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Transitioning an SME from office-based to telecommute working

Despite that some big names in the digital industry have crossed off telecommuting entirely most case studies still indicate an overall positive outcome for businesses who allow remote working.
The examples of Yahoo and BestBuy’s failure to correctly manage their teams remotely doesn’t necessarily mean the strategy is bad in general. Even though there are many companies who have had a bad experience with telecommuting, there are still plenty of examples which show that proactive communication, timely evaluations, and quality training can make miracles for any business willing to take on the adventure.

There are several reasons allowing telecommuting and freelancing can be an advantageous strategy for SMEs and large enterprises. Lowering office energy bills, saving on specialised equipment and employee lunch expenses are the obvious ones. But under a deeper examination, telecommute-friendly companies can actually benefit from a much broader spectrum of factors that contribute to their overall success rate.

Understanding the value of flexibility

According to studies, office-based employees only reach about 60% performance throughout their work week due to the buzzing office atmosphere. This means that the otherwise praised office liveliness that is considered to be a high productivity booster actually does the contrary. The tight schedule, multiple meetings, and constant stress can cause employees to burn out and cave in, which eventually leads to high employee turnover rates. On the other side, studies from the Pennsylvania State University show that teleworking provides a calmer environment where employees can focus more and perform better. Switching from a strict attendance policy to more relaxed regulations that favor flexibility can also have a positive effect on company finances by reducing tax rates, saving on annual leaves and sick days, cutting off insurances, performance bonuses, etc.

Taking advantage of the technology revolution

The technology is already here and not taking advantage of the opportunities it presents for business growth and expansion can harm your business’ performance in the long term. People are constantly connected via the numerous devices they use on a daily basis and companies are facing fewer obstacles than ever before to make a successful transition to telecommuting. Startup companies in the HR sector, like Workfast and many others, have seen a gap in the market and are already making a huge success by creating a bridge between teleworkers, freelancers, and employers who’re seeking on-demand workers. Hiring a trained professional on a project-based contract becomes even simpler with the numerous online platforms that keep popping out on the market. And in a technology-driven work managing a telecommuting team sometimes proves to be even simpler that keeping office-bound workers happy and constantly busy.

Making use of digital collaboration tools

While email is still the unmatched leader in business communication after decades on the market, today there are more and more innovative tools that provide people with the flexibility and freedom to perform their professional duties from the comfort of their own home.

Making a smooth transition to telecommuting means communication needs to stay a prime focus of the team members despite differences in location. The wide variety of free and premium task management tools and online communication platforms make this job especially easy. With platforms like Slack and the numerous intranet and file sharing services available online, companies can boost communication on a budget.

The importance of setting clear rules

The misconception of teleworking being equal to slacking is still haunting many SME owners as they’re contemplating the eventual transition to a more flexible work environment. While generally, the increased freedom can play a bad role in developing the company culture most teleworkers are actually more invested in their jobs. Since telecommuting is based strongly on trust, it creates a bond between team leaders and remote workers. If managed correctly, with care, understanding, and clear rules, telecommuting teams prove to be much more advantageous for the company success than in-house workers who are under constant surveillance and auditing. Of course, providing regular feedback and making performance evaluations is an essential not only for the peace of mind of the employer but also for boosting employee motivation.

17 Jan 2017 10:50

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About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as Tech.co, Semrush.com, Tweakyourbiz.com, Socialnomics.net. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary.com and cryptoext.com.




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