How to Make Telecommuting Easier on Your Employees

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By , Small Business Pulse

Many workers who telecommute love the privileges that come with it. So do companies, as they are happy to cut office space overhead. However, telecommuting can pose its own challenges as there are less in-person interactions with managers and co-workers, juggling time demands, connectivity failure, deadline crunches and sometimes extended work weeks. Some employees are hesitant to telecommute for fear of outdated home office technology, insufficient tech support and feelings of isolation.

Although there are some who prefer to keep their home separate from work, many staffers and temps desire to work remotely because of family responsibilities or simply the joys of telecommuting. These resources can help companies ease employees as they telecommute.

VR training and videoconferencing
With employees scattered in different places, individual and group training can be a logistical nightmare and expensive. Companies must assist with itineraries and track business-related and personal expenses. Virtual training (VR) and videoconferencing are two cost-effective ways to meet and train remotely.

VR training is trending quickly and poised to become the industry norm. VR simulates real-world, on-the-job situations through learning immersion. This approach is similar to the training given to aviators and air traffic controllers. Businesses engaged in sports, construction, trucking, retail, shipping and handling, deliveries, food preparation, HVAC and automotive repair tap into VR sources such as STRIVR and Knowledge Anywhere. Instead of making an onsite field trip, employees virtually acquire genuine onsite work experience through a pair of ocular lenses.

Videoconferencing combines employee training and general conferencing without real-world meeting room gatherings. Zoom and ezTalks are ideal for webinars, company discussions, brainstorming, customer communications, business development, and software and finance training, while offering affordable purchase prices and a free basic teleconferencing package.

Remote technical support
From blue collar worker to virtual office administrator, telecommuters come from all walks of life and different industries. Having integrated IT support across different telecommunication channels is important. Instead of tasking your remote team with IT responsibilities they're not trained for, it's better to help them access a recommended tech support service. Some highly rated offsite services are Kaseya VSA, Goverlan Reach, SecureLink and NinjaRMM. Capterra, which began as a small business, is a great resource for software support. They can help save telecommuters time from scrolling through help websites by posting reviews on their own platform from experienced business users.

Telecommunication productivity tools
Lots of service providers claim their products can boost remote worker productivity. LogMeIn has been able to prove it by offering everything for a tech tool bucket list. LogMeIn provides cloud services for team collaboration, IT management, remote technical support, and connectivity and interface solutions. The company boasts they have "tools tailored to help startups to large-scale organizations solve problems and provide better customer experiences."

A very useful LogMeIn feature is password manager LastPass, which can be accessed autonomously. Instead of waiting for IT to reset an expired or forgotten password, LastPass will store all your passwords for easy access. For security reasons, more companies require multilayer logons. Most employees must manage multiple accounts, each requiring a unique password. How many passwords can you remember?

Squeezing more value from telecommuting
Before loading up on any tech tool or choosing a remote tech service with a tool bundle, evaluate your organizational needs. Take into account company size, the number of employees who telecommute, resource planning (ERP) and budget. Business owners should also consider scalability, as well as a vertical application.