Remote working is on the rise and probably here to stay in one guise or another. Many businesses have benefited from remote working with greater productivity and increased overall cost savings. Still, without some basics, your remote workers will be unable to reach their potential, and your business may suffer. This article provides a clear list of 5 key needs of remote workers that your business will need to consider if you hope to make a success of remote working.
Your remote workers must be connected to the internet; without internet connectivity, the idea of remote working becomes almost impossible. Without internet connectivity, remote work can only be done with a large amount of commuting and existing telecommunication. However, the internet provides a means to perform the other items on this list and, as such, would be regarded as the bare minimum for professional remote work in 2021. All remote workers will thus need a broadband internet connection, and as a business, you may need to consider the costs of additional mobile data to ensure that there is always a connection. As long as workers have the internet, they will be able to connect to the business from wherever they are. This connection must be fast, reliable, and consistent, and it is worth shopping around to find the best deal for each specific area your team members are working from.
Access to the office
Through the internet, remote workers must be able to easily access what they need from the office to remain productive and perform their roles. The cloud allows for a number of means to execute this step, and from a professionally hosted desktop service to a full office and shop in the cloud, your workers must have the office software they need at their fingertips. Your remote workers must be able to run operating systems, software and store their work as well as having all the other functions of a physical desktop on a virtual machine.
Your remote workers will be able to access the office or company data from anywhere there is a computer and an internet connection or through smartphones and tablets. These access points need to be protected from malicious attack and accidental loss. Recent reports show that there has been a marked increase in malware and ransomware against all types of businesses. Only known and managed devices should be able to access your business network. There must be a zero-trust protocol where your safety is concerned, meaning that there will be firewalls set up to protect your data even once inside the network.
Protecting your data in an unmanaged work from home environment can be challenging but must be a focus of the remote working process.
A remote worker who forms part of a remote office setup must feel that they have the support they need to perform their role professionally. This will vary from colleague support as they work on projects together using online meeting places and chatrooms as well as software and hardware support to keep the operation going.
The main cause of downtime in this era of remote work has been the failure of tech, primarily hardware and network failures. It will be well worth it to have full system support or arrange the support to be part of your software service. That way, you can be sure that your remote worker’s hardware and software issues can be easily and efficiently dealt with.
Communication and guidance
Clear lines and processes of communication will be important to ensure that workers are performing to their potential and company targets are being met. Communicating the business vision is a little more difficult with remote workers, but it is still critical that this is done so that workers can unite to achieve this vision. Workers may feel isolated in a remote working situation, and your business will have to implement additional aspects of office culture to build a feeling of togetherness. Having a virtual water cooler where staff can meet to chat or increasing team meetings and management feedback processes so that staff are constantly part of the business and are provided feedback as to how they can succeed with remote working.
Several businesses that work remotely have instituted a 10 – 15 minute daily briefing and send out weekly e-newsletters to keep all staff informed and onboard. These also help to provide staff with a regular platform to raise any issue that they may have with the remote arrangements or attaining set targets.
Remote working will only be truly successful if the access to technological advancements is fully supported by the social aspects that remote workers will need. The main social aspects proving to be instrumental are communication and organisational culture.
These are five simple things to ensure that your remote workers have access to the things they need to remain productive from home or from wherever they are. Keeping the office running will require you and your staff to create a culture that exists outside the office, and the five items mentioned here will be essential components of doing just this.