The tech industry is ripe with opportunities for remote employees. In fact, about 29% of people hiring in the tech industry are hiring for remote roles. Hiring remote employees at your business can be an effective decision in more ways than one. However, a remote worker can only be as effective as you need them to be when they have the necessary resources. IT tools play a significantly important role in the productivity of remote employees, which means IT departments may need to reevaluate the state of their current IT equipment and policies. Keeping current with IT could mean the difference between productive and procrastination.
Why Remote Employees Are Useful
There’s no denying that having your team in one place can make lots of things run efficiently. However, there are several benefits to having a remote employee or two around as well.
They Are Cost-Effective to Hire
The cost of hiring remote employees is beneficial to the employee and the company. A report showed that on average, a business could save up to $11,000 per employee, per year (even combined with part-time telecommuting). Plus, the employee saves too. Commuter costs can add up, and cutting out that cost plus the time spent in transit is a great benefit for a remote worker.
They Are Not Location-Dependent
A remote member of your staff might live and work in one place primarily, such as their home, but this is not the only place they can work. If needed, they can meet clients at locations closer to their work spot, or rotate their time between multiple office locations and serve as a resource for a variety of departments and locations.
Multiple Time Zones = Around-the-Clock Service
Having remote employees in different locations doesn’t just mean in the same city. Why not go global? For example, EMPIST has an office in Greece as well as Chicago, and several employees will sometimes work remotely. These multiple locations with both in-house and remote workers allow us to provide customer service and IT support to our clients 24/7/365. Plus, depending on the nature of different employees, the flexibility of remote work often leads to higher productivity.
What Remote Employees Need from IT
With the right IT resources, a remote employee can be a source of high productivity and good business results. It is the responsibility of the business to ensure that all remote employees have what they need to achieve those goals. When you have remote workers, here are the top priorities to address in IT, and in general resources.
24/7 Tech Support
Remote workers may keep slightly different hours than regular office staff. Because of this, having 24/7 access to IT support can be a critical component of success for remote staff. If IT can ensure technical support is constantly available, this is extremely beneficial to the employee who works more unpredictable hours. As a bonus, it’s beneficial to in-house employees as well.
Updated Software and Corporate Programs
IT departments should make sure that remote workers have access to any software or corporate applications necessary to complete their tasks efficiently. A public or hybrid cloud computing platform could be a great way to collaborate across projects no matter where participants are. The applications should be tested ahead of time to make sure functionality, speed, and visualization are all working well on whatever devices remote employees use. It can sometimes be common practice for companies to lock down devices against applications downloads, but this is a policy that should have a bit more leniency regarding remote workers.
Just because people work remotely doesn’t mean they work alone. If you haven’t already, make sure that your company has collaboration tools, such as a messaging platform like Slack or Microsoft Teams, to help everyone stay connected. It provides a way for everyone to feel a part of the organization and stay on top of tasks. IT departments must stay on top of the functionalities of these different tools to maintain efficiency in-office and remotely.
The EMPIST Effect
As an IT services firm, EMPIST understands the importance of providing top-notch solutions for companies. One of the goals of IT is to improve efficiencies and allow for scalability through unique digital solutions. We work hard to keep IT services, such as backup disaster and recovery or IT hardware services, working like a well-oiled machine. We commit the same level of attention to IT for our clients as we do for our own employees, particularly remote employees. When you consider the above IT priorities for your remote employees (and in-house ones), you’ll love the results.