This post was sponsored by Bicom Systems, a leading provider of VoIP phone systems and cloud services.
Thanks to COVID-19 and the many restrictions that came along with it, businesses across the globe finally realized how smooth working from home could be. Of course, in the beginning, there were struggles with productivity. Many of us didn’t know if we would like it or not, and businesses never implemented a work-from-home solution for fear it would fail.
As we navigated connectivity issues, child care, homeschooling, and ultimately the balance of new schedules, some found that working from home was actually easy! Before restrictions were in place, there were many winters that employees would risk their lives driving to work in a snowstorm. Companies did not have options to work from home, resulting in loss of productivity when employees were unable to make it to the office.
Now, we know that we can do our jobs from home and some can do it well. If you think about it, remote workers have been doing it long before COVID-19. They already arranged a reliable network, quiet office space, and know how to be productive while working with distractions. Or at least know how to limit distractions.
As many of us head back into the office, companies should consider hiring more remote workers. But before you do, consider the following.
What should you have before hiring a remote worker?
An Office Space
You’re probably thinking, why do I need an office space for a remote worker?’ Having an office or designated hot-desking space for remote employees will make them feel more comfortable when visiting the office. It will encourage frequent visits, boost employee morale, and build a sense of trust amongst office employees and remote workers.
A Proper UC Solution
Provide your remote workers with a Unified Communications solution that connects them seamlessly with coworkers. The solution must be downloadable, so the company’s IT Department does not need to go and set it up. The UC desktop application should have features like:
- Dynamic Conferencing
- Video Conferencing
- File Sharing
- Screen Share
On top of those features, a UC mobile application should be available to remote workers. A mobile app will enable employees to work from anywhere, at any time, and have access to their office from the palm of their hands.
A WFH Budget
One of the main advantages of hiring remote workers is the money companies save. Overhead costs like supplies, utility, and technology decrease when the majority of staff work remotely. Although the point is to save money, companies should provide remote workers with a yearly WFH budget.
The remote workers can purchase the required equipment for their job and stay within the budget amount discussed—stuff like a computer, cellphone, desk phone, monitor, etc. If the employee prefers to use their equipment, an offer should be made for the wear and tear of their personal equipment. If the work the employee does requires a lot of bandwidth, the budget can also cover a portion of the internet fees.
Hours of Operation
The flexibility and autonomy of working from home are among the many drivers that make remote work so attractive. Remote workers are not constricted to the typical 9-5 working hours. Ask your employee the hours they prefer to work and set a schedule of when coworkers can reach them.
It is essential to set deadlines and understand that when you task a remote worker, the job will get done but on their own time. Time differences and productive hours may differ from the rest of the team. However, as long as the project is done on time, there should be no issues.
Design Attractive and Fair Compensation Packages
As we mentioned above, hiring a remote worker allows a company to save money. Not only with overhead costs, but it opens the pool of candidates to hire employees where the price of wages is lower. However, now that you are competing with many organizations, you must entice them with attractive (and fair) compensation packages. Offering above industry-standard salaries, benefits, and bonuses will lure potential remote workers to your company over others.
What does your company have in place to offer remote workers? Learn more about Bicom Systems’ work-from-home solutions by contacting our sales team here.
Laura Kyle is a social media associate for Bicom Systems (www.bicomsystems.com).