Studies show that employees are more productive when working from home and take off fewer sick and personal days. Cost savings is another incentive for companies to keep some employees working remotely even after the pandemic is long gone.
77% of work-from-home (WFH) employees say they’re more productive than when in the office. But that gain in productivity does depend upon giving remote teams the right tools.
If employees don’t have the right processes or cloud-based systems in place, a WFH environment can be like working with one hand tied behind their back.
For example, if remote employees have to struggle with a slow remote connection to an on-site workstation, it can frustrate them and show them down considerably.
Charlotte businesses that are planning to keep some or all employees remote permanently need to put the right things in place to build that remote infrastructure and set it up for success.
Building Blocks to a Successful Remote Workforce
The way we work is undergoing a massive shift. The move to offsite work had already begun before this year, but the pandemic accelerated the pace.
According to a Gallup survey taken between July 30-August 12, 2020, remote work is here to stay. The survey found:
- The number of average remote work days for Americans has more than doubled since last year.
- 26% of U.S. workers have been working entirely remotely
- 1 in 5 U.S. workers say they work part-time onsite and part-time remote
- Just 51% of employees say they work at the office full-time
So, what do you need to put in place for an effective remote working environment? We have several technology and policy building blocks below to help.
Expand Office Policies to Include Remote Work
An old employee handbook that instructs staff to “clock in at the front desk” when they get to work is going to leave remote workers with confusion about how they report to work in the morning.
It’s important to update your office policies and employee handbooks to include instructions relevant to a remote worker. For example, you may have them clock in by messaging the HR department team channel in a messaging program.
Take time to flesh out remote team policies so WFH employees will have clear instructions that don’t leave them wondering what’s expected of them.
Conduct Remote Employee Onboarding Training
Once your policies are in place, both old and new employees that are working remotely should be onboarded in remote team training. This ensures they understand policies and protocols on things like shadow IT, remote worker security, and how to use team collaboration tools.
Communication Tools (VoIP, Team Messaging, etc.)
Communication needs to be a major emphasis of any remote work program. Since employees are physically separated from supervisors and co-workers, it’s important to bridge that gap with cloud communication tools.
This includes software such as:
- VoIP phone system
- Team messaging platform (Slack, Teams, etc.)
- Video conferencing system
- Cloud file storing and sharing
Approximately 41% of remote workers access confidential business data from unsecured personal applications. Use of shadow IT is just one of the remote security areas that you need to address to keep remote workers, and your business data, secure.
Safeguards to put in place include:
- Business VPN to encrypt internet connections
- Endpoint device management to ensure devices used for work are updated and their access to assets is monitored
- Device protections (web filtering, antivirus/anti-malware)
Remote IT Support & Managed Services
No matter where employee work PCs are located, they need to be protected with proactive managed services.
Managed IT services facilitate the management and monitoring of devices remotely and can handle important activities like update/patch management, managed antivirus, managed backup, and more.
It’s also vital to productivity that employees have tech support when they need it so they’re not left struggling with a computer issue on their own. With an unlimited remote support plan, WFH staff have a tech expert that is only a click away.
Opportunities for Casual Interactions
It’s not always easy to replicate those watercooler conversations or employee birthday celebrations in the breakroom when your team is remote. But these types of casual activities with work colleagues both foster a team spirit and offer a place for brainstorming and collaboration outside the normal constraints of the workday.
From time to time, plan video meetings or lunch events that are for fun only to help create that same collaborative, team-oriented environment that fosters a feeling of family. This can often be the difference between a “good” team and great one.
Power Your Remote Team with Support from Rocky Knoll Technologies
From helping you implement VoIP solutions to facilitating employee security training, our remote work experts can help you power your remote team for maximum efficiency.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 704.594.7292 or reach us online.