Answer these Questions Before Your Company Moves to Distributed Workspaces

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Unexpected challenges can arise when companies allow their employees to work from home, to work from offices near their homes, and from any other places that are not in a central company location.

Here are two stories we have heard recently . . .

- A company found it easy to hire a new employee. They did video interviews, emailed enrollment documents back and forth, and had remote onboarding sessions. But when the company had to fire that new employee because she wasn’t working out, things became more complicated. Who would do the firing, for example? Were there legal risks to terminating an employee in a video call? And if the employee didn’t take the time to sign and return required documents, what could the company do? After all, the people in HR would probably never see the employee again in person.

- Another company sent a laptop to an employee and had the company IT office work with her to set it up. That too went well. But problems arose when that employee needed help with some tech issues. He had to get on the subway and take the computer to the offices of the company that his employer had hired to maintain the company’s machines. That meant a trip by train to Queens, one of New York’s outer boroughs, which exposed the employee to other people, which in turn caused the employee to become worried.

Working Remotely Works Just Fine Most of the Time, However . . .

Many companies are finding they encounter speedbumps in areas like those, even if they start out by deciding which functions to keep in-house, which to outsource, and even which to try to handle with software for functions like accounting, project planning, and even training in some contexts.

But wherever you and your organization are in having your workforce do their jobs remotely, here are some functions to think about. Where will they be performed, and by whom?

HR – Where will your HR department be, who will staff it, and what functions will – and will not – be handled there? What kind of software resources are available to help you handle HR functions? Are you still going to do job reviews, who will do them, and how?

Onboarding and training – How and where will these functions be handled? If you have a learning management system (LMS) in place, who will its administrator be, where will they be located, and what functions will they supervise? Are there off-the-shelf and other online training solutions you can use?

IT – If someone’s computer need service or if data needs to be wiped off a company-provided cellphone, who is going to perform those functions? Do you need to have that service provider be located near to your offices or can it be located in another region or city?

Sales and sales support -  This can get complicated, especially if you have sales people “in the field” in a number of locations. How will they report their sales calls? Why kind or mobile technology should can be used to track sales made, to fulfill orders, and more? These issues were somewhat difficult to organize before the time of remote working, and they can be even more difficult to manage now.

Basic supervision – Now that everyone is working from anywhere, how will your company know how many hours people are working and what they are doing? Basic supervision was difficult enough in the old days. Now it has become even more difficult to manage.

Security and data protection – In a company where people are working in multiple locations, these issues have become more difficult to manage than ever before. How are you going to handle them in today’s more porous – and risky – world of working?

And What About Health Protocols?

Now we come to today’s biggest and most troubling issue. With employees working in a number of locations, how are you going to be certain they are in safe locations? How can you know they are observing appropriate social distancing and other protocols?

There is no doubt about it . . .

There are many critical decisions to be made in today’s new world of remote work.

To help pinpoint what you should think about, and how, be sure to contact KettleSpace today.

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