I spent over three weeks traveling in China and Europe for work which was great to see these countries and be working with some amazing people doing some great work. The challenges of different time zones and digital connectivity were daunting to keep connected to fellow employees and clients that are half away around the world.
With today’s state of technology, it does not matter where in the world you are to do many types of work. If you work in non-manufacturing, then you have a better than 60% chance that it can be done remotely and the current research indicates that you will be more productive than your office-bound counterpart and you will be a happier employee. Your employer benefits also by lower his costs of providing workspace and perks that come with offices for you.
Working in the car is different. Getting on a conference call is no big deal while driving, OK you should be doing it hands-free, but trying to do a lot of the things you usually do in your office is not anywhere as easy. I recently have taken a new job, and it is great, but I need to drive back to HQ occasionally and is a six hours drive each way making for some long days and nights too.
Have you already started to let employees work outside of your offices? Sure, Sales have been doing it forever. But what about the jobs that have not traditionally been done somewhere else. In today’s hyper-connected world, it is almost impossible for a business not to be working from everywhere, but the question is: are you covering your corporate rear-end?
Remote Worker is Trending Upwards
Many companies have just let employees start to remote work, so it just happens without planning or forethought. Have put together some standard teleworking forms that employees sign and quickly forgot about? With about 3.4 million people in the USA alone working remotely as employees, you can double that number if you include freelancers (Independent Contractors). As an employer, you need to have a well-thought-out set of policies and tools to ensure your business is covered.
Remote work for Employer Impact
As an employer, you gain benefits and take some minuses
Less office space costs
A wider selection of candidates for those positions that require specific skills and abilities.
Happier employees, studies show that workers that can work from home are more productive, happier, and work longer hours than their office-based colleagues.
Collect sales taxes if an employee’s physical location can put create a taxable location for the business. If you have just one employee in a state then the state can claim that you have a business presence in the state and require you to collect taxes or comply with the local laws within the state like labor laws.
Manage Income Taxes and other Employee costs that must be paid by the employer for the employee in a different location.
Time Zones Just how remote is remote? If the employee is far away you may only have small windows of overlapping times in which to collaborate live. Otherwise, you need to make sure the work can be done asynchronously.
We have been helping companies do the planning, implementation, and learning to thrive with a remote workforce no matter where their team member is in the world.
What is your company’s Remote Work look like? Please share it with us here in the comments section below.
What does it mean to you to be a Remote Worker? At 2BMobile have been working on our definition of what Remote Work means to us. We consider it a catch-all phrase that covers all worker that does not perform work at their employer’s place of work. That is a broader definition than many other terms currently in use by people.
Examples of all the names used; telecommuter, teleworker, home-base, co-work worker, and Internet worker all describe someone who trading the employer’s workplace for another fixed base of work.
Whereas terms like road warrior, nomad, digital nomad and etc imply that the worker is in some state of travel and is not normally confined to a fixed location.
All these different labels used by experts tend to splinter these workers into many groups, both in their minds and by institutions that count them separately. At 2BMobile, we do not see it that way. Instead, we see working outside of the employer workplaces as one continuum of employee’s work options.
Different types of workers have different needs to function well as a remote worker. Working from home and not traveling needs focuses on a broadband connection, workspace, and balancing family during regular working hours. At the same time, workers that travel a great deal need the portability and convenience of always having available access to broadband in different areas with very different levels of broadband availability and even access to it based on their provider’s coverage.
What type of remoter are you? What are your challenges in being a Remote Worker?
For many people traveling and working is just part of the norm. Some of us are occasional travelers, and others are always moving as part of their work. In the normal major metro areas, the wireless connection is excellent, but once you start to travel to outside these telecommunication bubbles, then things get less dependable.
Our regular mobile readers know we have been focused on how to be productive while on the road, but we have not been covering the unique needs of those who work remotely from home. It was not our intent to exclude them, but we have been over the years more focused on trying to help the professional who had to travel or was outside of their office for the majority of their workday. Maybe that because that where we came from and had the most experience to help.
