There is a plethora of articles online, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of remote working but there is one thing both, proponents and critics do agree on, remote working is not for all. It’s certainly not, one size fits all.
Amazingly though, thanks to emerging cloud and mobile technologies, it’s not all that black and white any more. Small and medium sized businesses that may generally classify themselves as non-conducive to remote working, can also reap its advantages, of which there are many.
So follow the 3 steps below to systematically assess, swiftly implement and effectively monitor, remote working for your small business.
Assess the needs of the business, FIRST!
“In case of emergency, put the oxygen mask on you before assisting children travelling with you.”
The above statement stands equally true in business. There would be no work, let alone remote work, if there was no business. So first things first, comprehensively assess current business requirements and processes. While doing that, it’s imperative that “industry best practices” are consciously ignored, for best practice is only another name for mediocrity.
If done objectively, in most cases, this step will highlight some vital benefits of remote working for your business. If, for any reason, the benefits are not clear or non-existent, either hire an expert for a second opinion or simply stop wasting time and get back to work.
Create a list of best and worst case scenarios
“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”
In order to maximise the benefits of remote working, you need to be acutely aware of every possible scenario. A number challenges arise both for the business and its staff when you introduce remote working. Some key challenges would be;
- Striking the right work-life balance
- Workplace isolation
- Lack of face-to-face communication
- Performance management
- Business liabilities and WorkCover
While uncertainty cannot be eliminated, careful consideration of the best and worst outcomes will greatly help avoid ambiguity and mitigate risks.
Identify and procure the best available technologies
“The best things in life are free.”
There are scores of cloud and mobile technologies being built for businesses seemingly every day. For remote working there are collaborations tools, cloud-based CRMs, secure communication and productivity apps. Each one with their own features, benefits and shortcomings. In this final step, patience and due diligence will play a pivotal role in the success or failure of your remote working program. The one thing to remember here is that a high price tag does not mean a better product.
When deployed with a thorough understanding of business needs, accommodating for various outcomes and supported by the best available technologies, remote working can be extremely effective. Given the range of benefits that it brings, remote working cannot and should not be ignored.
Remote working is one of many proven strategies that comprises the DeCent-IT Framework. Developed exclusively for small and medium sized businesses, it is a process based tool-kit that will significantly cut IT costs and dramatically improve business operations. For more information download your free copy of The DeCent-IT Framework Whitepaper.
This article was written by Austin D'Mello, Managing Partner of Vocatys, an emerging technology consulting company. If you liked this article please share it with your network. You can also subscribe to the monthly Vocatys newsletter by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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