Technology enables employees to serve customers from anywhere at any time…just as long as they have an Internet connection. Such possibilities are blurring the lines between mobile, remote, and office-based work, and that can make for a sticky situation.
Fortunately, Josh Clifford, a small business services expert and vice president and general manager with PlumChoice, a technology services provider, offers five tips to help you in managing remote employees:
- Start with the right employees – To ensure remote and mobile operations success, it’s important to make sure the employees who work off-site have the right technical resources. It’s just as crucial to remember that working remotely isn’t for everyone: remote and mobile employees must have the discipline and commitment to work effectively without supervision.
- Reduce risks and optimize access with secure connections – Employees who work remotely need the ability to safely log on to systems without risking loss of confidential business data or creating exposure to online viruses. Get a professional review of your setup to ensure that your systems and network are optimized for success. Additionally, identify a remote support team that can help you should the need arise.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate…and do it frequently – Regular communication is incredibly important no matter where your employees work. It can become absolutely critical, however, for employees with remote and mobile access. Reach out to them regularly to understand whether they have the tools they need to succeed and to find out what works and what doesn’t within the remote access setup.
- Provide Web-based collaboration tools – Employees with remote access may work off-site, but they will almost certainly need to collaborate with their peers and managers to effectively serve customers or perform their roles. Web-based collaboration tools can keep employees connected and productive. There are many options available, including Google Docs, Dropbox, and Basecamp.
- Consider productivity- and quality-monitoring tools – It’s important to make sure employee interactions with customers are appropriate and of the highest quality – particularly if you’re in the service industry. There are a number of tools available that can help you record and monitor voice or online customer interactions for staff using remote access, including TriVium Systems, VPI, and OAISYS.
Remote and mobile access capabilities allow businesses to expand operations, enable productivity worldwide, and reduce overhead costs. By following these tips, you can take advantage of remote access while mitigating risk exposure and controlling quality.
This information first appeared online in BusinessNewsDaily.