According to ZDNet, one in three employees admitted having lower morale working away from the office and that they feel easily distracted and stressed out while working. Furthermore, many employees have reported not getting adequate guidance from the employer on best practices working from home.
It does not take much imagination to see where this could lead.
The remote workforce is no longer reserved for the pure sales organization. It is not just contractors and consultants that are best suited for this model. Nowadays, even operational staff such as accounting (payables and receivables), purchasing, human resources, and their managers are in the home office. What is the big deal, most people have a computer and internet at home? Companies should invest more in remote access solutions, and it will be just like working in the office. Right? Wrong!
The phone rings, and it is the vet reminding Gabriel (your employee) that Fido’s checkup is at 10 am, and so is the project status update with the general managers. The kids come home from school and decide that now is the time to update their social network status, watch a few vids, and play a few games to wind down the school day. The Internet seems slow because your employee is at the vet and left the computer connected to the VPN, and now so is the Xbox. The game is not performing well, so dad always says, “reboot the darn thing,” and so they do. Gabriel forgot to save the changes to the fiscal budget they were working on since 7 am.
There are so many things to consider when building a remote workforce. It is not just about having sufficient “Internet Bandwidth” (Internet service providers typically do not offer any guarantees on home internet connections like commercial agreements) and a reasonably modern computer.
Often dismissed is productivity, secure and conscientious behavior about company resources and data, new skills training, how to communicate or when to use which method of communication, performance appraisals, remote IT support, home network security and computing equipment, and paperless initiatives to avoid exorbitant home printing costs including digital document signing, sharing, and saving. The remote workforce will require a lot more of your attention to warrant it as a true business strategy!
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