If you haven’t heard the term Remote Working then you must have been living (or working) on the moon for the past years!
This space is somewhat growing and more and more businesses are adopting this way of work for themselves and more importantly for their employees.
What is Remote Working?
There is an assortment of ways to describe the process of working from a location other than the traditional office. Terms you would have heard include telecommuting, home, remote, mobile, virtual, location independent or indeed cloud working.
Remote workers can also be described as those individuals or teams that travel whilst working and may move around constantly or stay in a particular location for a few days or even a few months or more before moving to the next CoWorking establishment or Coffee Shop.
Remote workers are constantly in search for the best Internet connectivity and as today Internet availability it getting more available across both fixed and mobile connectivity, speeds are becoming faster by the day meaning that Remote workers can work from just about anywhere and in whatever time zone they wish.
Rewind a few years ago the concept or being able to work anywhere or even find an employer that would allow you to do so was pretty vast if not unheard of.
The Individual Opportunity
The growth of freelancing sites like Upwork, Elance, Freelancer and Toptal and PeoplePerHour to name a few means that you can pitch for work but after a bunch of good reviews and feedback, may even turn into a full time job bringing with it a reasonable income. This has given a thirst to those individuals that wish to work on their own terms and environments that suit them.
Having the ability to take advantage of this income source, stops you from being chained to a desk and can allow work to be carried out from just about anywhere with your Laptop, Mobile Phone and a good internet connection. The availability of technology is fuelling the growth of this industry and propelling it forward.
Freelancing isn’t just aimed at Designers and Coders, if you have a particular skill set that you can offer to other businesses or individuals then maybe you can revaluate how you are working and become a remote worker yourself.
Now on to the bigger picture….
Remote Working for Businesses
Employers are also enthused about the potential of employing Remote Workers. This not only helps businesses to reduce office overhead and infrastructure costs, but also creates happy staff with increased productivity and builds far greater loyalty between themselves and their team members.
Employers can offer Remote Working as part of an employment agreement. They may offer Remote Working as a restricted option or fully employ a whole Team that can work from anywhere.
Business Management via the Cloud
More and more companies are releasing technology to assist in helping businesses manage a whole variety of day to day tasks, most are more suited towards larger Teams as costs associated may not be as attractive to smaller businesses or indeed Start ups.
As more and more businesses adopt the Remote Working environment they will certainly face the challenges associated, like for example Employee Time Management, CRM and General Housekeeping including General/Sales/Customer Support and HR.
Popular management tools include Asana, Trello, Evernote, Hivedesk are amongst the best available for remote team management and communication.
Customer Relationship Management
For CRM you are spoilt for choice but for smaller companies CRM can be quite a heavy expense if the requirement is not necessarily needed in the earlier stages. However these options don’t break the bank and give you good value for money these include Insightly., Zoho and Pipedrive.
Cloud based HR solutions are great for Start-ups and Small Businesses that wish to have easy Human Resource tools at hand Staff Squared and BambooHR are 2 leaders in this field as their functionality is straight forward taking some of the laborious tasks out of traditional HR processes.
Communication is certainly key to any business. Not only do customers want to be able to contact you through whatever means possible but they also wish for communication to be reliable and on demand.
For Website chat solution’s check out Olark or Crisp but for those of your with deeper pockets could go for Intercom
For traditional voice and video contact Skype is still a valid free option for internal calls, with its new Skype for business model is great for individuals that wish to publish a local number in the US or Canada and forward to your cellphone. If you are a business looking for a more advanced platform for total voice communication between your team and your customers (wherever they may be in the world) then check out VoiceRules built for Entrepreneurs and Remote Teams that are working globally.
Remote working is a very real and available option to your business and your team today. With the functionality and convenience of these business solutions that are available on the market can certainly help you to take some of the potential stress out of managing your remote working environment.