Telecommuting Tips: 8 to 10By David Strom | Posted 2008-05-19 Print
Here's a common-sense approach to the technology that will significantly boost the productivity of those team members who live elsewhere.
8. Get your remote workers on your headquarters VOIP PBX system, if you have one.
If not, your company should pay for a Vonage or AT&T Callvantage or cable voice over IP service that will be their main business line. This has the advantage that you can forward calls to other places, such as their cell phones, and you can have unlimited North American outbound calling at a fixed monthly rate. Also, if your employees move, they can carry their VOIP lines with them without having to change their numbers.
9. Encourage eFax numbers whenever possible, especially if your workers travel and handle confidential documents when on the road.
I can’t tell you the number of times I nervously awaited such a document at a hotel reception desk. eFax automatically routes your faxes as e-mail attachments. There are free numbers for light use (less than 20 inbound pages a month), as long as you don’t care what area code your virtual fax number will be.
10. Find a collaborative solution to share common documents, procedures, corporate forms and so forth.
This can be as simple as a shared Google Docs space, or it can be a more sophisticated Sharepoint application. Whatever it is, make sure that the information is updated regularly.
As you can see, there is a lot of technology–and non-technology–that you need to keep in mind to support a remote “teleworker.” But done right, you will have people who want to work for you for many years, and these people could be corporate superstars with the right motivation.
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