Virtualize Your Workforce: How and Why
Remember when no one knew what the hell telecommuting was? Today is called remote workforce and it is actually more common than a non-remote workforce. Often cited as a way to increase efficiency and improve morale sadly the remote workforces often managed poorly, implemented incorrectly, and not given the tools necessary to be as successful as possible. More new businesses are starting out with a remote workforce and have it much easier than older institutions trying to move into a remote management situation. However with good management, the proper tools, and a strategy in place focused on overall increase productivity, a remote workforce will work for almost any company.
The upside for remote workforce is obvious almost immediately. With fuel prices out-of-control not having to drive an hour to and from work every day will immediately put more money in the pocket of an employee. This was done without having to give them a raise, and without having to increase their hours. Your employee just became happier, more efficient, and wealthier all at once. This power savings isn't relegated to the employee alone. The office building no longer requires the utilities that it did such as water and electricity, as you have fewer employees coming in and the workload being more efficiently handled. Workforce virtualization removes the need for the corporate car, and will not only save your company money instantly but make it greener. More money smaller carbon footprint. So how is this great and magical thing done you ask? Here it is.
Have confidence in your management. You hired them for a reason presumably so assume they can do their job until they don't. One of the top reasons why companies will not virtualize is that they fear that their workforce will lose its motivation and focus. The company is effectively doubting its hiring choices. If you made the right decision than the work is going to get done, probably faster and better than it ever has. If the work doesn't get done then clearly you made a hiring mistake that should be rectified. Managing a workforce remotely is no different than managing it locally, use communication and clearly outline goals and let the worker take it from there.
Using the right technology can be the difference between an efficiently run company and a complete nightmare. Research what is out there and take which you need, but more importantly do not get what you don't need. Superfluous technology is the downfall of many a great organization. You probably already have a telephone, e-mail, and some sort of instant messaging system. This may actually be enough when coupled with a robust cloud storage system. Most of these can be outsourced anyway via companies like dropbox, but if security is a concern having one brought in-house is not that complicated. One issue that does arise is in a technical support staff. Many companies wonder what they're going to be able to do if they do not have a technician come to their desk and teach them how to check their e-mail or reboot their computer for them. Have no fear there are many a support staff out there using nothing but telephones and remote access. Your staff can do the same.
Job analysis is also paramount in making this approach work. Look at every job in the company and see how they change to virtualization will affect that particular job specifically. Remember that every position must be justified in a properly run company and if certain positions are no longer necessary the Namibia time to make smart comfortable changes. Also any job that cannot be virtualize can simply stay in-house unless the company is actively trying to reduce its real estate holdings to zero. Fortunately most corporations are filled with call center workers, analysts, systems administrators, programmers, sales staff, tech support, and more which excels when virtualized.