Today’s workplace may not always be at the office, therefore the need to manage employees in remote locations is becoming a necessity using video conferencing and other technology.
If you own or work for a company which has at least one member of staff who works predominantly away from the office, you might begin to wonder how they’re able to be kept in the loop as far as all office matters are concerned. This is the major reservation some in the business world have about remote working, and it has proved enough for some major companies to ban it entirely.
Overseeing staff who work at home can be a challenge, especially as you’re not entirely sure what they’re doing while out of sight. However, with the help of technology, it’s possible to make sure that a constant stream of communication is maintained between your remote employees/colleagues and the office. Here are just a few things you will need to do:
Use video conferencing technology for face-to-face meetings
Ensure they have video conferencing software
Ensure access to company email accounts
Use mobile communication if needed to make an urgent phone call
Use collaborative software to make sure they’re actually working
As good as the real thing?
According to a spokesperson from communications company Powwownow, video conferencing in particular is essential in maintaining consistent dialogue with remote workers. They said:
“There will always be situations where a face-to-face meeting is required. However, in most cases, video conferencing is as good as the real thing.
“Being able to see the people you are talking with means that you are better able to read responses through body language. This makes debates easier and, coupled with the ability to share and review data together in real-time, increases productivity.
“We recognize that remote working can be beneficial for workers and employers alike. Employers save money while employees save time, while they don’t feel like they’ve been cut adrift by the office thanks to new technology making communication easier than ever”, they added.
An issue of trust
Keeping in touch at least twice a day should be sufficient, along with the use of video conferencing and collaborative software. However, an element of trust should be present when dealing with remote workers too, especially when allowing employees to work at home for the first time.
Without trust, it’s unlikely that remote working can ever be mastered. There are plenty of benefits to gain from having home-based employees, especially in terms of saving money and keeping staff that have responsibilities such as young children happy in their roles.
- I’ve got video conferencing equipment. Now What…?(videoconferencingaustralia.wordpress.com)
- Small Business Video Conferencing(community.spiceworks.com)
- Teambox Adds High-Definition Video Conferencing, Market Looks for Deeper Collaboration(techcrunch.com)
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