How to use tech to keep your remote staff connected
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 percent of workers surveyed take advantage of remote working options, compared with 9 percent in 1995. There are a number of benefits to remote working for both employees and businesses alike; for example, 91 percent of respondents felt they were more productive working from home, while for businesses, fewer bodies in seats mean fewer 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 percent of employees said they had contact with their direct supervisor either “once per day” or “multiple times per day,” while 34 percent reported contact levels at just once a week. 10 percent of employees said they spoke to direct management just one a month, while 3 percent 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. 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 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 of 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 number 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 to 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 communication, 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 place, companies with staff in different locations can input cloud technology to increase communications globally. This can be achieved by using existing technology or having your own bespoke system developed, depending on the size of your organization.