How to Keep Your Remote Employees Connected
Winter is here, marking the beginning of the holiday season. Between winter break at schools , bad weather, and vacations to warmer destinations, there can be a lot of distractions that pull employees away from the office. During these winter months, it’s important to accommodate for situations where employees are unable to make it to the office such as being snowed in or having to look after children.
For whatever reasons employees have to be out of the office, typically their work still needs to be done. In this blog, we’ve gathered up the 3 most common challenges companies have with working remotely. Here’s how you can avoid these issues:
1) Productivity: Keep Remote Employees Connected With Cloud Systems
There’s no point in having employees work from home if they can’t be equally as productive. You should make sure that all productivity tools available to employees at work will also be available to them while at home.
“Working remotely is not always as simple as using a program like LogMeIn on your computer. Your employees may need access to company data, your phone system, and other ways to communicate with their co-workers. You need to ask, ‘How easily can you communicate with someone when they’re not sitting right next to you?’”
From home, employees should be able to access your phone system and have cloud access to your company’s files and productivity tools. This can include accessing database systems, management portals, peer-to-peer communication, and anything else relating to your business processes.
2) Security: Avoid the Security Issues of Remote Access
If you plan on your employees working remotely, it’s important to have a policy in place that ensures the security of your company’s data. Especially in the case of an employee working on a public network, having a security policy in place and the right software (such as a VPN) is essential if you want to keep your company’s data secure. A VPN (virtual private network) helps to ensure data privacy and will allow your employees to connect even from a public network with an added layer of security.
As a safeguard, having company-issued laptops is a great way to make sure all employees who work remotely have the software security they need when accessing company files.
3) Connectivity: Test Remote Connectivity in Advance
Before allowing employees to work from home, you should make sure there are no issues with your remote accessibility. According to Ryan Armstrong, “In order for a remote solution to be effective, the employees need to actually be able to work. Make sure the system you are using is designed to meet your business’s needs.” When testing your remote accessibility, your number one concern should be the employee’s ability to use the productivity tools they need.
Often companies believe the remote systems they have in place are fine until the time comes to actually use them. Armstrong says, “If your employees go to the office all the time and don’t regularly work remotely, you may run into issues such as your remote access not being tested lately, users who are unsure how to use it, and managers who are not prepared to work with remote employees.” All companies should frequently test their remote systems, especially for those who don’t use them often.
Beyond just testing your systems, you should also make sure your managers have a plan on how to work with team members who are out of the office. Before leaving the office, employees need to make sure they’re accessible by phone and have the permissions they need for cloud access to business tools and data. Both managers and employees should have an equal understanding of your policy and should be available for contact in the case of a business emergency.
Creating a Successful Remote Work Access Plan
To ensure your business has the least amount downtime as possible, your employees should be familiarized with your remote work policy upon hire. All employees should set up the connectivity permissions they need from day one. That way, issues down the line can be avoided in the case of unexpected weather or a personal emergency. If they are able to plan in advance, employees should check before leaving to make sure there are no changes or new permissions that they may need to add. Having a set policy in place will help keep you and your company prepared and productive.
Need help setting up a secure system for you employees to work remotely? Check out our FREE eGuide to learn more about how to get your workforce mobilized!