Technology has played a huge role in the rise in the number of people working remotely, with rates of telecommuting rising globally in recent years.
A survey released by TINYpulse, entitled “What Leaders Need To Know About Remote Workers”, revealed that 37 per cent of workers surveyed take advantage of remote working options, compared with just 9 per cent in 1995. There are a number of benefits to remote working for both employees and businesses alike; for example, 91 per cent of respondents felt they were more productive working from home, while for businesses, fewer bodies in seats means less overheads and a reduced carbon footprint. However, for this working set-up to be a success, clear and frequent communication is vital. In the survey, 52 per cent of employees said they had contact with their direct supervisor either “once per day” or “multiple times per day,” while 34 per cent reported contact levels at just once a week. More worrying still, 10 per cent of employees said they spoke to direct management just one a month, while 3 per cent revealed they were “never” in contact.
If you have an office, installing a system to keep your computers connected is relatively simple – but it’s important to choose the right tools for safe connectivity when dealing with numerous computers (cables such as Cat 6E LAN cables or similar are ideal for this as they’re used in a range of commercial applications, and are often used to interconnect, control and regulate multiple computer units). But if you don’t have a central working space or rely on telecommuters and/or freelance talent, staying connected can be tougher.
There are some things you businesses can do to make staying in contact that much easier:
Use tech to automatically track and record activity
Web-based tools like ActiveCollab and Asana enable users to log in and manage tasks, and makes for easy sharing files and collaboration. Tracking tools like TimeCamp can automatically track time spent and productivity based on website and app usage, while the app WhenIWork is a more comprehensive system that can manage time tracking along with timesheets and payroll.
Chat apps like Skype cut down on the amount of emails flying around, and features like group chat keep everyone connected in real time. Ensuring everyone is signed in can mean questions can be answered in a matter of minutes, eliminating the need for wait for an email response or returned voicemail.
Schedule in some face time
Using FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Skype to video conference can boost morale and improve communications, and so many companies with a high number of telecommuters will have video calls throughout the week. In addition to these tools, software like GoToMeeting has been specially designed to make it easy for people to attend meetings virtually, enabling employees to professionally give presentations and “attend” meetings from anywhere.
Implement cloud technology
With this in in place, companies with staff in different locations can input cloud technology to increase communications globally. This can be achieved through using existing technology, or having your own bespoke system developed, depending on the size of your organisation.