The recent Mobile Analytics Report by Citrix forecasted that mobile workers will make up over 72% of the US workforce by 2020. The cloud and mobile technologies have led to a whole new way of working driven by flexibility and cross-border collaboration.
Remote working requires company-wide change, innovation, and a new technology infrastructure. In-house systems simply aren’t going to cut it when you want to work with remote workforces. There’s also security, privacy, and accountability to think about.
Here are four things you need to do to get your business ready for remote work:
#1. Establish your remote working goals
Remote working may not be the right choice for all situations. The ability to work from home comes with many benefits, but it’s also important to establish what you want to achieve by enabling telecommuting arrangements.
Common remote working goals include enhanced productivity and employee morale. Flexible lifestyles are now the new norm, and it’s important that businesses can accommodate that wherever possible. Another common reason for enabling remote work is to tap into the best talent, which you might not be readily available in your area.
#2. Choose the right technology
Remote work can get expensive if you need to provide every employee with a company-owned laptop and smartphone. If you’re still heavily reliant on in-house IT, remote working might also be difficult to achieve due to bandwidth and accessibility constraints.
Migrating to the cloud is the first step in creating a cost-effective and location-independent work environment. For example, collaboration platforms such as Office 365 enable employees to access work files, stay in sync with colleagues, and take advantage of feature-rich tools for only a small monthly subscription fee.
#3. Define your remote work policies
One of the biggest fears employers face regarding remote work is losing control of or having employees slacking off. While every organization has standards for the office, things are a bit different when employees are allowed to choose when, where, and how they work. That’s why you need a professional remote work policy that determines which positions are suitable for remote work.
Availability and responsiveness also require specific rules. For instance, you can instate a nine-till-five requirement and specific rules on response times. Your policy should also include measurements for productivity, any necessary equipment provisions, and information security requirements.
#4. Achieve buy-in from executive management
Establishing a healthy and productive remote working environment isn’t something you can do overnight. It requires a major culture change that does more than just establish the rules and guidelines. If you don’t have 100% buy-in from executive management, remote working simply isn’t going to work.
One of the best ways to get started is to allow remote working for executive positions to set an example for everyone else. Leaders must lead by example rather than by authority alone. It’s best to start small by allowing people to work from home one or two days per week, instead of going fully remote from the outset.
Netcom Solutions provides managed services and expertise that facilitate remote working to let businesses enjoy its many benefits without the added risks. Call us today to schedule your first consultation.
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