Work from anywhere using Web 2.0
One of the beauties of being alive in the Information Age is the way technology can transform the way we do business & live our lives.
As companies embracing Web 2.0 technology can prove, it is incredibly easy to empower staff with the freedom to work from anywhere – and be more productive! We’ve been testing it & getting great results.
If you’re an employee, imagine if you didn’t have to travel everyday to work & could wear what you wanted. If you’re a CEO or business owner, imagine if your overheads were less, you could scale with ease & your staff were producing better results.
The good news is it’s easy and it’s already being done. Web 2.0 technology allows this to happen with ease, but the hardest part is shifting your paradigm!
What does a typical day look like?
Remote workers call in for a conference call with the office workers for the 5 minute daily huddle. Everyone reports their top two priorities for the day to their colleagues. Throughout the day staff telephone, email and instant message (IM) each other, clients and vendors just like usual. Colleagues report back to everyone else in their team when their KPIs & two daily priorities are ticked off.
What about bludgers?
If you’ve got daily or weekly KPIs (key performance indicators) then accountability is maintained. It’s still an individual’s responsibility to manage their own tasks.
What about data security?
Data security and protection against sabotage is a big risk in corporate life & this is possibly the biggest hurdle to convincing some decision makers. I also had concerns, so I consulted IT Associates Managing Director Nigel Heyn.
“It really comes down to how the company is structured and what measures are in place to mitigate users copying company data. Any user can do the same if they are sitting in an office, simply copying files to USB sticks, sending attachments to personal address, printing the data, etc. The critical way to manage this is to only grant permissions to data the staff member actually needs to get their job done.”
For the super security conscious, Nigel informed me there is also software available to prevent download to USBs, to log user activity & flag potential security breaches if they occur. Ultimately Nigel reminded me,
“Humans cause most of the technology issues in this world, therefore how we manage them is the key to one’s success.”
What about boredom or loneliness?
I recommend a balance between ‘office’ work & ‘remote’ work!
What if it looks bad when clients turn up to a half-full office?
What if you told your clients how you were getting better results for them by having a more productive & engaging workplace? I reckon they might even be slightly envious.
How do you do it?
- Your IT people can setup VPN access & permissions. (This means you can login to your office computer from anywhere & access work files, emails & contacts like you normally do. Normal security settings would apply)
- Setup free VOIP phone accounts (like Skype) for everyone & preferably get a headset too.
- Setup Mobile broadband ($40 per month buys 5GB on most plans – this is more than enough for normal commercial & personal use)
- Set some KPIs for results and set expectations
What does this mean for managers & business owners?
It means more engaged, empowered, productive & happy staff. It also means fewer workstations, less office space and fewer overheads, not to mention a mobile & scalable workforce. Finally, true workplace flexibility is a compelling recruitment tool to attract talented people to your organisation.
What does this mean for staff?
Employees now have the freedom to choose how to produce their best results. Plus they have more flexibility & can take ownership of how they want to work.
How does it work in reality?
For us, it has been really quite simple. Toby just spent a week in Sydney & is able to work just as if he is next to us. I work from the Gold Coast two days a week. Sarah sometimes prefers to do mornings in the office & afternoons from her place. Matt is going to the UK for two months & he will be our first ‘international’ but I anticipate it will expand our paradigm even more.
So far working remotely has been a huge success!
Security concerns with Remote Access into your workplace (including VPNs) – NigelHeyn.com
Web Design Brisbane: For professional web design or advice on working remotely call 1300 258 394.