The digital age has been full to bursting with surprising new technological advancements, and that has led in turn to a business landscape characterized by the use of advanced tech. This not only provides better quality of life for business owners today, but also creates more effective and efficient businesses overall. Technology has also helped businesses adapt to various unforeseen circumstances, and the recent boom in remote employment is a major testament to that fact. Folding remote workers into your business model can be incredibly beneficial, but doing so comes with a variety of logistical problems you’ll need to solve. However, it will all be worth it when you experience the benefits that a remote workforce has to offer. Here’s what you need to know.
One of the first things to jump out at business owners when remote labor is discussed is the lack of oversight for remote staff members. This is a valid concern, of course, but there are also plenty of means by which you can ensure an appropriate amount of oversight for your at-home staff. For example, many work-from-home employees end up using their personal cell phones to conduct business, and this presents a few key liability issues. Providing your staff with alternative phones for work with business SMS can help you keep office communications official and above board. Time tracking apps have proven to be a valuable tool in keeping remote staff on task, and payroll apps can allow off-site personnel to provide accurate figures for their hours worked away from the office. It’s important to note, however, that the lack of oversight is part and parcel with another major hurdle facing businesses that implement remote employment.
Another logistical problem facing a remote workforce is that of a lack of structure. Many work from home positions entail workers making their own schedules, and this can be a major problem for workers themselves. Structure is an underrated part of the office experience that remote workers may find themselves missing when working from home. It can be more difficult for workers to stay on task, for example, and a dynamic schedule can lead to erratic sleeping patterns that can affect morale and mental clarity. Last, but certainly not least, the lack of human contact when working from home can be isolating to workers, especially those who get most of their social experience through work. First and foremost, it’s important to talk to your staff about these potential problems, the expectations of the job, and how those two factors affect each other. This gives employees a place to start during their transition, ensuring better performance and morale.
Another crucial problem for remote workers is the lack of communication that comes with working from home. While there’s nothing to stop communication between on-site and off-site staff, there is necessarily an additional barrier between management and employees that can
slow operations down. The foundation of remote communication is email, and for good reason. However, even email can be limited when employees aren’t accustomed to using it for work, for example, so it’s important that your staff have adequate access to and awareness of their email accounts. Using smartphone apps and push notifications can help tremendously in this department. On that note, businesses are increasingly making use of messaging platforms like Slack for communication between staff, and this method is uniquely positioned to fold in both remote and on-site employees, not to mention housing the totality of a business’s roster within a single forum.
Technology is nothing if not a problem solver, and that only becomes more true as tech continues to advance. Businesses today depend heavily on today’s latest and greatest technology for a variety of reasons. Remote employment practices themselves can serve various purposes, from dealing with a crisis to saving a company money on housing on-site staff. However, all of these benefits bely a very real downside, and you’ll need these tips to even the odds.