In an earlier article, “Should I Let My Employees Work From Home“, we discussed some important points to consider before allowing your employees to work from home. As previously explained, for remote working to be successful, your employees need to have all the tools (as well as know how to use them) so that they can be productive outside of the office. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure your employees, both in house and remote, can continue to communicate and collaborate, regardless of their geographical location. By creating and maintaining a flexible IT infrastructure, you can ensure that the needs of both in house and remote employees are met simultaneously, all while encouraging communication and collaboration.
In this article, we will discuss Office 365 and the steps to take when implementing mobile office tools so that you can ensure your company and your employees (both remote and in house) are set up for success.
Office 365 – Cloud powered connection, collaboration and control
The biggest benefit of Office 365 is that it is powered by the cloud, meaning that you can access all your applications and files from virtually anywhere and they’re always up to date. It is the same Office you are already familiar with (think Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote) but also includes other features that allow for better communication and collaboration between your team members.
Your Remote-Employee Checklist
Ensuring your team has the right tools is only half the battle – you also need to make sure that they know how to use them so they are able to effectively contribute to your business while they are outside of the office. Your remote-employee’s transition can be accomplished by following these steps:
Work out the kinks before deploying your team.
It is much more difficult for your remote employees to be successful if they don’t know how to use mobile technologies before you deploy them. It is no surprise that the best time to ensure that your remote employees can operate telecommuting tools is before they begin working remotely. Have your remote employees learn and test the technologies they will be using so that any kinks in usability can be worked out before it affects their productivity down the line.
Set guidelines for communication and accountabilities.
Set a common understanding with remote employees about their accountabilities and how they are to stay connected to the office. If you will allow remote employees to work from home on an as needed basis, establish a timeline for work from home requests. Knowing your employee’s schedule in advance will help your business plan accordingly and not leave you in a pickle.
Additionally, if employees will be deployed on a long-term basis, establishing clear and written guidelines of how they are to check in, to whom and when they should be available for meetings and regular communication with the office is important so that there is no ambiguities about what is expected.
Set workplace guidelines, regardless of location.
Just like the employees in your office, your remote employees should also have workplace guideline to adhere to. As a general rule, what is expected protocol of in house employees should also be extended to remote employees. For example, you wouldn’t allow you in house employees to be surfing Facebook all day instead of meeting their deadlines, so this should also be expected of remote employees as well. By treating every employee as equals, regardless of their actual proximity to the workplace, you will also help in fostering a harmonious work environment.
Mobile Technologies – Business Benefits?
The benefits of mobile technologies are endless. Harnessing the power of telecommuting is a key way to stay ahead of your competitors and drive your business to reach new heights.
Interested in what mobile technologies can do for your business? Contact us today to schedule a No-Cost Network and Security Assessment so we can get a better picture of your current environment and discuss how your business could benefit from mobile technology.