Episode 5 of the Coder's Block podcast out now

Being able to work remotely, anywhere in the world, is a great benefit for many businesses. It can mean that your workforce is more productive, as well as a reduction in them taking time off. When you offer flexibility, it can really help them to get all that they need to do. And luckily, we have the technology to help us to be able to work from home or from a hotel room. Or do we? In a recent survey, 30% of remote workers said that their tech was the thing that was hindering them from working as well as they could be. So is it a good thing or actually something that will hinder productivity?

The key thing is to speak to employees and have some strategies or guidelines in place for when using them in the office, as well as out of the office. You want your mobile tech to help your business to grow, and not hinder it or its productivity. So here are some guidelines that might be worth thinking about.

Picking the Right Equipment For The Task

Mobile tech devices are not all created equal. So it can be some trial and error to find out what is best for you. Likewise, you may need a variety of devices for the different people in your teams, depending on what their job role is and what tools they need to help them to be able to work well. So think about their role and what will best help them, rather than make them learn a variety of different software or programs unnecessarily.

Have Emergency Plans in Place

If you have an employee that needs to get to a client meeting but they have a laptop or phone that isn’t working, then you need to have an emergency plan already in place to make sure that it can run as smoothly as possible. It could be that you have an iPhone repair contact that you can call on as and when you need it. You could think about getting an in-house IT specialist if you don’t already, or at least having one ‘on-call’ as a freelancer that you can use as and when you need to. But have those kinds of procedures in place already, rather than just deciding on them as it happens.

Support Flexibility

Being able to be flexible is key to helping productivity. When employees are working remotely, it offers greater flexibility to their life. Yes, they may need to get their children from school at a certain time, for example. But in reality, when there is this trust and and flexibility, they know that they can get back online later to finish up projects. It can help them to manage their time better and be more productive overall. So flexibility is something that should be supported, as it can help your business to grow and grow.

Having clear and honest communication about the expectations with employees is a good idea too. While you want to encourage flexibility, you don’t want it to lead to burnout. So set out clear expectations around flexible working.

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