More than half of the employees in my company are working from home. The technology that enables us to work remotely had existed for long but it was not until the pandemic that businesses allowed telecommuting.
Remote working is as much a big deal for the employer as it is for the staff, though in an opposite sense. While, as an employee, you could simply flop down on your sofa, wearing sweatpants with laptop on your chest – mind you – your employer has undergone a lot to provide you the convenience of working from home.
It is essential, as a business owner, to contemplate whether you can facilitate remote working or not. I mean, there are services, like restaurants and bars that cannot work from home – or can they?
To help you get the most out of your business, especially in this pandemic, we’ve decided to dedicate this article on how to setup work from home for your employees.
So, continue reading…
Make sure it is possible
As I’ve already stated, for some companies, remote work might be just impossible. So, before you initiate new arrangements for your business, make sure that you could do with remote working.
Also, while doing so, have an overall picture in your mind. Remember, businesses ought to do what brings common good, so know your motto and work out what’s best for your team and department.
Below are the three key things that can help you arrive at the decision better –
- Whether or not the employee has resources – laptop, internet, telephone – to work from home.
- Will telecommuting (remote working) affect workflows and coworkers?
- Is the employee accountable for his subordinates?
If yes, would he be able to monitor work the way he would monitor in office?
Note, the above statements may have both agreements and disagreements co-existing with one another. It is you who would ultimately decide whether or not a harmony can be struck with odds in favour to odds against remote working.
Feasibility should be the end-goal
Do not allow work from home for the sake of providing work from home. Remember you care for your employees as much as your care about yourself and your business. My point is: business is equally important.
So no matter what path you take, just make sure the business is feasible, and employees safe.
Adopt Cloud Computing
Let’s face it. The new normal is no more about grabbing a coffee and sandwich from the drive-thru. However, this does not mean you will not deliver on business as you normally did.
As a professional, I expect myself to live up to the expectations of the employer, while continuing to be as much productive as I had been in the office.
Though, to be honest, without the required gears, working from home cannot be as convenient as one would expect it to be. There could still be bids to submit, conferences to attend, reports to evaluate and deadlines to meet.
The last thing any business would want now is to learn an entirely new way of working.
Up for good news?
Cloud computing, with all its related-tools, can help you to construct an environment that makes remote work a thousand times more seamless.
Cloud hosting services offer a plethora of tools, making it easier to work, collaborate, share and team up on things that were not previously possible. If you haven’t noticed it yet, more than half the applications in your smartphone are all cloud-based – Gmail and iCloud are the best examples.
If you can login to your work email from anywhere, your organization has already deployed cloud without you having a clue of it.
We do not see a reason why entrepreneurs would not move business to the cloud. And if you haven’t made the move yet, it is about time you did it.
Provide Your Employees with Gears
For a moment assume all your employees are remote working. The ones left at the office are those you have not provided with laptops.
Now is the right time to move some of the gears from your office to your employees’ homes. And while doing so, hard-tag computers so that they are used only for the purpose they have been moved.
Although, it won’t harm your business if the workers stream Netflix during off-business hours, the staff is still liable to justify what use they put the computer to during office hours.
Mobile Internet will do the Job
Staying online from home is completely doable, given the advancements in the telecomm industry. It is 21st century and most countries have 4G networks at place.
With mobile internet, strength of the network is paramount. Even on a low-speed internet, you can manage most of the tasks well.
Personally, I am of the opinion that businesses should leave the choice of the internet to their employees. Based on the requirements and the complexity of task, the staff can itself work out which internet would suit them the best.
In a nutshell, reliable mobile internet is essential if you want to continue working unabated.
If you are willing to plan ahead, be a tad bit more flexible, and start financing a solid internet connection for workers that absolutely need so.
Phone & email
Emails would pose no problems, whatsoever, in remote work. Almost all email services are cloud-configured, allowing you to login to your outlook from virtually anywhere.
If your KRA requires you to frequently dial and attend to calls, there are risks that you need to probably remain tied to work desk, although there is a way around it too.
Companies using voice over IP (VoIP) phone solution will only need to tweak a few settings, diverting calls from office landlines to the employee’s cell. VoIP can unlock a new arsenal of weapons for remote work, which, we’d exclude from the discussion for now.
Test before you rest
Even after you have all the required infrastructure in the place and are ready to allow telecommuting, you should not do so until all the endpoints have been tested.
By endpoints, we mean network terminals that would connect users working from home with the system on board.
A sure-fire way to screw up the transition to remote working is not testing it before implementing.
Before kicking off policies for remote work, make sure to test it first. Doing so is extremely important, especially for organizations that have never put such a policy into effect before.
Tips for Employees
Define your workspace
To all the anticipating work staff out there, all things are now set and you’d soon be working from home. But before we begin, we’d like you to know the importance of defining a decent workspace at home.
First, claim a healthy working space. It could be a corner of your sitting hall or the table overlooking the window, but at least not your attic, nor bedroom below the staircase.
Reserve a place where you feel like working – create that ambience. It’s a matter of just personal taste. Anyways, your employer is not going to worry whether you work lying down on bed or slumped on your couch. Just be sure to remain optimally productive.