How To Make Remote Working Work For Your Business

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Remote working is something that is definitely worth doing when it comes to your business. There might be times where staff need to work from home, including yourself, and not having the resources available to do so can make things difficult. Here are some tips to make remote working work for your business.

Get The Right Outsourced IT Help

Outsourcing can be a fantastic way of helping your business improve your IT services overall. A lot of companies have difficulty in their organizations due to the IT services they have been slow in their response to help employees, and that can put a business behind in terms of ongoing projects or simply getting work done efficiently. With that in mind, remote working needs to have a strong IT support behind it in order to work properly. So outsourcing your needs with strategic technology consulting might be needed. The right IT assistance is definitely going to help to make sure that everything continues to tick along as normal and hopefully, with as little disruption as possible. Outsourcing is also a great way to save money when you’re a small business, and your funds are perhaps limited to what you can afford when it comes to staffing.

Provide Staff With Quality Laptops

When it comes to working from home, you can’t expect your staff to work on crap laptops or electronic devices that are slow to load and continue to be a nuisance. If you allow that to happen, then you’re likely to see a lot less productivity as a result of that. For remote working, make sure you have a budget whereby you can invest your money into some good, quality laptops, rather than ones that are just cheap at the time and don’t last as long. That’s only going to waste your money as a business, and that’s not something you want.

Make Sure Security Is Tight

Security is part and parcel of working from home because your staff’s security in terms of it’s WIFI, might not be as strong as the protection you have in your workplace. Therefore, it’s important to have a good security software actually installed on the laptop or device itself in order to protect it. If you don’t, then that could create risks to your computer but also any data and files that this particular staff member might have access too. So it’s good to make sure that even if they’re working remotely, they’re still secure when it comes to security.

Roll It On A Trial Basis For Selected Few

Remote working doesn’t need to be given to everyone, especially if you’ve not done it before. Look at which staff members would benefit from it and start rolling it out as and when you can. By trialing it, you know whether this is something that will work for your business or not.

Doing remote working can be highly beneficial, so use these tips to help introduce remote working so that it works for your business.

How To Save Money On Energy Bills When You Work From Home

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Remote working is becoming more common in business and there are a lot of benefits for both the employer and the employee. We often hear about the financial advantages on both sides because businesses do not need to spend as much money on office space, and there are a lot of opportunities for employees to save money. You don’t need to spend money on your commute, and you’ll save a lot if you can cook at home instead of buying lunch every day. However, it’s not quite as simple as that because remote working can cost you more in other ways. If you are at home working all day, your energy bills will be significantly higher than they would be if you were at the office all day. This is a big problem for remote workers, but there are ways to get around it. These are the best ways to cut energy costs when working remotely.

Improve Insulation In Your Home 

If your home is expensive to heat, you will feel the impact of remote working a lot more. That’s why it’s a good idea to improve the insulation around your home if you plan to work remotely in the long term. Adding more insulation in the roof cavity is one of the most cost effective ways to do this. You should also get in touch with a company like Naimor, inc. and have them make a sheet metal roof for your home. It’s the most energy efficient roofing material because it reflects heat in the summer and keeps the home cool, and it gives you better insulation during the winter. If none of this works, you may need to consider adding more insulation in the walls, but this can be expensive and disruptive, so you should try to avoid it where possible. 

Work Shorter Hours 

You will use a lot of electricity if you are using a laptop and other devices all day long. But if you can work shorter hours, you will notice a big drop in your energy bills, which is why efficiency is so important. Your work day will be a lot longer if you spend half the time looking at social media and distracting yourself in other ways. It’s far better to work a shorter day, but work harder during those hours. If you break up the day into smaller sections and set yourself small targets, you will be far more productive. 

Let Natural Light In 

If you are productive, you should be able to get all of your work done during daylight hours. If you can let natural light into the home, you don’t need to have the lights switched on all day long, and that will save a lot of money. When you are designing your home office, try to pick a room that gets plenty of sun. You should also paint it in a light color so the light is reflected around the room and it stays bright in there all day. 

These simple changes will help you to save a lot of money on your energy bills, so you still get the financial benefits of working from home.

Do You Need An Office To Run An Effective Business?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Part of what makes a happy working environment in this day and age is the flexibility. When you are working in an office, everything seems somewhat regimented. But when you are in charge of a business or trying to set one up, a lot of your working life may very well be at home. But this begs the question, do you actually need an office in order to run a business effectively? Or is it about a little bit of give and take, so you can benefit financially, but also get the work done?

