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by Erik Briceno

The number of Americans who work remotely continues to grow, and so do the challenges for both employees and employers. But having the right IT tech support can minimize potential pitfalls and maintain your company culture.

When it comes to making the remote working experience beneficial and productive, take advantage of the myriad options technology offers to avoid some of the most common problems facing telecommuters.

Maintain Visibility and Accountability

With today’s global workforce, teams can be spread across different sites, cities or countries. Often, employees are working with colleagues they’ve never met face to face.

Recent research shows that workers worry that when they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind. They’re concerned their coworkers may talk behind their backs, make changes to projects without their knowledge or even lobby against them.

Utilizing integrated technology can help you head off these problems by removing barriers to communication and encouraging habits that lead to trust and connection. The objective for using these tech tools is to reinforce your company’s sense of shared purpose.

There are dozens of tools, from video technology to collaboration platforms, that can help your team communicate and cooperate on projects. This allows workers to share such things as documents or calendars, so they can ask for ideas or assistance when needed.

Be creative here. For instance, you can use web-based solutions to hold regular phone or video meetings. Yes, that can be a weekly planning conference, but it also could be a regular virtual “hangout” so workers can chat. It’s essential to give employees the chance to ask questions or receive support.

Replicate the Water Cooler Experience

Help Your Employees Meet the Challenges of Working Remotely: Give Them the IT Tech Support They NeedAs everyone who’s watched “The Office” knows, the social aspects of being in proximity to your co-workers can be a big part of the job. So when your employees aren’t in the office, there are fewer opportunities for them to connect and engage with their peers.

You value your company’s culture — in fact, studies show it can be more important to employee retention than pay levels. So be sure your remote workforce gets the benefit of that sense of camaraderie.

This can be achieved by harnessing your technology to create a “virtual culture.” Adapt some of the same software, applications or web-based tools you’re already using to boost productivity. You can share company news, celebrate work or personal achievements, or establish a rewards and recognition program. The key is to show appreciation for every member of your team.

Shore Up Your IT Security

While advances in mobile technology make working remotely easier, they also create a variety of risks to IT environments and sensitive information from viruses, malware or hackers. That’s a particular concern when employees work outside the office, whether they’re teleworking or traveling.

Every business should cultivate a culture of security by providing remote workers with the IT tech support they need to do their jobs with a secure information system. Establish and implement best practices for accessing and protecting your information by:

Maintain Boundaries Between Work and Life

There are numerous reasons that working remotely can be beneficial, not just for the worker who doesn’t have to commute, but for the business, too. Increased productivity, improved efficiency, lower overhead, lower turnover, reduced stress — working from home can have a positive impact on both an employee’s lifestyle and a company’s bottom line.

At the same time, it’s important to be sure workers differentiate between the working and personal aspects of their time. While technology often gets the blame for fostering an always-on-call attitude, that same tech can help enforce boundaries. For instance, encourage workers to use a signal or status — built into many applications — to show whether they’re online or if they’re in “do-not-disturb” mode.

Because of our extensive experience with IT management and support, V2 Systems can help you determine the needs of your remote workforce. A managed services provider can help you create and implement a business plan with network solutions to address your specific situation.

 

Since 1995, Manassas Park, VA-based V2 Systems has employed local systems administrators, network engineers, security consultants, help desk technicians and partnering companies to meet a wide range of clients’ IT needs, from research, to implementation, to maintenance. Concentrate on your VISION…We’ll handle the TECHNOLOGY! 

ebriceno
About ebriceno
Erik Briceño is the owner of V2 Systems, Inc., one of Northern Virginia’s leading Information Technology Managed Service Providers. He is an inspiring leader for its employees and instrumental business partner for its customers. He is passionate about V2’s purpose, dedicated to exceeding expectations and a consummate professional not afraid of jumping in and getting his hands dirty. Prior to joining V2 Systems in 2002, Erik was a co-founder and COO of Ampcast.com, a leading provider of online resources servicing over 5,000 independent musical artists. At Ampcast.com, Erik spearheaded all aspects of corporate development, funding, strategic vision, and business development for the firm. From 1997 to 1999 Erik held the position of Acoustic Systems Engineer for Electric Boat Corporation, a leading defense contractor. In this role, Erik was responsible for the acoustic fidelity of two noise critical systems and components in the US Navy’s nuclear submarine systems. Erik holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Business Administration from George Mason University. When not working, you will find Erik a dedicated family man, raising two young children with his lovely wife Karen. Together, they enjoy building legos, playing baseball, skiing, riding horses, swimming, traveling, and fixing up old Mopars.
Help Your Employees Meet the Challenges of Working Remotely: Give Them the IT Tech Support They Need