A recent Gallup report tells us that 43 percent of employed Americans spend at least some time working remotely – and that offering work-from-home options actually helps a company retain employees.
Between the documented boosts in productivity in work-from-home employees and the potential for increased retention, extending flexible options seems like a no-brainer. For many small businesses, though, managing a remote team can be tricky. The good news? There are several tools and tips to help small business owners overcome these hurdles.
Embrace remote positions when seeking talent
By 2025, at least 75 percent of roles in the global workforce will be held by millennial employees. The generation is swiftly growing to dominate the workplace and, as a result, offices are evolving. Embracing a remote workforce could help you not only retain the talent you have, but it could enable your company to better attract talent. Roughly three-quarters of millennials surveyed via recent Deloitte research communicated that a work-from-home or remote policy was important to them; over 60 percent didn’t feel a regular physical presence in an office was necessary. Consider how you can incorporate remote positions in your hiring strategy – identify which roles could be handled remotely and adjust your recruiting process accordingly. The chances are that doing so will also broaden your pool of candidates.
Transition to a paperless, cloud-based filing system
Rather than using local servers or physical backups within the office, research the best cloud storage solution for your company based on your industry, regulatory compliance and cybersecurity needs. If your company’s files are only backed up to a physical drive, you leave them vulnerable to cyber attacks like phishing emails, malware or a virus. Implementing a cloud-based system not only allows employees to access files and work remotely, but it also provides your team with a simple way to collaborate with one another on tasks in real time. Plus, a secure cloud provides you with control over who has access to sensitive data from both personal and company-owned devices. In order to go paperless, digitize your files with a high-powered scanner. Devices in the ScanSnap series feature direct-to-cloud compatibility with versatile, intuitive platforms like Google Drive, Evernote, Box and others.
Use tech tools to keep your team connected
Today, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with telecommuting employees. In addition to using a trusted cloud provider, there’s a handful of other technologies that are vital to successful communication for remote small business teams. These include messaging platforms like Slack, video conferencing tools such as Zoom, and project management software such as Trello and Wrike. Choose the platforms that work best for your team and make it a requirement that employees utilize them. Depending on the size of your company, many of these tools are available at an affordable cost – or even for free.
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.