nightmare instead of being a big benefit. Make sure you plan out your approach and have a good IT company to help you!