Temperatures in the Boston area dropped into the 30’s and some areas of the country received their first snow. Winter is clearly on the way and some small business owners may want to think about letting workers telecommute rather than contend with dangerous commutes through snow, sleet and ice.
Many business owners have turned to seasonal commuting as a solution to harsh conditions or even as a way to increase flexibility year-round. Telecommuting employees fall into two primary categories. Many do it periodically, during an emergency such as weather or because they have to care for sick children or are sick themselves. Workers at many companies have been telecommuting full-time or almost full-time for years. The flexibility offered by such a strategy can often increase the productivity of companies who have employees that primarily work from a computer. Companies that require IT professionals should also consider the use of remote access software to allow for trouble shooting without having to send IT personnel offsite.
Additionally, employees who do not telecommute full time often require the use of remote control software which allows them to access their work computer from any other computer with the software installed on it. This is especially beneficial if employees need to travel often, like sales people or consultants. They are able to access anything on their work computer from a PC, laptop, or even a smart phone.
Business owners’ attitudes toward telecommuting are often mixed. Many have been burned in the past by an untrustworthy or unreliable employee. Some have had better experiences and embraced it to the point that they’ve been able to move their companies to smaller offices because they don’t need desk space for their full-time telecommuters.
There are some obvious management issues involved with not being able to have your employees on site.
The great fear among some business owners is that telecommuting employees may be spending more time on distractions like TV or the laundry than they will on their work. They worry that they won’t be able to control their staffers if they don’t have face-to-face contact each day.
If there is an obvious drop in productivity and quality the employer may need to consider if the problem is with telecommuting or the employee. In many companies, employees like regional marketing directors are telecommuting out of geographic necessity for many years.
Even if your employees are telecommuting full-time, it may still be a good idea to require workers to put some face time in at the office. Periodic contact with bosses and co-workers can help telecommuters avoid feeling isolated and preserve the feeling of camaraderie that is essential to the work place. Introducing a new employee to his/her co-workers is also a good reason to bring people into the office for the day. On days like this the necessity for employees to be able to access all of their files makes a strong case for PC Remote Access.
Some owners may shy away from permitting employees to telecommute because they think it will mean a big investment in technology. There are many secure Web-based services to help small businesses who want employees to telecommute. Companies can download software that essentially will create a network between an employee’s PC at home and the company’s system and allow for remote access.Tags: remote access software, remote control software