How IT Services Will Help You Maintain Your Remote Workforce
As the country slowly recovers from the COVID19 pandemic, one thing is becoming clear: remote work and telecommuting will become the “new norm” for businesses throughout the United States. Companies are beginning to see that they can save money by keeping some roles as remote functions, and employees are learning that working from home allows them to work full, productive days while maintaining the perfect work-life balance. If you’re thinking about keeping some of the roles in your small to medium-sized business as work-from-home after the country reopens, IT services can help you make the transition permanent.
How Does Remote Work Help You Save Money?
It’s hard to evaluate your financial standing in the face of COVID19. While you’ve lost profits due to quarantine restrictions, you’ve probably have found that your office expenditures have decreased.
What if you could keep saving money on your organization’s expenses after your customer base returns?
Lowered Utility Payments
It only makes sense: if your teams aren’t using electricity, your electric bill will decrease.
In 2019, the average electric bill for commercial properties was $2.10 per square foot. This cost will increase seasonally as you pay for heating or air conditioning in your office space.
There are electricity drains that you may not even think of when you pay your utilities, like refrigerators and microwaves in break rooms, lighting, and your machines (computers, monitors, and printers).
You probably noticed that your SMB’s electric bill has sharply decreased over the past few months. By keeping some of your workers in a remote role, you can expect to pay significantly less in water, natural gas, and electricity bills.
Lowered Office Space Rental Fees
Office rental fees in the United States vary widely, with business owners typically paying anywhere from $8 to $23 per square foot. Since the size of your office is based on the number of employees using it, this can average out to $300 per month per employee.
By permanently assigning some roles in your organization as remote functions, you can relocate to a smaller office space. In fact, some companies are shifting to a virtual office setting and abandoning physical offices completely.
What is a Virtual Office?
A virtual office allows employees to work remotely while keeping your core business functions intact. With a virtual office, you can “set up” in a location without having to rent office space. This allows flexibility for an SMB to “be” in a desirable location without paying premium prices.
How Does a Virtual Office Work?
If your employees are currently working remotely, you are already using a “virtual office” model. Your employees will stay connected with each other and your clients and customers via the internet.
Connectivity is through Teams or Zoom meetings, much like you are already doing with your remote workers. When you sign up for a digital office service, you are expanding your reach with a receptionist, a physical meeting room, a legitimate mailing address, and, in some cases, mail services including opening your letters and distribution.
Larger Talent Pools
When you offer remote work in a virtual office setting, you are no longer limiting your hiring process to those who live in or around your physical location. This opens the door to many highly qualified workers that were inaccessible to you before.
You may choose to rent a smaller office space for essential workers and keep some positions “remote,” or you may opt for giving up your office space completely and shift to a remote workforce. Some businesses can save money by offering a hybrid work solution, allowing employees to telecommute a few days per week.
Whatever you decide, you will need IT services to help you maintain your business’ functionality and security.
Decreased Equipment and Supply Costs
With the shift to remote work, many employers are allowing their teams to use their personal devices to get their work done. Obviously, this saves the employer money on computers, printers, and cell phones.
Some less obvious savings for employers shifting to remote workers include incidentals like pens, paper, and even office furniture that needs to be routinely upgraded. Add in snacks, breakroom appliances, bathroom essentials, and cleaning or landscaping services and you’ll see how quickly your monthly expenses can add up.
Supplying your employees with the devices they need to work from home is another alternative, and one that’s safer for your network. IT services can negotiate with third-party vendors to get these supplies at a much lower rate, and then help to maintain and protect them.
Employees Are More Productive When Working from Home
While you may think your remote employees aren’t getting as much work done, reports show the exact opposite is true. Your remote employees are not only getting work done, most of them are getting more work done. According to a FlexJobs study, 66% of remote employees feel they are more productive at home and 76% said there were fewer distractions in their home environment versus working at the office.
Some perks for employers offering remote work include:
Employee Turnover is Significantly Decreased
Employees who work remotely are more likely to stay with their employer. Some of the factors that keep these employees loyal are:
- Eliminating long commutes: One out of four workers have quit a job due to long commutes. It’s estimated that employees can get an extra 17 days of free time every year by eliminating the commuting time, or 408 hours annually.
- Work-life balance: Remote workers feel that they have a much better work-life balance than office workers.
- Less supervisory stress: Many employees report that their supervisors are a key factor in a disrupted workflow. Micromanaging supervisors can lead to reduced productivity and eventual voluntary employee separation from their jobs. Remote employees say they are less stressed by management and feel their productivity is boosted without supervisory disruptions. 46% cited a decrease in meetings as a productivity booster.
