By | Rayanne Morriss
Thanks to many factors such as the world wide pandemic, more people than ever before are working from home. While many business owners may see this as beneficial in regards to slashing overhead expenses, you should be aware that there are particular risks and problems unique to working from home that do not necessarily apply to the office. Many of these issues regard technology. Below are some tech tips for your work from home employees that can help you avoid some of these problems.
Track Work at Home Productivity
One of the biggest risks of having employees work at home is that without direct supervision some of your workers’ productivity may falter. This may actually be somewhat of an unsubstantiated fear due to statistics that say 40 percent of workers find they are more productive at home than in the office. Still, it is a rational fear to have. Make sure you are using software tools to track the productivity of workers that telecommute. This software may use different means to track productivity such as task lists and timers. Self reporting features may also be useful to you since you can cross-reference what the employee says versus what the software actually logged.
Provide Your Employees With the Right Tools
Being able to be productive while working at home also requires having the right tools to to make up for some of the deficiencies of not being in the office. This certainly includes video and audio communication. Communicating by voice and face to face is still extremely important even when a worker is telecommuting. Meetings should still be performed, and those meetings should be done via teleconferencing in which the different participants can see and hear each other. Consider supplying employees with the appropriate web cameras and audio headsets so you can ensure all the technology used is actually compatible with your teleconferencing software. Otherwise, you may run into technical issues. Look for quality equipment for your employees. The best speakerphone for home office, for example, should include bluetooth and be very reliable.
Address Cyber Security Issues
One of the biggest risks of having workers work from home is in regards to cyber security. In your own offices, you can have much tighter control over your computers and what kind of traffic is and is not allowed into the company network. When employees work from home with their own computers and devices, a lot of that control is given up. You should include cyber security training for all work at home employees as well as communicate your standards and policies regarding maintaining cyber security while connected to the company network at home. Employees should learn how to avoid phishing scams, trojans, malware and more. You should provide work at home employees with adequate cyber security software to install on their own machines and perhaps even access to a VPN subscription to increase their cyber security. If you want to go even further, you can provide employees with laptops or other devices to be used only for work purposes.
Utilize Collaboration Software
One thing that may seem to be missing in a work at home setup is the normal collaboration that occurs in an office environment. Thankfully, you can use software to recreate this kind of teamwork in a digital environment. Collaboration software creates a digital workspace that all members of a team can contribute to. It allows you to create a project and work it along from the planning stages to completion without team members ever having to be in the same room. Discussions regarding the project can also be facilitated, and you should be able to monitor each stage of the progression of the project in case kinks need to be worked out. In many ways, it’s actually superior to hashing out a project in person without these kinds of digital tools.
Overall, allowing employees to work from home has many benefits. This includes having access to talent you wouldn’t be able to work with otherwise due to travel restrictions as well as the slashing of overhead related to employees working in physical offices. Telecommuting does provide some challenges as well including issues related to productivity, cyber security, communication and collaboration. However, with the right tools, all these issues can be solved.