Look At Your Clients

It all depends on making that solid impression as well as the industry that you work in. When you are trying to manufacture components, many clients may not necessarily care where you are operating from, just as long as you keep up your end of the bargain. In terms of the manufacturing industry, there are companies like WES Ltd that provide assistance for businesses in terms of engineering and welding. And when you start to look at your client base, you may feel somewhat sheepish that you don’t have an office or a base, but does this really matter? Sure, for some people, impressions count for everything, but this is where something like a virtual office can really come in handy. Just as long as you provide that impression that you are a fully functioning business, and you are delivering the goods do you really need an office? It doesn’t seem like it.

Can You Build A Culture Of Remote Working?

While you may very well need clients dotted around the world, when you have employees that are able to do everything from the comfort of their own home, it’s possible to build this culture of remote working without an office. The fantastic thing about remote working is that it gives you the opportunity to liaise with people in so many different ways and now due to various collaboration tools like Slack, it’s not as important to be in the same room. Building a culture of remote working is partly to do with the technology you have, but it’s also about how you communicate yourself. Just as long as the work gets done, and you provide that degree of flexibility that’s imperative to remote workers, you provide a business framework that can get more done. A lot of people prefer to work remotely for this very reason.

What If You Need An Office Sometimes?

This is a very common issue. If you need an office for meeting up in person, it’s never been easier to hire a space for meetings. Because we can run a business without a location, just as long as the internet is working effectively, it’s possible. The fact of the matter is now that so many businesses are starting from a remote location, and try to keep it that way, you could do exactly the same. It can improve the culture but it can also improve the bottom line.

Remote Working Tips When You’re Just Starting Out

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

If you are someone who is able to work remotely, or work from home a couple of days a week, then you will need a few tips and tricks to help you to improve, especially if you are new to it. There can be a feeling that you won’t get any work done as you’ll be much more distracted, but you need to know that when you do things in the right way, then it can help you to get work done. But how can you help yourself to stay productive, be creative, and be inspired to live up to the lifestyle that remote working can give to you? Here are some things that can help you to get all the work done that you need to, and can smash that remote working life.

Reliable tech

When you think of working remotely then you will think of a good WiFi connection and how it is essential to help. But there is more to having a good setup to work with, than just your internet connection. If you have the ability to take calls or video calls, without losing any kind of connection, then it can be a simple thing that can make a difference. The tech that you use, as well as the internet connection, will make such a difference. Things like a pair of noise-cancelling headphones can help, and then you could work literally anywhere, like a coffee shop or down by the pool on vacation. A good laptop is a must too, as well as a mouse, and perhaps even a second screen if that would help when you’re based at home.

Keeping things secure

If you want to make sure that you’re able to send over information securely, as well as access files sent to you, without the risk of hacking and so on, then keeping things secure is really important. You could think about getting a VPN (virtual private network) as it helps you to use a private network, which keeps things like hackers at bay. There are different ones to choose from, but checking out something like an Opera browser VPN review will give you an idea of what you’re looking for. Taking steps to keep things secure is a must for your business, or the business that you work for.

Lean on your community

One of the things that can occur when you work from home is a feeling of loneliness, as although you might call people or video call people, it isn’t quite the same. So to make sure that you’re feeling supported and connected to the working world, then you could work in a local co-working space from time to time, or perhaps just heading to somewhere like a coffee shop for a bit of ‘noise’ and connection to other people. When you are surrounded by other people who are all working remotely, or just being around other people from to time, then it can help you to stay productive and keep you motivated. But find what works for you and what makes a difference to how well you’re able to work.

Using Lessons From Remote Working To Run A Better Office

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

One of the hallmarks of a successful business is listening to your employees and ensuring you take on their feedback. But these days there are so many out there are scattered all over the place, that you can’t have them all under one roof. Remote working is so popular now, but for all of the veritable pros and cons, you may very well want to bring everybody back together. What can we learn from remote working to ensure that we run a better office?

Being sociable works wonders for positivity

If you’ve been working on your own for a long time, you might find that remote working means you lose that social aspect. By encouraging that old fashioned approach to the water cooler, and having a conversation about last night’s television, you start to solidify a bond between the employees that goes beyond the work. So take it upon yourself to install a water cooled chiller and encourage people to talk because this means collaboration becomes effortless.

