Is your business ready to work from home? Regardless of your personal feelings toward more flexible work accommodations, there’s a good chance that your competitors are already making use of remote work packages to entice the best talent in your field and develop a highly motivated team of employees.
Add this already mounting interest to the current need for businesses to practice social distancing measures, and remote work becomes more than merely an optional benefit. It is a vital practice to preserve the health and wellbeing of customers, companies, and the people they employ.
We at Cartridge World know this reality well. As a network of small businesses and a corporate office, we’ve made that abrupt shift to a remote workforce. It was no simple task (and that doesn’t even include modifying our business model to serve home and business customers safely). We had to adopt a certain mindset, collection of useful technology, and transparent communication.
We’d like to share what we’ve learned.
Equip the right resources
To get started, let’s consider this simple, unavoidable fact about remote work: its success is contingent on using the right technology.
Although all of your employees — both inside and outside of the office — likely use technology at work to accomplish their jobs more effectively, technology is the only bridge between remote employees and their ability to communicate, collaborate, and innovate with their larger teams.
When looking to supply your remote workforce with the right types of tools, there are a few features you should keep in mind. Solutions that download updates over the internet or automatically through the cloud helps ensure that everyone works with the same versions. It’s also likely worth the investment to utilize the highest quality products and supplies, as your remote employees will not have access to in-person IT support should their at-home solutions break.
There are a few typical tools that find their way into most typical remote set-ups. A place for storing documents online provides a secure place for sharing relevant documents and collaborating on new objectives. Other remote-friendly equipment, such as task tools for greater productivity, help teams of all sizes manage current and future objectives. Tools for video conferencing will do the trick when phone calls or chat messages won’t suffice.
It’s also important to use technology that is easily maintained, regardless of where you are physically located. By having your printers managed through Cartridge World, you can reduce overhead related to printing expenditures, monitor current supply levels for toner and ink, and track the current statuses of your printers remotely through the Printer Pulse App.
Find a solution that works for you
When it comes time for you to draft up a remote work policy, remember that your solution may look different from other businesses in your area or your competitors. Depending on the particular needs of your employees or customers, you might experience constraints around your type of work that make remote environments, under normal circumstances, an obstacle, or even infeasible.
Fortunately, there are a number of creative solutions that businesses can use to reconcile the needs of their business with work from home experience. Although many employees currently find themselves at their at-home desks for a full work week, splitting your time between off-site and on-site work is one way to enjoy the benefits of both (plus, it can save you upwards of $11,000 per part-time telecommuter per year).
Finally, you should consider whether or not working from home works for your company in a long-term capacity. While some companies will choose to revert back to their normal day-to-day, you might see an opportunity to continue offering this benefit for your best employees and keeping them invested in your organization. If this is the case, remember to clearly define and outline the parameters of remote work for those you oversee: including the maximum or minimum number of hours worked off-site, which employees are permitted to work remotely and whether there are any limitations to where remote workers should be located.
Automate wherever possible
Especially as you and the rest of your team are first adjusting to your work from home arrangements, this transitionary period is the most subject to dips in productivity levels. From setting up a completely new work area to acclimating to the new methods your team must employ to stay connected, your teams may require an extra few days for project completion.
To help mitigate any lost momentum from your leap to remote work, you might consider using a technology called automation to keep your delivery teams on track. As the name might suggest, automation is the practice of making your processes work without any human assistance. Automation not only helps you save the time you would have spent on performing a task manually, but it also tends to complete this task better than you would be able to on your own. This is because automation eliminates the possibility of human error.
If you find yourself constantly impeded by empty ink cartridges and printing supplies that always seem to run low, you might consider automating your printer supply delivery for your home office. Automated supply management ensures that your local printer partners will always have the printer resources you need on-hand to prevent any interruptions in your day’s to-do list. And having your supplies delivered to your home makes it even easier to keep your office supplies fully stocked without ever having to venture out to your office headquarters.
By keeping these strategies in mind, you’ll not only find the best remote work solution for the particular necessities of your company, but you’ll ensure that any work your employees perform from their home office is productive, engaging, and timely.
Looking for automated printer solutions like monitoring and automatic delivery? Contact us for a suite of solutions that includes no-cost printers.