In the Bay Area, we know that commuting can sometimes be an awful burden. BART does great work, and other public transportation works fine, but there are still long waits and plenty of delays (we’re looking at you, Muni). If you have to drive, it can be a hideous slog, especially if you’re crossing the Bay Bridge. The unparalleled views grow dim when all you want to do is get home and relax.
That’s why, for many workers, telecommuting is the ultimate dream, especially if you have the right telecommunity tech. The ability to work from home can make life considerably easier for anyone. Increasingly, the ability to do that isn’t just for tech companies and startups, but for everyone.
Indeed, if you run a small business in the Bay Area, you should ask yourself if you really need a joint central office, or if you need one that’s the size of your current space. We don’t have to tell you about the real estate market in the region – you already know how tough it is to find affordable office space. Many companies are saving money by allowing employees to work from home and maintaining a small office to meet clients or store important physical material. This can save a lot of money, but some business owners are worried about the tech side of it. How do they minimize telecommuting tech problems so as not to hurt their business? Luckily, with the right partner to prevent or solve potential problems, telecommuting can be an efficient way to run your modern business.
Telecommuting Tech Problems and Their Solutions
The Right Stuff: Computers
One thing that worries employers is a technology gap. If your telecommuting company has more of an ad-hoc approach to employee computers, you might find that an important part of your team, like an auditor or a content developer, has an old and creaky laptop that bizarrely shuts off in the middle of a meeting. That can hamper productivity. Some companies are reluctant to purchase the right kind of equipment for their team because it is a large expense, but they also have to look at it like this: if they had a central office, they would more than likely be buying all the computers, servers, and other equipment. This is a one-time cost that pays off in the long run. If you shop right and go to a computer supply store like ClickAway, which offers great prices and unbeatable professional service, you can save money, time, and hassle. Knowing that every member of your team has the right technology will make you breathe a little easier and make everyone more productive.
Making the Connection
Of course, having great computers doesn’t mean very much if your employees can’t get connected. The fear is, as they say, the last ten feet – that no matter the setup, if you can’t connect to the internet, your equipment doesn’t matter. To solve that you need expert home and business networking solutions. Your employees need to have a system where they can always be connected, in any room of the house, and from any device. There’s nothing worse than a teleconference where people keep freezing, their faces on pause, their last sentence hanging like a question unposed. By partnering with ClickAway, you can help make sure that doesn’t happen.
Sharing and Storing
Many businesses that want to allow telecommuting aren’t sure they’ll be able to fully share information and effectively collaborate (see Marissa Mayer as an example of this fear). And while there is something to be said for water cooler talk, with Skype, AIM, chat functions, texting, and a million other ways to communicate, employees don’t have to be physically near each other to share information, to talk, to work well together, and even to become close friends. Many younger employees are used to meeting people online and striking up friendships with no actual meetings, so it isn’t an awkward situation for them.
Storage is another matter. You want to be able to have a shared space to work on documents, to collaborate, and to have the information centrally located. Most telecommuting businesses operate in the cloud now, whether through something like Google Drive, Basecamp, or a more secure and private cloud hosting system. It is the same as (or even easier than) having big file cabinets and physical whiteboards in stuffy conference rooms.
Our reference to the cloud brings up the most crucial point: security. Your employees are spread out and may have varying degrees of security training. The fear is that hackers can get into your network from one of the four weak points of your security system. This is reasonable, and it is more worrying when you can’t keep an eye on people and their computers. Luckily, by providing basic security training, and by having virus detection and removal programs from companies like ClickAway, you can be maintain network safety.
Telecommuting isn’t just the wave of the future – it’s the wave of the present. It can save money and make for happier employees. They have more time with their families, less of a stressful commute, and the ability to sleep just a little bit later. That makes them more productive and motivated (indeed, one of the main challenges is getting them to stop working). With the right partner to solve telecommuting tech problems, your Bay Area small business can embrace this new mode of work.