How do my employees work from home successfully?
Companies have been working from home for years, and ComRes as long offered solutions to assist people who work from home. But working from home fulltime has its challenges, as we and many of our customers have run into.
Phones – most companies do have IP phones, VoIP or at least IP-based phone systems that allow employees to work remotely, but there are a lot of options to consider. If you have an IP-based phone system, technically all you need is an IP phone, possibly license, a power supply (or PoE Injector) and patch cords. However, depending on the number of employees and type of system you have, you may also need special gateway servers at your office.
VoIP is made to work remote, since all phones are remote. All you need is a power supply/PoE injector and patch cords to work off of your home Internet.
Home Internet – this is the challenge – with the large move of people to homes, kids doing distance-learning, and people simply at home using applications/streaming services, home Internet providers cannot meet demand. As we have posted before, it does not matter how much bandwidth you have (as long as you have over 100K up/down), but your latency must continually be under 65 milliseconds for VoIP calls to work well. If it is higher than this, you will start to have call quality issues, one way audio and eventually dropped calls.
Managing/motivating employees – We are social by nature, so it can be difficult on even the most anti-social of employees to work remotely full time. Productive employees who no longer have social interaction, or the constant peer pressure to perform can suddenly become unmotivated, moody workers. How do you managed and motivate employees in this environment?
ComRes provides a myriad of solutions that can help.
1. IP Phones/VoIP – ComRes provides our CloudTalk hosted VoIP service which allows customers to easily work from anywhere with good-quality Internet. Additionally, all of the current systems we sell allow for users to have remote phones.
2. Cellular Internet – for critical users who simply do not have high-quality home Internet, there are a variety of cellular-based Internet solutions that we offer that are good enough to support remote VPN users and even VoIP. This also keeps critical company traffic off of unsecure home Internet connections. You must be careful in selecting a provider that can provide enough data in a bundle for your typical employees, or overages will be expensive.
3. Technology – there is a lot of technology available from ComRes or your IT company that can help you manage and motivate remote workers. Some that we have found helpful are:
DSS/BLF buttons – most phone systems have the ability to have buttons on your phone to see other employees including remote workers. You can see if they are on the phone and working.
Supervisory features – some systems may also allow you to ‘silent observe’ a remote phone conversation (please note – you must abide by any federal and local laws regarding privacy) if you have phone work that must be supervised in this manner to ensure compliance.
Phone reports – most systems have the capability to provide reports (may require software) that you can schedule or run on demand to show call activity by phone to ensure that employees are working productively.
Web video meetings – Video meetings, both one-on-one and group, help people feel more connected. We occasionally have a ‘Toast at 10’ where we simply have everybody who wants join on a call a designated time to celebrate the week for a few minutes, wish each other well, and update everybody on how we are doing.
Have questions? ComRes is here to help. Contact your ComRes representative today at 954-462-9600 to find out how to run your remote business more effectively with technology!