You don’t have the ability to always physically oversee and monitor their progress, so measuring effectiveness and keeping open lines of communication is very important. If you introduce a framework and a structure that allows for easy communication and measure output, telecommuters can be just as effective as if you’re in regular physical contact.
What should be measured and how do you do it?
Let’s start with the obvious one – productivity: You can virtually drop into your staff’s office every day – or as often as you like – using a program that will track remote workers’ activity, including typed keystrokes, internet history, emails sent and received, webcam shots in addition to taking periodic screenshots throughout their workday. A variety of activity tracking software exists to accommodate whatever your specific needs are and this can help improve accountability and transparency to your virtual office. This also helps you quantify exactly how much time the workload of each project is taking.
The second – and equally important quantitative measure that both you and your staff need to keep track of – is time management. Using shift scheduling software not only helps employees and managers stay on top of their schedules and payroll, but it also helps define how long employees need to dedicate to a specific task as well as tracking the progress being made or that has to be made for you to reach your goals and accomplish your projects.
If you’re considering telecommuting as an option for your employees or maybe you’re exploring outsourcing to a virtual team, then you could be making a very good business decision. According to research by Gallup, remote workers tend to log more hours per week and are more engaged than those working in an office or onsite. There is also potential for huge savings by diminishing overhead costs such as rented office space and 401k plans.
However, managing remote employees does have its own set of challenges. The out-of-sight element makes it all too easy to put it out-of-mind that remote employees have specific needs, too. This two-part series of articles about managing remote employees will explore tactics that will help you oversee and support those who work from home as effectively as the staff who work in an office in order to maximize efficiency and minimize operational issues.
Globalization is an especially compelling concept for business owners to consider. Instead of appealing to one market in your own country, you could appeal to quite a few on an international level. With the rise of social media, virtual assistants, and call answering services, it’s now possible to relocate your entire company to just about anywhere in the world.
Why it’s a Great Idea
Moving your business might sound like a lot of work, but the benefits you’ll receive in the long run will pay you back for that expense tenfold. Here are a couple of key reasons why you should consider making the move:
- You might find clientele for a product you’d otherwise written off.
- There are talented employees available at lower wages in other countries.
- You won’t have to pay the cost of relocating U.S. employees if they can do their job from home and you can communicate with them via Skype.
- Higher exposure in smaller areas might allow your business to corner a market.
In today’s environmentally conscious social environment, building and operating a business that implements as many green practices as reasonably possible is not only healthy for the environment, it’s also a case of excellent PR. Numerous companies have actually boosted their sales revenues and client retention rates by through implementing eco-friendly practices and publicizing this fact.
In some cases, clients are even willing to accept slightly higher costs of doing business if they’re made aware of the fact that your company is honestly attempting to ease the footprint it leaves on the environment.
Given these benefits and the fact that you will be leaving a small but important mark on the world, there is no reason not to adapt at least a few key green strategies in your own start-up or established business. Let’s cover a few.
Is the corporate office a thing of the past? For many modern workers, the answer is yes. Perhaps the most lifestyle-changing thing the internet has given us is the ability to work from home. More and more companies are employing telecommuters, which helps save with various overhead costs. Entrepreneurs, too, are choosing to work from their home offices rather than traditional cubicles.
For the past five and a half years I’ve worked from home, and during that time I’ve learned many lessons. But the one lesson that stands out above the rest: You need an organized and comfortable office, with the following five items that will make your home work life a whole lot easier. Continue reading