Efficient remote workforce management requires communicating with your remote employees frequently and effectively. When your employees work together on-site, they communicate daily with their co-workers and supervisors. They have frequent on-site meetings and training sessions. They see each other at coffee breaks and lunch and socialize after work. They know what’s going on. This can be a challenge for remote employees.
Communicate With Your Remote Employees
It is essential that you instill a sense of belonging and community with your remote employees. Using softphone software, you should hold daily virtual office meetings that are useful for making announcements and training sessions. This type of technology also enables your remote employees to share thoughts and issues with supervisors and fellow employees.
Some employers find it helpful for their employees to come into the office for one or two days per week if only to sustain a sense of community. This practice also helps your remote employees to break the monotony of working at home.
Frequent and consistent two-way communication with your employees fosters trust. Trust is essential for remote employee management in the absence of on-site management oversight. Trust goes a long way for keeping tabs on the productivity of your remote employees.
All remote employees must develop and practice self-discipline for time management and efficiency. It’s essential to avoid distractions and maximize productivity. Remote workers also need to know how to use the appropriate tools for getting support when they need it.
Training is essential for any industry. For those not working on-site, training requires remote workforce solutions. Remote employees need a variety of specialized human resource training, and new employees require special orientation programs.
More prominent employers may want to hire human resource personnel with particular expertise with remote employee management.
Remote Workplace Requirements
An efficient remote workplace needs the same resources as an employee would use on-site. As the employer, you should furnish these resources just as you would in an on-site arrangement.
A remote employee must have a quiet, preferably separate, room to work without distractions or interruptions. As the employer, you might want to consider helping your employees seek the best arrangement possible.
A remote location must also have basic equipment and software, including:
- Office equipment such as a desk, ergonomic chair, and desktop or laptop computer
- A very good computer monitor for interoffice and video communications
- A softphone software program that enables your remote employee to communicate with co-workers and supervisors on the internet
In addition to office equipment, a remote employee must have the usual office supplies, including paper, printer toner or ink, and other essentials.
Remote Workforce Security
Off-site workplaces pose special remote workforce security problems. Remote workers might use their personal Wi-Fi networks and devices to access your company data.
To deal with remote workforce security risks, you must establish effective measures to protect your company’s data and information. Here are some things you can do.
Many employers are implementing a two-factor log-in system to gain access to their company data. The two-factor log-in is also showing up in routine “over-the-counter” apps. With a two-factor system, your remote employee will get a unique password consisting of at least 10 characters, including numbers and symbols. The second factor for remote workforce security requires entering a code sent by the employer to the employee’s cell phone as a text message. Employers who implement this system report a substantial reduction of security problems with their remote workforce.
You should also issue clear, precise, and unambivalent corporate remote workforce security policies. The policies should state acceptable remote access, how to handle data, and what authorizations you need. If you are especially concerned about security, you should consider requiring company-issued devices.
Your remote workers should make their connections with your company through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that encrypts communications from your remote worker’s device.
Your remote workplace management program must include frequent security training. Workers sometimes forget to implement safeguards against remote hackers and data thieves, particularly if the employee is working remotely in public places.
Ever-developing technologies make remote workforce management increasingly sustainable. Some jobs, like assembly-line jobs, don’t lend themselves to remote workforce solutions. Some jobs require mostly accounting skills. Others require writing and verbal skills. Still, others need research and scientific talents. Most require various communication technologies. We could go on.
However, some areas of technology are universally applicable to remote workplace management.
- Training: Training is foremost among technological matters. It is important enough for an on-site workforce. It is an even more essential element for remote employee management. In an on-site setting, employees learn as much from each other as any formal training program. Remote employees do not have that advantage. Each of your new remote employees should receive intense online orientation on remote office procedures, time management, particularly the special technologies employed in your company.
- Communication technologies: Communication technologies are an essential element of remote workplace solutions. Communications require both hard and soft technologies. Call centers use extensively telephone, computer, and other hardware as well as softphone software programs. All remote workforces require softphone software programs for interoffice video conferencing as well as third-party communications. There are many excellent softphone software programs available.
- AI: Artificial intelligence is a broad concept given many definitions. Some forms are useful in remote workplace management. The lack of on-site supervision is a major concern about remote work. While you are respectful of your remote employee’s privacy, your obligation as an employer is to optimize the quality and productivity of your workforce. There are very good artificial intelligence programs that enable you to supervise your remote workers’ work in a non-invasive manner.
- Specialized software: Job-specific software is often required and should be part of your remote employee management training. For example, paralegals or lawyers require legal research and forms software. Accounting and bookkeeping jobs require special accounting software. Engineering jobs might require special engineering and design software.
Remote workforce management is an emerging human resources specialty. Some experts expect that remote work will continue as a way of life for many employers. Because it is here to stay, your need for remote workforce solutions will continue.
Therefore, you need to fine-tune the remote workforce management that you already have in place or plan for the day when you need to implement it. This blog gives you a glimpse of the concerns and considerations you have or will have and suggests some workforce solutions, including remote workforce security, communications, and productivity.
We hope you have seen some remote workforce solutions you can implement. We encourage you and your human resources people to reach out to us for further assistance at Frontier Business Products.