remote working

Remote workers

So you’ve decided as a business that you’re going to set a policy that allows your workforce to be flexible where and when they work. The policies are written, you’ve communicated to the workforce all the different aspects of the policy. You’ve been clear that remote working is different from working from home (as you’ll have to send the Health and Safety people out) and you’re going to treat your people like adults and in return for the trust they have to become results based.

Great start! Did you speak to your IT Department or providers? No? Oh! You should have really thought this thing through a bit more strategically…

  1. Your IT department and providers know the limitations of what is currently possible with your existing infrastructure. You may be geared up to work from only your current locations and your system cannot cope with the changes in demands.
  2. You need to consider the security aspects of what you’re doing, what does your business do and are you taking adequate steps to ensure the security of your commercial and customer data. The last thing you want is a lost laptop causing a fine from the Information Commissioner or losing you your best client through a breach of terms.
  3. How will you retain the chain of command? Whilst everyone undoubtedly has a line manager or exists in some sort of structure have you ensured your IT department has been notified by the various teams and HR as moves and changes occur? You may think it doesn’t matter but when security privileges are automated and pushed out to the workforce your IT team can only go off what they know.
  4. How will the chain of command communicate? Training may be necessary to organise conference or video calls the use of instant messaging such as Lync or Jabber – or even a policy to be set on regular in-house team meetings in the good old conference room.
  5. What are your expense policies? You may think there is free and ubiquitous WiFi everywhere these days but there are often paywalls for both premium areas such as on-board trains and hotels. As such you may need to consider enabling your workforce with 3G/4G dongles or a central contract for WiFi with the many different providers who operate the services. Otherwise – you may be footing some hefty bills.
  6. Will you be open to Lone Working issues? Are you properly assessing the risks associated with allowing your employees more freedom of choice where they work and how they impact on your business.
  7. Where does your insurer stand on the increased risks of people and equipment not always being in named locations? It’s important to have this discussion with your insurer or broker with regards to changes in your business.
  8. Does remote working mean home working? In many organisations, home working is completely different to remote working. Home workers tend to have their place of work as their home and have some degree of permanent set-up in a home office with work equipment. Usually these workstations are subjected to all the same Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and Health and Safety rules, often requiring a safety advisor to visit the employee’s home. What strategies and changes in policies will your organisations have to mitigate remote working ending up being home working?
  9. How can you keep the social cohesion within your organisation? If you’re encouraging people to be team focussed, how can you retain this? Company internal social media sites such as Jive or Yammer as such tools to keep collaboration going from a social media perspective.
  10. Is your office space organised correctly? Following the changes to your working practices, you need to evaluate whether you have enough flexible working and meeting spaces in your actual premises. For team working, for meetings and for people who like to work from an office permanently.

Unleashed are a boutique technology consultancy partner that can offer advice not only on which technology would be suitable for your business but also which strategies would suit you best.

If you’d like further information from ourselves or our collaboration technology partners, Cisco, 3CX and Microsoft then please feel free to give us a call today.