5 telecommuting best practices for small businesses

Photo courtesy of Flickr user denverkid

Photo courtesy of Flickr user denverkid

It’s 2015 and workplaces and businesses of all sizes are adapting telecommuting policies in their organizations. Modern day technology has played a major role in making this possible.

Earlier last year, the New York Times published an interesting article stating that telecommuting is “fast on the rise”. In this article, it was noted that federal employees working in Washington D.C. that participated in telecommuting were able to save the government approximately 32 million dollars.

Working from home or even a nearby coffee shop definitely has its perks. Some of them include: saving money on fuel costs, not having to deal with traffic and the ability to use technology to easily collaborate with fellow business associates make telecommuting an extremely attractive business program.

However, before adopting a telecommuting policy in your company, here are a few best practices and tips I have compiled from around the web that you may want to consider:

  1. Determine which roles are suitable for telecommuting – There are some roles in your organization that may be considered “business critical or essential” and therefore may not be a good fit for your telecommuting program. Hellois HR suggests that business owners need to “review job descriptions and key requirements of a position to determine if an employee will be able to successfully complete their job responsibilities from a remote location”.
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  3. Use the right tech tools – Technology is the backbone of a successful telecommuting program. A few examples of essential tech resources used for telecommuting include email, phone services, web based collaboration tools, and conferencing software.
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  5. Establish clear guidelines and expectations – Your employees should be well aware of the rules, regulations and expectations set forth in your telecommuting policy such as work schedules, work locations and availability during work hours.
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  7. Create a set of policies and procedures – These documents will outline what’s expected in your organization and also should be signed to make sure you hold your employees accountable for following them.
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  9. Implement security guidelines – Data security breaches are all the rage these days. In 2014, the Verge reported that approximately 1 billion records were compromised by data breaches. Keeping your small business data secure during telecommuting is very critical. To do this, Wasp Buzz suggests you limit your networks access to employees only; use a VPN (virtual private network) to add an extra layer of security to accessing your data and implement strong passwords.

As the workforce continues to become more mobile, telecommuting is a practice that is certain to continue trending. These are just a few tips and best practices you can employ in your business.

About Kim George

Kim George is the founder of Small Business Sense a blog sharing tips and resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs. A small business owner and lover of “tech stuff”, Kim enjoys reading and catching up with the latest trends in small business and technology. You can find out more about her and get tips for your small biz at www.small-bizsense.com.

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