What does it even mean to go to the office in 2017? With more people than ever working remotely or consulting and freelancing from home, the notion of the workplace is reshaping itself around choice and mobility, and employers need to step up and meet the needs of a changing workforce. That means it’s time to equip employees for a multiplicity of workspaces. Are you supplying the technology they need?
The Cloud Is King
In today’s business environment, the best thing you can do to ensure smooth transitions between onsite and remote work is to invest in the cloud.
The cloud is the primary underpinning of the digital workspace, giving employees access to key information no matter where they are. Most importantly, employees can access data stored in the cloud without being connected to the corporate network, which means staff no longer need access to a VPN to connect with the office. And with cloud-based software, you reduce downtime, prepare for growth, and make sure your system is always up to date.
Get Off The Grid
While it may not be standard for your staff to be working from the middle of the woods or while at sea, journalists and freelancers often find themselves in unusual situations. Some have mobile offices in trucks or vans, while others may be reporting from a remote music festival or war torn area with limited internet access. And of course, when you send staff on the road for work, they may find themselves without reliable internet access, flitting between cafes and hotels. None of these scenarios are conducive to productivity.
It’s your job, as an employer, to help keep your employees securely connected at all times, no matter how unusual their working conditions are, so invest in portable wi-fi hotspots for staff on the road. Military-grade hotspots are easy to use, are hard to damage, and there’s no reason for team members to plead out of a deadline because they’re out of range. You can’t claim you have a fully mobile workforce if you’re not supplying hotspot technology.
Choose Clear Communication
If there’s one aspect of professional life that has really suffered in the age of remote work, it would be communication. No longer tied to a shared space, staff can’t share information and files by walking to the next desk over – they may not even be working in the same time zone as coworkers. That means employers need to take active steps to keep everyone connected and communicating.
Chat technology like Slack is perfect for decentralized teams looking to stay in touch because its complex Enterprise grid enables people from all over the company to communicate, supervisors to issue broad announcements, and coworkers to share files easily from different locations. And as more businesses adopt Slack on a near-full time basis, the company has been fine-tuning their search system, allowing users to find and reference old conversations easily.
Master Money Management
Finally, when you’re working with a small, remote staff it can be hard to track everyone’s expenses, but if you can centralize all of that information, then you’ll be set to go. Programs like Wave Accounting are perfect for remotely managing invoicing, expense reports, and payroll without a fuss. In fact, Wave Accounting is specifically designed for smaller businesses and can even help individual freelancers keep their finances straight.
The workplace may not be a singular one anymore or even a physical space; as we move forward, these setups are going to become more and more common. Invest in the right tools now to pave the way to success.