Communication and collaboration works across many lands

In running a remote team, or if you work by yourself at home, you realize just how easy it can be to get in contact with others. There are so many different communication tools out there that it’s very easy to get to speak to someone, either via Skype or email. But when it comes to this office environment, we can very easily ping over an email to someone, but this could interrupt their work flow. Set about finding the right communication tools and collaboration so everybody still has that working flow. It is a very difficult thing to get right, but when you want to inspire collaboration and communication ensure that people get up off the chair and wander over to their colleagues, especially if they’re only on the other side of the office! Some businesses frown upon this because it takes people away from the desk but if you want to run an office driving, culturally sound, and where people communicate effortlessly, that human contact is also essential.

People can be disciplined when they want to be

When you run an office, that temptation can be to bark orders and everyone so that they follow the rules. But when you bring people in from a remote working environment they have to function under their own steam. As a result of self-discipline is a fantastic tool, not just because people figure out their own way to get a task done as quickly as possible, with great quality, but it also inspires trust. If you can entrust your employees to do the job that them to do without them feeling that you are watching their every move, they shall work better, are more relaxed, and everybody wins.

Many people find that remote working is a heavy burden on a business, but others can’t help but go down this route due to the cost-effectiveness aspect. But there are things we can learn from remote working that we can apply to an office environment. That lack of sociability from remote working means that employees will make the most of developing relationships with employees, communication is better and more comprehensive and also, that idea of self-discipline is arguably the biggest asset of any business when you transfer remote workers to an office environment.

Remotely Working For You

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Remote working is the new way of getting the job done. Rather than tying you to that office cubicle, the ability to work remotely from your home office or the nearest cafe is a boon for many workers. The studies back it up too, with evidence that remote workers work just as hard, if not harder on their projects. Perhaps this is because there’s no distraction by office chatter or they feel more productive knowing their work and home life is balanced and less stressful.

Perhaps the one draw back from working remotely is that feeling of being a little cut off from your team, of not having the rigid timetable that you tend to have in your office life. So in this article, we’re taking a look at how you can get the job done, even when you’re not at work and get the best from your remote working.

Better Connected

And the odd phone call might just be enough to make sure you know what’s going on but what might just tip the balance is employing some smart software. Take Asana, for example, if your team is spread about the country or even internationally then you need something that keeps you working on track. That’s where Asana comes in. Set up your project online, assign tasks that everyone can see and update and tick off when completed. 

The fear of missing vital pieces of work or overlapping on tasks is gone and your team members are fully up to speed with what’s going on, even when they’re not in the same conference room.

Personal Motivation

Another challenging area of working remotely is finding the discipline to work to a schedule. When you have the whole day ahead of you, when the daily grind of a long commute is wiped out, there almost seems like there are too many options.

Get your head in the game by starting and finishing at a set time each day. Wear custom high end suits if it helps you feel like you’re in the zone then head out the door and down to work at the same time with a plan of how your day is going to be spent.

If you do work from a home office then having some personal discipline is going to keep you focussed. While the novelty of working in your pajamas is fun for a day or two, it can very quickly become de-motivating and add to that feeling of isolation. Get up, get showered and get on with your day.

Working Outside the Home

Yes, you can head to that favorite cafe and spend a fortune on snacks and lattes or you might opt for working in a coworking space. You’ll find plenty of these spaces popping up across the country and there’s bound to be one near you. They do cost and you’ll be paying for a desk space, fast wifi and other office facilities such as printer and conference room.

Co-working can go one of two ways, either you love the contact with others and thrive off the buzz of having other co-workers around you or you will find the noise and the hum of other’s telephone conversations distracting. You will need to give it a go for a day, to figure out if it’s going to work for you or not.

If you choose to work from home on a more permanent basis, you should set aside a space in your home that is just purely for your work. Make sure you take your work space seriously and have a chair that fully supports you and a desk at the right height.

Our final word on working remotely is on the importance of switching off at the end of the day. While it’s easy to keep working until way past the time you would ordinarily stay at work, it’s vital to your mental and physical well being that you are disciplined in closing down at the end of the day and don’t carry on checking your emails late into the evening.

