As a long-time self-employer and owner of your own business you’re finally ready to take your business to the next level. You’re looking for employees; maybe an assistant to help answer emails, or an accountant to help issue checks for expenses. Whichever path you choose, congratulations on making the decision to take your office remote.
Welcome to the future of work. According to the Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update, employees working remotely is suppose to increase to 42.5% of the working population by 2022. At that time, the world is projected to see half of its population working outside the office either full-time, or part-time.
Many financial and talent benefits come with deciding on a remote office. For example, many administration costs are decreased, because a business doesn’t have to rent a office space. Further, employers can search for talent across the globe looking for the very best in their field. There’s no limitations of talent, because it’s simply a wi-fi connection for employees to begin work.
However in order to successfully take your company remote, you will need to consider important tools that will enable you to do business successfully and smoothly across time zones and borders. Further, all these applications are web-based, meaning it all can be easily accessed and downloaded through the internet. As you make preparations, take these tools into consideration.
For Tracking Employee Time Cards
How many hours are your employees putting into the business? This is a good question, and one that’s easily answered through online time card tracking software. It’s a must for small businesses to operate, and how else would you know how much to pay your employees. Try these applications:
- Hubstaff. Rated an almost perfect rating on Capterra, Hubstaff’s free system is best for a single user, and freelancers wanting to invoice their employers. If you’re a small business, the software also offers upgrades to make several employee accounts. Important features include screenshooting capabilities, desktop time counter and easy integration with notable apps like Asana and Trello.
- Toggl. This is one of the simplest and easiest applications to track time. The software has important backup capabilities and allows managers/employees to track specific projects.
- Paymo. It’s a simple, but powerful time tracking tool. This feature allows time tracking of tasks and projects on an easy-to-use online dashboard.
For Organizing Projects
As a small business, you’ll have big, small, long-term and short-term projects that will need to be managed. As your employees will be working remotely, it’s in your best interest to use an online project management system to keep everything in check. There’s a further list of great resources here.
- Asana. Asana provides an easy, user-friendly and stylist project management software to keep all your projects running seamlessly. Create projects for your new employees, follow up with comments in the application and have a fully-customizable calendar.
- Trello. “Organize anything, together.” Widely popular, this application is a simple and easy project management software. If you have just a few employees, the free version provides you with what you’re looking for. You can manage all your important projects, see who’s working on what, and where a project is in the process.
For Staying in Contact
With your remote team, communication should be a top priority. ‘Keeping the virtual door open’ helps keep your team connected, and it can easily be achieved through daily emails, ‘catch up’ meetings and video calls. Software tools are also an added help. We suggest looking into these tools:
- Skype. This application shouldn’t be a new word, because it’s been around for a considerable time. Skype provides you with the easiest ‘online’ communication possible by downloading the application to your desktop or your mobile device. You can make standard video/audio calls, audio or a simple text message.
- Google Hangouts. Next on the list might already be within your daily operations. Google Hangouts is a communication platform providing SMS, video chat and instant messaging. The application can be accessed through your Google Suite, by App and web browser plugin.
- Telegram. This is maybe one of the easiest and straight-forward applications that we’ve personally worked with. Downloadable to your mobile device or computer desktop, it offers the ability to send attachments, write texts, and make phone calls within the application. And did we mention that the application is heavily encrypted? This one gets bonus points for cyber security initiatives.
- Google G-Suite. Widely used, don’t go further to fulfill your email and online cloud storage than with Google G-Suite. For a small fee of $5 a month, you receive a professional email address for your company, ability to store files onto an online server, management of users, connecting with employees through email, chat and Google Hangouts.
Productivity, Security and Employee Monitoring Management
If you’re truly looking for something that’s inclusive, you should go no further than Teramind. Teramind is your extra level of security protection. Do you hear about all those data breaches in the news? Well, they can affect your business personally, and many of the ways is through the new employees that you’ve enlisted. Through phishing and social engineering, your new employees can become subject to phishing emails that leads to malware infections and data loss. In the end, this means lost money for your business. In addition to monitoring, Teramind software also provides ideal productivity analysis. Where are your employees using their time? Are they on social media too often? Are your chosen applications the best for your workers? These questions and more can be answered with Teramind’s employee productivity analysis. Further, Teramind’s cloud-based software offers a time management tool with respectable screen shots of employee desktops. You can start a free trial.
These are just a few tools to help you get started on your journey to a functioning remote office. You can read further application recommendations in this article by Inc.com.