Don’t Come into the Office
Monday 27 March 2017
It’s the way of the future, so isn’t it about time you and your employees enjoyed the benefits of telecommuting and telework? Global Workplace Analytics reports show regular work-at-home among the non-self-employed population has grown by 103% since 2005. Whether it’s ‘telework’, where an employee spends some days working at home and some in the office or ‘telecommuting’ where someone always works at home, the flexibility to eliminate the peak hour commute from our lives is becoming more prevalent and important.
It makes sense too. Anything you’d previously have an employee do in office can easily be done remotely. Meetings? There’s Skype and conference calling for that. Collaboration? There are plenty of online collaboration tools that allow employees to work together on projects in real time. Tracking hours worked? There are tools that allow employees to start and stop their timer and log their timesheet hours for them with one click. So what’s stopping you?
If you think there’s no benefit to allowing employees to work remotely, think again! The benefits for employee and employer are wide-ranging, just as long as the proper precautions, technologies and security measures are in place.
People who work from home have been shown to have better health due to eating healthier, not being exposed to every cold or flu virus their co-workers bring to work and having a better work/life balance. When an employee has a chance to work from home, they also enjoy:
- Not having to endure the cost or time it takes to commute through peak hour
- The ability to be comfortable and wear what they like while working, as long as they don’t need to take any video calls
- Fewer of the distractions that occur in open plan offices
- More time with their family due to not commuting
- Stress-reducing companionship of their pets
In fact, a 2011 study from Staples found that employees who worked from home experienced 25 percent less stress!
Studies have also shown employers see some pretty amazing benefits when they allow employees to work remotely:
- Significantly lower energy bills, rent and equipment costs – just imagine not having to crank the air-conditioner to compensate for those extra bodies and computers heating up the office, being able to buy less toilet roll for the loos, less coffee for the kitchen, even spend less on cleaning the office!
- Fewer losses, since employees who work remotely take fewer sick days
- Plus, employees who work from home consistently show higher levels of productivity than those in the office
- Improved employee retention and job satisfaction
- Ability to hire the best of the best without being limited by where they live
- Employees who work from home take fewer breaks and work longer hours
So what do you need to start allowing employees to work remotely? First and foremost, there needs to be trust. You need to trust that your employee will work during the hours you’d like and deliver the same if not better level of output as if they were in the office.
When it comes to equipment and tools, whether you provide them or the employee uses their own, you’ll need a reliable phone and an excellent internet connection. Appropriate IP telephony and Pabx configurations can allow your employees to carry their extension with them. While regular backups and ensuring your employees have solid anti-virus software in place that is regularly updated is a must to protect files and data. It’s also a good idea to have a trusted VPN in place to further encrypt and protect communications.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the first thing about setting up your employees for remote work. It’s best to engage a professional to ensure you have the latest security software installed, create regular backups, allow the right people to access files and have your data secured. They can set up your cloud services for greater flexibility and data protection too. A professional IT team can also make sure your employees are using the latest and best software for your needs.
If you want to know more about what it would take to set up your employees to telecommute or telework, get in touch with the team at South Pacific IT. Before long, you could be enjoying all the benefits this futuristic work style has to offer.