By Abhi Golhar, host of Real Estate Deal Talk and managing partner of Summit & Crowne.
People can work remotely from anywhere; my team and I have been doing so for about five years. It is part of the modern age of digital business and networking, with an increasing proportion of employees spending some time working from home or in other locations outside the office. This trend is also influencing more companies to establish an optimized remote working environment.
Here are a few strategies that you can deploy to make remote workers more efficient in your business:
Connect People With Chat Applications
Many organizations are approaching assignments and projects using collaborative means, which indicates growing demand for software that allows for free-flowing communication across teams. To be able to work, you will need effective communication software.
Consider using a chat system such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Docs or Slack. These apps provide a more efficient method of communication and information-sharing among team members. In addition, you can exchange relevant documents such as PowerPoint presentations, PDF files and marketing proposals.
Personally, I use a combination of Slack, Dropbox and Zapier. Slack provides a seamless way my team can communicate, Dropbox securely holds our files, and Zapier allows for automated integrations with Slack. It's useful to see all of my business's relevant information in one location.
Take Advantage of Video Conferencing Technology
While the value of the remote worker is gaining traction, it is important to strike a balance between flexibility and productivity. It can be easy for employees to take advantage of a remote working policy and lose their productivity. To minimize the chances of this happening, you can use video conferencing technology and request detailed reports.
Video conferencing software comes in the form of video calling, screen sharing, and interactive projects. Each one is distinct, with some optimized for laptops or mobile phones. Choose one that accommodates real-time, face-to-face collaboration on projects such as Skype, Zoom or GoToMeeting.
My favorite for running a business on-the-go is Skype: It's relatively easy to use with a new team member, client or customer. This option can help maximize productivity and ensure that employees complete projects that are of higher quality. You can also use this technology to organize daily meetings and presentations.
Go Virtual With Apps
With more companies taking the mobile route for remote work, it is becoming increasingly important for your remote workers to access the files and information they need to complete assignments.
You can do this without making your business vulnerable to data theft: Software such as Citrix or Workspot can provide good options for your business, as they host the information on a central network that is secure and provides optimal access for your remote workers at any time.
Enable Shared Features for Documents
Productivity is optimal when remote workers are not running into constraints such as being unable to access a file or being locked out of a project due to entering an incorrect password. Turning on the shared option for your documents allows remote work at a more efficient pace.
The time that employees would have wasted asking for passwords or requesting invites can instead be spent entering data and optimizing business presentations. The programs that offer convenient file-sharing features include Google's G Suite and Microsoft Office 365.
Invest in Protecting Sensitive Information
Remote work means dealing with the inevitable reality of data breaches. As a business, it is important to make security a priority since you can expect to exchange a lot of data virtually. You can invest in virtual private networks (VPN) or firewalls to reinforce the protection of your data. If you have information that is sensitive to the business, consider limiting access to them, especially if your remote workers do not require access to that information.
Before you make a serious investment in delegating work outside your office, consider creating a checklist with these aforementioned tips. Remote work is not for every business, but those that do succeed are the ones that come prepared and understand the risks that go along with it. If you can apply them correctly, these tips can help make remote work a net benefit to your business and its success.
Abhi Golhar is host of the daily radio show, Real Estate Deal Talk, and managing partner of Summit & Crowne, a real estate investment firm.