Remote working should be something that helps, rather than hinders you, when it comes to achieving your work goals. It should help you to achieve a balance in your life where you can work around your family commitments, cut out a grueling commute and help towards a greener and more environmentally-friendly working arrangement by leaving the car at home.

It should not leave you stressed and feeling out of the loop. Get your remote working done right and you will be a productive and motivated team member. Get remote working, working for you today.

Lagging Behind? Here’s How To Bring Your Business Into The 21st Century

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Let’s be honest, business now is a lot different to how it was a few decades ago. Technology has taken the world – and businesses – by storm, and there are many pressing issues now that simply weren’t discussed previously. But how do you say goodbye to the ghosts of business past, and embrace a new way of working that is more in line with 21st century ideals?

There are plenty of ways to do so, whether you’re a small business owner or you’ve climbed the ladder into large business leadership. But what are they, and how do you do it?

Embrace intersectionality

In the modern world, intersectionality is everything. For too long, the office has been the stomping ground of the rich white man, and many women and minority groups are fighting back and making their claims to the roles that they deserve. Sure, there is still a lot of work to be done, but hiring people based upon their merits – rather than archaic ideas – will be what helps your business to move forward.

Remove the hierarchy

Millennials in business have a different approach to leadership now, and it’s one that seems to be working pretty well. Instead of having a rigid hierarchy, many startups that put everybody on an equal footing are coming together, so that ideas can be shared and utilized more efficiently. Needless to say, this works a lot better than one person making all of the decisions, so spread the authority a little!

Use social media well

Social media is one of those things that almost everybody uses on a day-to-day basis. If you want to be able to stay in the game as a business, then you need to use social media wisely (and well). If you can pull this off, then it will really help to cement your reputation as a serious, modern business. Why, you ask? Because many people’s first port of call will be your Facebook and Instagram pages.

Break conventions

Business in the 21st century is all about breaking conventions. People are really pushing the boundaries in many fields, and seeing what actually works instead of toeing the same old line. Don’t be afraid to try out something new, and to revolutionize the way that your business functions. Whether it’s going to a marijuana business conference or shaking up leadership, you’ll see a difference.

Allow working from home

Although we’ve been stuck in those inflexible working patterns for the past few decades, working from home is now seen as one of the best ways to improve the happiness and productivity of your team. Allow them to stay at home for a day or two a week, and you’ll immediately see the difference in your office vibe. This is a huge trust exercise, but it almost always pays off in the end.

So, if you want to bring your old-fashioned business into the modern day, then try to implement some of these ideas in your office. Good luck, and have fun embracing the 21st century!

Is Your Office Really Fit For Purpose?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

There are few things more exciting than the moment that your business reaches the point where it can get out of your garage or spare room and into a dedicated office space. For a lot of startups, it can feel like the moment that they have finally become legitimate and can compete on the same stage as far more established companies. Of course, that’s not to say that the move to a dedicated office space isn’t going to be something that involves a decent degree of challenge. The biggest challenge can often be ensuring that your office is fit for purpose when it comes to the needs of your employees. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do in order to make sure that your office is always fit for purpose.

Space

Space is going to be one of the most important things that you need to think about when it comes to your office. After all, the last thing you want is to end up in a position where you and your employees simply don’t have the room to move around each other. Not only is that inconvenient but it also presents some genuine safety hazards. However, you also don’t want to go too far in the other direction. If you’ve only got a few employees then you’re not going to need a huge, expensive office that’s a complete waste of space and money.

Facilities

Your office is going to require the right facilities for the needs of your employees and without them, you’re just going to end up running into problems. You’ve probably already considered the obvious stuff like bathrooms but you also need to think about things like baby changing facilities for any employees who are parents and a bike shelter for employees who don’t drive into work. These kinds of things are often easily neglected but they are often just as essential as facilities than just about anything else in your office.    

Remote working options

In the modern age, the idea of what an office really is has been undergoing quite a significant change. More and more businesses are finding that their office can function as a theoretical framework for their business as much as a physical one. By being willing to embrace remote working options you’re going to give your employees the kind of flexibility that they need to avoid burning out or losing out on their personal lives because of work. That can, in turn, increase their satisfaction and motivation to do the best work possible for your business.

Of course, these are just a few options for you to think about. It’s important to remember that there are always going to be specific things that you need to think about in terms of what your business needs from your office space as well as the needs of specific employees. It’s essential that you take the time to really think about the specifics of your business when looking for the right office space.