Remote and mobile working is now commonplace. For some employees, it's even an expectation. There are benefits for both the business and its staff for using a mobile workforce.
Technology has created more options and better solutions for remote working but there are some key areas you need to be mindful of when you create a mobile workforce.
We have listed 7 things to consider when making your workforce mobile.
Don't rely on the office
The whole point of having a mobile workforce is that you're not tied to the physical office mentality. You don't need to get rid of the office and everything that is in it. But to create a mobile workforce you need to allow staff to work remotely when necessary.
Working remotely could mean employees working from home, around the corner at a coffee shop or whilst travelling to a meeting. However, you need to end the mentality that work can only be done in the office.
For larger companies, remote working could be used to save money. With remote workers, you can afford to buy/rent less office space. For small businesses and start-ups, you might not even need an office, saving a lot of money in the process.
You must use the cloud
The Cloud is a gift to remote workers. It enables your staff to access company documents and data from anywhere they can get a signal. The Cloud can also be used for phone systems so your remote workers can be on the same phone system as your office.
The Cloud aids collaboration. Gone are the days of emailing spreadsheets back and forth as you slowly make changes. Now multiple people can edit the same document in real-time.
Use the right technology
You can't expect staff to work remotely if you don't give them the tools to be able to do so. A chief stress driver for remote workers is not having the right technology to work effectively.
That doesn't mean you have to rush out and buy everyone top of the line laptops. BYOD is a viable strategy for remote working. Using a VoIP phone system or programs like Office 365 can keep staff connecting to the business no matter where they work.
Many businesses can struggle with communication when everyone is in the same building, so of course, it's an important factor in remote working. Most staff are already conditioned to communicate via email and technology can be used to cover other areas of communication.
A VoIP telephone system can keep your remote workers connected on the same phone network as the office, no matter where they are. There are also plenty of video conferencing solutions to maintain the face to face approach of meetings where necessary.
Communication works both ways though. As you will have staff not working from the office it is important to keep in contact with them just as you would if they were sitting in the office.
Don't forget security
As we've already discussed BYOD is a great approach for remote working but it does come with security issues. Remote workers will have access to your data and possibly your network so you need to make sure their devices are as secure as anything in the office.
Using tools like a password manager or multi-factor authentication (MFA) are simple ways to increase the security on a personal device. If a laptop gets left on the train, with MFA the data is safe as they won't have the code needed to access the device.
Integrate your platforms
Integrating remote workers with the business used to be a struggle. Now there are numerous solutions to keep your remote staff integrated. Making use of Cloud-based products will give your remote workers the same access to your data as they would have in the office.
There are even tools, like Screen Connect, that can allow your staff to remotely connect with the computers in the office. Modern technology makes it much easier to keep your remote staff integrated within the business.
Don't forget about culture
Culture becomes a big issue with remote workers. Although technology can keep them connected to the business there is the danger of remote staff becoming disconnected from the culture of the business.
Although it might be easier to communicate all the time over email that might not create the best culture for remote workers. They can often feel left out or distance from the rest of the team. Make use of video conferencing tools but also remember to maintain regular communication. Make sure your integrations continue to promote the culture of the business so it doesn't become lost for remote workers.
Technology has made remote working a possibility for any business. There are benefits for both employer and employees. Businesses can save money in office space and hardware while building employee morale by offering flexible working options.
Be mindful that using the wrong technology or setting it up incorrectly can cause problems for both you and your staff as well as creating unnecessary security issues. For help planning and setting up remote working options contact InfoTech Solutions on 01634 52 52 52, get in touch here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.