But today most of our team members work remotely, and as a team, we have gone through some challenges that remote workers face. So moving forward we will be including more articles, postings, and best practices focused on remote worker’s needs.
We want to get your comments on what are your biggest pains in working as a remote employee. Please leave your comments below
When I started 2BMobile, we were thinking about mobility as freeing professional people from their offices by using mobile devices; smartphones, laptops, and Netbooks (what are they?). Today with smartphones and tablets in the hands of almost everyone, mobility has taken a giant step forward in the quest of a truly virtual worker and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) to work. The apps keep driving the independents from any one physical device to allow us the freedom to pick up where ever and whenever we want to.
Ok, the communication part is not perfect, I still can get caught in black holes of cellular and WiFi connectivity but even they are greatly improved in terms of speed and coverage.
One dimension of our quest for the genuinely virtual worker though has not leaped forward as the technology has and that is the physical limitation of a physical world. I may be connected almost anywhere electronically but being too far away from the metropolis of the world has a direct impact on your ability to perceived as viable by your clients.
Over the upcoming months of 2018, we will investigate what it means to be mobile in a technologically advanced world.
What is your opinion on the state of mobility today? Please give me your thoughts and comments below.
The single biggest difference between a desktop and laptop computer is portability. This fact alone means you have to take extra steps to protect your laptop from the unscrupulous. I have put together a checklist for you to make you take the basic precautions in securing your laptop for your travels.
Before you leave and something that you should have done already
Backing up – Before you even leave your office make sure to back-up all your data files so just in case you something bad happens you will always have copies of them.
What’s the Password? – Make sure that you have password protection enabled on your laptop.
Strong Enough? – May sure the password is strong one mix up some letters and numbers and throw in an odd car or two.
Good Screening – Set your screen saver to a shorter time period before it starts (make sure to check the box next to the minutes that says on resume password protect.
Blocked the entrances – Make sure you have a firewall enabled.
Spy Stuff – If you have very important documents encrypting the file or folder is a must.
Make sure your antivirus software is up to date and running properly.
Use an anti-malware software to help protect yourself.
If your laptop has a fingerprint reader, webcam with facial recognition software or other types of built-in security feature make sure they are enabled.
Multiple Personalities – If you are the only one that uses your computer and you do not have an IT guy who has set the user rights then you are the administrator of your laptop and can do anything. Consider creating another user say “first name” with limited right restricting the access to the specific program and adding of any new programs. That way if you leave your computer the bad guys cannot install a malice program.
Wi-Fi – Don’t say anything that you would not want everyone to know. Public (i.e. free) Wi-Fi is great for accessing the web but unless you are using a VPN your communications are open for anyone to sniff out and use. So do not do your online banking or buy something with a credit card transaction unless you want to help strangers live large in Hollywood.
Keep it in sight – No matter want else you do you have to keep physical possession of your laptop or else everything only help may it hard for the bad guys to get your data.
Back-up – So I am going to assume that you did buy an external disk drive to backup weekly like I told you in my article for the newbie. This is by far the easiest way to back up your laptop and again make backing up a habit like before you go to dinner or to workout or even easier schedule it for a time you normally would be away from your laptop.
Remoteness, not all remote work is the same, and not all remote worker work the same. To some of us remote means not in the office due to travel to others it is about not having to go to the office. Traveling creates its own set of problems that make being connected and being on the road a challenge. Yes, if you are working in major cities with great mobile and wifi services the hassles are low but as soon as you are working in the rest of the world problems keep popping up for remote worker and staying connected.
WiFi is a staple of modern business life, and plenty of establishments offer free wifi, but the problem of late is too many people are on them which means slow or poor performance at many places and the question of how secure your connection is always a problem.
Mobile connections are good when at 4LTE but become much slower at 3G level.