A helpful overview for both employers and employees
Working remote, telecommuting, mobile professional. Whatever you chose to call it, it’s an avenue that is being explored more and more by employers and employees. In a study done by GlobalWorkPlaceAnalytics.com, they found that there’s been a 115% increase in the remote employee population, either full or part time, since 2005. The top areas that are seeing the most telecommuting growth is technology, human resources, real estate, mortgage, recruiting, finance and accounting. However, this doesn’t mean that other professions aren’t transitioning to this route. With technological advances happening every day, new possibilities are always presenting themselves.
If you are thinking about bringing this option to your workforce or are building a case for your boss, here are some things to take into consideration:
Positives to having remote workers
Thanks to all of the collaboration tools that are now on the market, a number of companies are revealing that their teams are actually experiencing an increase in communication and interaction. Managers and leaders reported that when they have remote employees, they are more like to develop a clear group plan and goals, there’s more collaboration throughout the project duration, accountability increases, along with camaraderie and willingness to be a part of something. Employees who are shown support and trust from their higher ups develop a loyalty to their place of work as opposed to those hindering and repressive environments. Owners and managers have also reported a lower employee turnover rate as they accommodate “work from home day” requests or employees who move or travel.
Because location is irrelevant when it comes to remote employees, businesses can extend their hiring pool to a global level. Depending on the position and the location, hourly or salary prices will vary. However, without these additional employees in the office, companies are saving more on overhead costs.
Negatives to having remote workers
Employees working remotely full time are going to miss all of the face to face, small chat and bonding that happens in the workplace. Sometimes it’s the on the spot interaction that leads to new project ideas, problem-solving, after work meetups or other human interactions that create a more connected workforce.
The biggest concern of allowing employees to work remotely is security. With cybercrime on the rise, it is critical to have a security structure in place to protect both the company and their client’s data. Lucky for you, we’ve included a list of security hardware and software that can help add that extra buffer between you and cybercriminals.
Tech that can help
Just to really drive the point home, it is impossible to be 100% secure. There are too many factors that contribute to vulnerabilities, leaving cracks in the infrastructure that act as entry points for cybercriminals to slip through. Companies of all shapes and sizes have experienced hacking. With that being said, here is a short list of technology based bumpers you can implement to make the connection more secure, as well as keep your telecommuters connected:
Cloud – Using the cloud as a place to store and retrieve data adds an extra layer of protection to your environment, while allowing remote workers to still access all the necessary applications. This also gives business owners and managers the power to limit what data each user can get to. Additional security software can be added to the cloud platform that allows owners and managers to erase all data from a device in the case of theft or malicious ex-employee behavior.
Online whiteboard – These applications allow team members to sketch, share notes and thoughts all in real time. There are many whiteboard options out there that will offer a variety of specific features, but overall, it’s a great concept to bring a team together for a brainstorm session and keep the connection intact.
VPN – Think of this as a secure tunnel that connects a remote device to an internal network, just like an extension of the company. This is a must for businesses as the data that is being sent between the two points is encrypted, keeping it from being interfered by hackers.
Working remotely isn’t for everyone. Personality type and job requirements are all things to take into consideration for both employers and employees looking to work in this fashion.