Telecommuters are some of the most valuable employees in your organization. Not only do they often make face-to-face contact with corporate branches and clients, they have a real world sense of the business environment in a number of locations. Because these employees are extensions of the company, equipping them with the essential tools to make their time out on the road greatly increases their value.
Though many cell phone carriers offer a mobile hotspot on smartphones, it is one of those things that most people do not find particularly useful on a day-to-day basis. The truth be told, many carriers and mobile devices have subpar functionality with their mobile hotspots. It is a mistake to presume that a smartphone mobile hotspot will be good enough for the road warrior to get their work done efficiently.
The solution is to get each on-the-go employee a separate mobile hotspot. They are generally inexpensive, especially considering the gain in productivity and higher employee satisfaction gained from its purchase. If your remote worker will be connecting to the Internet to access data or do presentations for potential clients, the independent hotspot is a great way to demonstrate the commitment to quality by the company.
Do we even need to begin to talk about the necessity for cloud storage in today’s business environment? One of the biggest reasons for the growing popularity of cloud storage is the inclusion of mobile devices in the workplace, with the commensurate demand for real time, worldwide access to data out in the field. The major security issues have been resolved, and there is continued work to create and develop new security protocols.
Beyond the security issues, the remote worker needs to often be kept in the loop with changes in documentation and collaborative documents that are critical to the success of the project. Employees in different time zones may find themselves looking for updates after the home office is closed. Cloud storage allows access to be gained at anytime, anywhere. The alternative is sending files via email, which has a number of obvious problems.
With the advent of Bluetooth technology, more and more devices are cutting the cord from wired devices and peripherals and moving forward to wireless technology. As the smartphone was mentioned earlier, it is clear that it is a piece of technology that is here to stay for some time to come. A wireless headset is a great accessory that is both functional and convenient. Everything from having hands-free conversations (a legal must while driving is some states) to being able to record memos on the go makes this an essential choice. Depending on the employee’s particular situation, there are other wireless devices available that can simplify the employees travel life and increase their productivity.
Perhaps the best approach to determining what technologies are best for a particular employee is to sit down and ask them what their travel wish list is. Not every employee will have the same needs. Keep in mind that there will likely be a significant gap between what the employee believes they can get versus what the actually need. But in the end you should reach a compromise about what is actually essential.