Working from home is now more practical and compelling than ever before.
The argument in favor of working at home has been getting stronger and stronger, year by year, as a result of the following factors:
- Major advances in communication and collaboration systems
- Major advances in cloud-based business systems
- Increased congestion on roads and public transport
- Increased time wasted on travelling to a work place
- Increased awareness of environmental issues
- Costs associated with travelling, parking etc
- Increasing costs related to buildings (in many geographies)
- Increased productivity due to less distractions and less wasted time
- Increased staff retention (studies show most staff prefer working from home)
- Increased potential profitability due to decreased costs and increased efficiencies
Now, adding the current coronavirus crisis to the list, the argument for working from home has just become more compelling than ever.
Preparing your business to work from home
If all or most of the staff at your business are still working from a business premise and the nature of your business is not dependent on your physical location (for example, shops, warehouses, factories and other businesses dependent on location and/or physical goods or equipment), I suggest considering the following actions:
- Review the advantages (if any) of having your staff located in your business location and how these advantages stack up against the above list of reasons for working at home.
- Implement a Unified Communications system. This enables your staff to be accessible and online to your business via their smartphone and/or computer, no matter where they are, from a single phone number.
- Implement a team collaboration system for your business, such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, to enable fast and efficient communication, collaboration, meetings and co-working between your staff. Microsoft Teams can also be configured as a Unified Communications system, and also be used for communicating with customers and other people outside your business.
- Switch to using cloud-based business software, such as Office 365, Google Apps and online accounting systems that can be accessed from anywhere, including staff working from home.
- Establish regular catch-up meetings (stand-ups) with your staff to ensure your team(s) gets to communicate and know what’s happening around the business.
- Arrange social activities periodically where practical, so that your staff have opportunities to interact in a social setting. This contributes to maintaining a healthy team culture.
Working from home is the way of today and the way of the future for many businesses. If you need help in setting up your business for remote working, contact your Managed Service Provider (MSP).