Use technology to stay in control of remote workers

As remote working and working from home becomes a popular and practical option for many businesses, how can managers stay in control of staff who are out of the office?

The key here is to keep up communications and make it as easy as possible for staff to carry on working as if they were in the office.

We thought you might be interested in an article by Andrew McGrath of Virgin Media Business offers six ideas on how to ensure remote working is effective and efficient for businesses…

“Productivity savings and tackling office overheads mean that initial doubts about giving staff remote access have been forgotten. But there are still some challenges that are stopping some businesses from making the most of it. Often it’s the connection speed or remote working tools themselves that aren’t up to scratch, but confused or inconsistent company policies can be just as frustrating.

Here are six ideas on how to make sure that remote access works for the business and the staff:

1. Remove policy gripes

When procedures are vague it can cause confusion over how often people can work from home and from who they should ask permission. Businesses should have clear guidelines that answer all possible questions from the outset. There’s no point putting technology in place that workers feel they can’t use, so it’s vital to make sure that everyone understands how and when it can be used.

2. Ensure employees aren’t disconnected

Whether it’s social or professional, communication break-down is a common concern, but one that can be easily sorted. Try encouraging your workforce to pick up the phone more, or stay in touch via instant messenger.

3. Maximise data speeds

It can be really frustrating if you’re trying to work with a slow connection and sluggish download speeds. By continually reviewing your network provider you can make sure that data transmission is as fast as possible and that you’re getting the best value for money.

4. Optimise security standards

Staff will sometimes need to access sensitive corporate information and you’ve got to make sure this can be done securely. Virtual Private Networks can ensure that when data is transmitted it is secure and protected. Even if your organisation has very tight security protocols, you can up your defences with a two-factor authentication system. With the right security barriers in place IT managers can avoid sleepless nights.

5. Try using one contact number

It’s a good idea to ensure that colleagues and customers have access to one number which is assigned for each person, whether the call goes to their mobile or desk phone. By unifying your communications, employees won’t lose touch with colleagues or customers.

6. Employee benefits package

Think about revising your benefits package to ensure that employees don’t feel out of pocket by choosing to work from home. Giving them their own laptop is a good place to start, or even providing a monthly broadband contribution can help. If the benefits are right, businesses can make cost-savings and improve flexibility for their staff.”

There are many products and services on the market to help keep these communications channels open. Apps and portals provide staff with a single, centralised place to get information they need in order to carry out their job and to feedback information to the office. Webroster.net’s new app, Webroster Mobile, also has an SOS button to notify co workers or managers if a field worker gets into trouble.

For more information about how Webroster.net can help manage remote workers, visit www.webroster.co.uk.