Happy employees are loyal employees, and loyal employees are far more productive than transient ones.
Remote Employees Work More Days and Call Out Less
Remote employees will call out far less frequently than those who work at the office. Your employees call out for illnesses but may also cut their days short because of personal or family obligations such as childcare or doctor’s appointments.
Office workers may need to come into the office late or leave early due to personal reasons. Remote employees enjoy the flexibility of logging on early or working later to make up for lost productivity. Over half of remote employees will continue to work from home even if they are sick.
Remote Employees Will Work Longer Hours
A recent survey showed that 23% of remote employees are willing to work longer hours to get more accomplished. Remote workers also report that they get more work accomplished in less time.
This happens because your remote employees don’t see the clock as their unofficial keeper. Without the commute to worry about, remote workers can continue to work uninterrupted if it’s necessary to complete projects and tasks.
IT services For Transitioning Your Remote Workforce to a Permanent Work-From-Home Model
You probably had to make some quick decisions regarding your remote workforce in the face of the COVID19 crisis. It’s not too late to re-evaluate your choices and plan a sustainable remote workforce strategy.
Professional IT services can help you find remote solutions that will work for your business’ needs, whether you are transitioning to a virtual office or simply keeping some positions as remote.
IT Services Offer Cloud Solutions for Remote Workers
If you’ve enjoyed collaborating and connecting on Teams, you already know how cloud computing can help your remote workers. With cloud solutions, employees can access and share files no matter where they are. IT services can help you get connected and stay connected.
Identity and Access Management
Your IT provider will help you create an identity and access management strategy that limits administrative privileges and permissions and establishes procedures for identity verification. This means that your remote workforce will only have access to files they need to perform their job, and unauthorized users can’t gain access to your network at all.
Cybersecurity Strategies and Solutions
Cybercriminals are targeting remote workers at an alarming rate. Your old cybersecurity platform will not be able to keep up with the ever-evolving threat landscape, and choosing the most effective anti-virus software is not as simple as it once was. Your IT services provider will help you create a cybersecurity strategy that fits your new remote workforce.
These strategies will be multi-layered, including firewall, multi-factor identification, advanced antivirus software. Some companies, like Iconic IT, offer complete coverage with a Security Operations Center that continuously monitors your network for alerts and potential threats.
You may already have an internal IT department; maybe you just need a partner to help them manage all the remote workers’ IT needs. Outsourcing your IT services under a co-managed platform means your internal IT department can get the help it needs without giving up their responsibilities. An MSP can keep your existing IT department on top of trending threats and technologies and help create a better IT strategy for your business. They are also available to lend a hand in case of repairs, downtime, natural disasters, or a breach. Your IT services provider will provide support, solutions, third-party vendor management, and other services alongside your internal IT department.
Application and Software Management
An IT services provider will help you choose the best apps and software for your company, based on size, vertical, regulatory requirements, and specific needs. These programs will need to be installed and maintained with regular updates and upgrades.
An MSP will match you with the tools your business needs and the resources you need to manage them.
With your employees scattered across your state (or, in some cases, across the nation), you need a reliable way for them to report IT issues and get them solved as soon as possible. IT services can provide a centralized way for your teams to report problems and get them solved quickly. MSPs are uniquely qualified to help remote workers in many ways, from accessing their machines to visualize the problem to providing new devices if needed. IT services will help your remote employees limit downtime and lost productivity due to network or hardware issues, no matter where they are located.
If your remote employees lose or break a device, the information stored in the device may be lost as well. Cloud backup solutions are one way that IT services providers can keep your files and sensitive data safe and ready to recover, no matter what happens. Your MSP will help you create a Business Continuity Plan to make sure your organization is “back in business” following breaches, lost, stolen or broken devices, or natural disaster.
Iconic IT is the IT Services Provider Remote Workforces Can Rely On
Iconic IT was more than ready when COVID19 drove employees out of the office and into their kitchens and home offices. We had been planning remote workforce strategies for years and were able to quickly give our clients the solutions they needed to keep clients up and running without missing a beat. With upgraded antivirus platforms and cutting-edge cloud technologies, Iconic IT is prepared to help your business sustain a remote workforce, either temporarily or permanently.
Iconic IT services is offering a free, no risk, no-obligation consultation to help measure your business’ current IT strategies. Let our professionals help you decide if your business is already in great shape, or if you need better solutions for keeping your remote workforce operating smoothly and securely, with increased productivity and connectivity.