- Connectivity – Of course business bandwidth is super fast, but sometimes residential services lack the speed that businesses require. Telecommuters should check with local Internet Service Providers and inquire about upgrades for fast data service. Additionally, cell phone and telephone connectivity at home is a must. If an employer utilizes a VoIP business provider, these services should be available with an Internet Connection. Routers’ Quality of Service settings can also be set to be dedicated to VoIP phone systems. If computers run slow, telecommuters may consider upgrading their Wi-Fi networks. Two viable options are 802.11n or 802.11ac systems. The addition of a NAS device offers computer storage for files, consistently backing up important data.
- Security – Often employers complain that once someone telecommutes, they lose control over sensitive data. An excellent solution is to leave all data on remote servers at the office and have employees’ access it remotely. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is extremely secure and versions exist for hardware and software. Companies can also consider using Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Microsoft SkyDrive or Evernote to keep non-secure files within reach of telecommuting employees.
- Stay in Tune – Keeping a close eye on emails, answering calls and offering instant messaging to coworkers is an excellent way to let employers know telecommuters aren’t simply sipping lattes with their feet on their desks. Video conferencing tools are also excellent for checking in on employees and including them in face-to-face interaction.
- Working Times – Instead of falling into a rut, telecommuters should make sure they have certain time schedules that are dedicated to working. For example, as many people have the misconception that telecommuters incorporate their personal and business lives into one, keeping strict working hours will help maintain a sense of separation between work and home life.
- Separate Spaces – Having a separate office space at home is a must. Having a dedicated area, even if it’s just a corner of a room, will help give telecommuters the psychological presence and peace of mind to be more productive.
- Office Environment – It’s important not to get in a rut when telecommuting. Treat telecommuting as a regular job, including getting dressed, having access to pens, office supplies, a desk chair, ergonomic setups or even two computer monitors.
Jive, a leader in the business VoIP industry, offers a wide variety of business services that ultimately enable more employees to telecommute, saving companies thousands of dollars annually. While supporters of telecommuting believe it makes employees more productive, opponents believe it’s the downfall of companies. However, each individual company will have to determine what works best for them and their employees. There are several super-productive tips that telecommuters can follow to ensure they maximize their goals, including: