5 Technologies That Make Teleworking More Productive
January 6, 2016 | K Logan
Many employees hate commuting to jobs they otherwise love. Employers can save big money allowing them to work happily from home.
Whether your organization currently has any telework policies in place or not, the fact is that most employees can do more at home than they currently are – and not due to their own lack of productivity. The typical teleworking set up works like this: employees work at home using their home PC to check email or, if they were fortunate enough to grab their work laptop, by accessing files and software contained on their local drive. While this is better than being completely absent, it is far from ideal.
Many organizations are missing out on telecommuting productivity because they are not leveraging the technologies needed to make teleworking more effective, like cloud computing and updated phone systems. Most of these technologies bring benefits that far outweigh the costs associated with these technologies, which is nominal to begin with. Here are 5 business technologies that empower a telecommuting workforce:
Cloud computing and virtualization. Virtualizing allows you to leverage service as a software (SaaS) technology, which can give employees access to devices and software that they could otherwise only access through local installations on the hard drive. For example, desktop as a service (DaaS) gives users access to their computer desktop through the web, allowing employees to use software applications and access files without needing to bring their work PC home. Secure cloud computing can also give you the ability to provide web-based access to files and software that is stored in the cloud.
Virtual private network (VPN). A virtual private network allays security concerns when allowing teleworking employees to access internal systems. For many organizations, this makes VPN one of the most essential tools to making telework a reality. The virtual private network provides users with a secure, private connection between two devices, such as their home PC and servers at the office. This provides the most secure method for giving employees access to the same network assets that they would have in the office.
Electronic document management. Being able to retrieve files remotely depends on those files not being located in a drawer somewhere. Electronic document management, or electronic content management (ECM) systems, can help you manage content electronically, giving you the ability to more quickly and easily retrieve information. ECMs can aggregate documents and data from a number of sources, like online forms, emails, scanned paper documents and multimedia content into a single repository where they can be securely accessed remotely, searched and retrieved.
Modern phone system. At the very least, you need a phone system that can smoothly transition to forward phone calls to remote workers. However, there are newer phone systems that can turn mobile devices into a fully-functional “office” phone with the same feature set as your desktop phones without compromising the security of your business information or confusing personal and professional phone usage for employees. These systems, called unified communications, go beyond the phone to create wholly integrated communications systems, bringing voice, web chat, calendar and email to work together and merging with customer resource management systems.
Web or video conferencing. Typically a part of a unified communication system, web conferencing can also be procured independently. Web conferencing ensures that meetings can still take place, even if there is an apocalyptic snow storm raging. Web conferencing allows you to show your screen for live demonstrations or presentations. Alternatively, you can opt for a video conferencing so everyone can connect visually.
Teleworking is not a futuristic job perk; it is a savvy business strategy that enables your organization to maximize productivity regardless of weather, illness, disaster or other anomalies. While many organizations allow for limited telecommuting as needed, it is clear that with easy and affordable technologies like the five listed here, organizations can see a jump in productivity and subsequently a quick return on investment, regardless of where the employee is located.
Are you facing seasonal productivity issues? Milner, Inc. provides a full range of business technologies that can enhance productivity in and out of the office. Contact us today for a free technology assessment!