Hiring remote workers, whether domestically or internationally, has its advantages.
According to Erik Archer Smith, the biggest challenge of having remote workers is making sure they remain connected—in every sense of the word —to other employees and managers.
Remote workers are often those with a specific skill set required to do a particular job who might not be available to work in-house.
Hiring remote workers can also save the organization money when it comes to paying for salaries and office space.
Smith, is the corporate evangelist for 8X8, a VoIP company, can sometimes reduce the salary of remote workers, depending on their location and it’s cost-of-living.
Bottom line, many employees want to work at home—in fact according to Smith, 36% of people would rather work remotely than get a raise, and a similar amount of folks would opt for a pay decrease of 10% if it meant they could work from home.
Smith does put in a caveat, high remote worker turnover is par for the course and sometimes it takes more energy to retain remote employees than their in-house counterparts.
He points out remote employees are prone to lacking the buy-in that automatically comes with being in an office environment every day.
They also often miss out on high-quality technology available at your organization’s headquarters.
According to Smith, this presents a great opportunity to use technology to the company’s advantage.
He argues “doing so can help to eliminate remote worker turnover while reaping the benefits remote employees bring to the table.”
Smith offer a few technologies small businesses should leverage when helping your remote workers not only work more efficiently, but remain motivated to continue working for your company.
- Host The Company’s Business Data and Applications in the Cloud for Secure Storage and Access. Cloud storage lets the company host everything you’d normally store on a company server in a central, secure location. Cloud storage is vital for remote workers who need to access documents and files. Making access to these items available to remote workers makes their life—and managers’ lives—easier.
- Use Voice over IP (VoIP) to Make Phone Calls Over the Internet. Cloud-based business VoIP phone service allows employees to extension dial each other just as if they were in the same building, even if they are located on opposite ends of the country. VoIP also enables video calls and chat features, allowing remote workers to have face-to-face and on-the-fly conversations from their own home office. Other cloud-based communication technologies like web conferencing allow document collaboration and multi-point video conferencing between in office and remote employees
- Smartphones and Tablets Help Get the Job Done. The company’s remote employees should no longer feel limited to desktop or laptop computers. While it is important that these technologies are functioning at the highest level, it’s equally important that remote workers are equipped with smartphones or tablets. With the slew of web-based applications and mobile apps accessible from smartphones and tablets, remote workers can use these devices to get their job done from anywhere at any time.
It takes technologies like cloud storage, VoIP and mobile apps to spur this connection. Help the company’s workers stay linked no matter where they’re working and it is possible to lessen remote worker turnover while increasing employee productivity and satisfaction.