How to make teleworking work for your employees
With today’s technology, it is both viable and straightforward for those who need to work remotely to take their workplace home. Eight out of ten Swedes say they could carry out some of their working tasks from a desk anywhere at all, while half claim they already work from home regularly each month.
As our attitude to the significance of the workplace changes, it has become more acceptable to work remotely. Those who believe employees take it easy while working from home have to think again. A number of studies actually show that people who telework are more productive and effective.
Flexibility in high demand
It could be that the positive effects reported by employees who are allowed to work at the office and from home have led to more Swedes wanting to do some of their work remotely. According to a survey published by Aviva in 2017, 63 percent of respondents said that flexible working arrangements increase their sense of loyalty to their employer. This is why it’s so important for many businesses to offer teleworking, in order to be an attractive employer.
Five tips to help your employees telework effectively
To ensure your business remains effective and internal collaboration runs smoothly when teleworking, it’s a good idea to set certain routines and make sure you use the right tools. Below are five tips that can be applied at your company to ensure teleworking works better for your employees:
1. Make sure your business has the right tools
This is essential for any company that wishes to work remotely. The most important thing is to ensure you have a good tool for communication and collaboration. There are currently several communication solutions that offer online conferencing, chat functionality and other information exchange. Some of them are free, but it’s important to know that these services only store a certain number of messages, or impose a limit on the number of users. In the long-term, it’s always worth investing in a good communication solution to ensure you avoid information disappearing.
When choosing a collaboration tool, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s compatible with the communications solution you have chosen. This means cutting down the number of programs you use, which makes it easier for employees to work effectively. For instance, if you already use Office 365 then Teams is the logical choice of communication solution. Teams can also be used as a collaboration tool, as it enables people to work together by using and sharing Office files right inside the program. Find out more about four digital tools that make your business more effective.
2. Work securely and use VPN
There are currently many wireless networks that are far from secure, and carry the risk of unauthorised persons gaining access to your data and information. To avoid these risks, and work remotely in a secure way, we recommend using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
VPN is a technique used to create a secure, encrypted connection over the internet. It helps to ensure sensitive data is transferred securely and prevents unauthorised persons gaining access to traffic. It is advised never to connect to an unknown Wi-Fi network – tethering from your mobile phone is a better option in such cases. Make sure the company has sufficient capacity to allow several employees to telework at the same time, and that everyone has good internet access which enables them to work effectively.
3. Provide a clear structure and set deadlines
When teleworking, it may seem difficult to keep track of how tasks are assigned, and their current status. But with the right tools, you can set clear deadlines to monitor the work of your colleagues and check the progress made with the projects they’re engaged on. These tools make it easier for managers and decision makers to plan, track progress and gain a good overview of workloads. Such tools include: Microsoft Planner, Trello and Asana.
4. Set common working hours and use shared calendars
Even when we’re teleworking, it’s important for many of us to have clear routines and structure. Effective collaboration and communication are extremely important in the majority of workplaces. So even if you operate flexi-time, designating certain periods when everyone must be available is a good idea.
When you’re sitting in the same office, it’s easier to see whether or not a colleague is available than it is when teleworking. However, tools like Exchange Online enable you to share calendars and easily check your colleagues’ schedules. This makes it easier to plan common activities and meetings.
5. Use video conferencing for social activities
Video conferencing is a clever solution for hosting remote meetings. If you have lots of employees who work from home and perhaps don’t meet so often face to face, it can be a good idea to maintain communication through chat, video meetings and phone calls.
It’s important to hold video meetings on a regular basis, as people use a lot of body language to express themselves when they talk, and it’s often much nicer to see the person we’re talking to. And don’t forget to plan an online tea/coffee break from time to time as a fun replacement for your usual afternoon break.
Find the right online solution for your specific company
Due to the many benefits of working remotely and the countless concrete tips available to make sure it works effectively, maybe it's time to consider whether your business should allow teleworking.
Nordlo offers guidance so you can identify the right solutions for your business, and provides training to help you use them in the best possible way. Feel free to get in touch so we can tell you more about how teleworking can benefit your company.
We’re currently running online seminars in which we explain more about teleworking securely and effectively with Teams as your tool. To sign up, click on the button below.