How Technology Can Ease the Transition to Becoming a Remote Employee

June 6, 2016 | Jennifer Goodwyn

For both employers and employees, there are many benefits associated with transitioning to remote work. Employers find that remote employees are more productive and have a higher morale, while remote employees enjoy an improved work/life balance that stems from being able to spend more time with friends and family, as well as not having to commute. Despite the many benefits, the transition to remote work can be a difficult process for employers and employees alike. Fortunately, relatively recent innovations in technology such as collaboration software, communication programs, and mobile apps have made that transition easier on employers and employees.

1.       Employer Concerns

For employers, the traditional model of an office stocked with cubicles, desks, printers, and meeting rooms has been relatively straightforward for several decades. The transition to using remote employees, on the other hand, can be much more complicated. There are many decisions that employers need to make before the remote employee can even begin to work. Does the employer supply a computer or provide an incentive for the employee to purchase or use their own? How can the employer and employee keep all of the important files organized and up-to-date? These questions and many more are used to make the notion of using remote employees seem like more trouble than it was worth. Recent innovations in technology have gone a long way to answering these questions in a way that's effectively standardized the remote work model.

2.       Google Services

Collaboration software is an excellent example of technology which can ease the transition to remote work. For example, Google offers a range of services which help employers and employees work remotely in a secure and productive way. Called Google Drive, this service is an office suite which allows people to store and share files, as well as edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. By using Google Drive, remote employees can store all of their information on the cloud and collaborate in real time. Because information is saved and stored as it is entered, the risk of confusion and loss of information is significantly lower than it would be if remote employees were responsible for storing the information on their computers.

3.       Communication Services

Because communication is crucial to the success of every business, the ability to meet and discuss important topics is necessary for the remote work model to be successful. Thankfully, programs like Skype or Zoom allow employees to call each other or video conference at anytime, anywhere. These programs also make it possible for employers to keep track of their remote employees. The inability to communicate and keep track of employees are main concerns for employers considering the transition to remote work, and these programs easily alleviate that concern.

4.       Mobile Apps

Another great thing about these recent innovations is that most of these programs have apps available on smartphones and tablets, so employees have access to any necessary information and can communicate with each other, even when they've stepped away from their home office or coworking space. The ability to stay connected in this way helps to mitigate the effects of the transition that many employers are concerned about. This technology is affordable, easy to use, and contributes to a more effective remote workforce. In the future, these technologies will continue to develop making it easier for companies to take advantage of the remote work model and all of its benefits.