Remote working has become an established part of the business landscape with millions of employees now working from home. While it’s an opportunity for firms to downsize offices and give staff greater flexibility over how they work, it’s a shift that hasn’t gone unnoticed in the criminal world, with cybercriminals quick to target home workers …
Following months of remote working, companies everywhere are starting to bring employees back to the office. While this is a positive step forward, it also poses a number of IT security concerns that will need to be tackled to prevent business systems being left vulnerable. Here, we’ll look at what those concerns are and provide …
Working from home will become the new normal for many employees. Companies will not want to waste their investment in remote working technology, especially as it enables them to downsize offices and make savings during a period of economic turmoil. As remote working raises a number of security issues, here are some useful tips on …
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The benefits of a face to face business is like no other; however in today’s dynamics it is becoming more troublesome, expensive and time consuming every day. On the clients’ side, waiting for you to arrive may mean serious disruptions to their business and can make people really upset in a very short time. That’s why offering remote support to your clients can be really beneficial to you and your business. Here are my personal reasons to offer remote support.
First of all, remote support is efficient and cost effective. For the on site visits, you have to get to the client somehow, whether it will be your own car or public transport. If you are living in a crowded city (I live in Istanbul, one of the most overcrowded cities in the world), that means the time you are spending during the transport is time lost. You lose this time because it is not billable. In addition, there is a strong probability that the time you spend fixing the problem is shorter than the time it takes you to go there and come back; who hasn’t spent 1 hour of drive just to check an option?
In the above scenario, consider the amount you saved in transport: wear, tear, gas if you used your car or the amount you have paid for the transport. Plus, most probably you will need to eat outside. And once you are out, you need to check e-mails and make phone calls which you will be spending from your mobile carrier contract. For one day, these costs are OK, but if you add them up, you will notice that they are a lot.
As an IT support professional, we also need to multi-task sometimes: there is often no need to monitor the progress bar for an installation, which is known to take some time. When the bar is progressing on its own, we can turn our attention to smaller tasks which we can either start, or in some cases even complete. Although that is a nice thing, there is a hidden catch: when we are multitasking, some tasks take longer than normal. We have to manage the time properly and must not bill the clients for this additional time. We must be fair.
There is also the benefit of working after hours when there is the absolute need, such as updates and patches. There are also times when the client asks to complete some tasks specifically when they are not in the office. Remote connection is the solution.
Further, there is the issue of working from home. I am a big fan of working at home, at my own pace, in a safe environment (yes, I love to be at home, I am homo domesticus). When I work from home, I find myself to be way efficient than working in the client. No security clearances, no politeness asking for another tea, no discomfort of taking someone’s desk. Just sit down, relax and work.
If we look at remote support from the client’s perspective, there are also many benefits for them. First, they have faster response times. There is the failing system, a disruption of work and the client waits for you to arrive. Or, you get connected to the systems and start working immediately. I haven’t seen any client who does not prefer fast connections to the on site visits; at least they are paying you for your services, not for your coffee talks.
Then, there is a delicate issue about the consultants: clients are almost always not happy with the people outside the organization. This could be bad timing, not being able to schedule properly, or some other reason. Even if you have just started your consultancy and have visited even a handful of companies, you should have felt this, umm, “uncomfortable karma.” Since you are expected to do your best in this environment, it just becomes more “pressing.” Sometimes the issue escalates more and you, as a consultant, are unwanted. I have clients who told me that explicitly: “Tolga, rather than working with us during the business hours, why don’t you come after we leave.” You can come after people leave. Remotely.
Although remote support offers many benefits for both the clients and the consultants, I cannot say that everything can be handled remotely. And I am not talking about the working with the physical infrastructure. Rather, I am talking about the “face to face” business, which is essentially your business network. Remote connection sometimes make people so lazy to forget that they are working with “real people”, with whom need interaction. Don’t fall into that trap and make on site visits to your clients when you have the time. Better, schedule them.
Hosting companies build a reputation based on stable, responsive servers and excellent customer service.
As your business grows, you need more people to maintain the same quality of service. Although you can employ an in-house team of people to help you, this approach can be expensive. Instead, why not leverage the power of the Internet to help build and grow a remote workforce?
At HostingCon 2013, sit in on the “Making a Remote Workforce Happen” session with Douglas Hanna, CEO at A Small Orange. Douglas will share his experience in creating a remote workforce, giving you practical advice on starting your own team and keeping them productive over time.
Why should you choose to create a remote workforce?
At HostingCon 2012, Douglas helped attendees understand why a remote workforce is an excellent choice.
As with any aspect of growing and expanding your business, money is an important issue. Even if you only employ one team member in-house, the costs can quickly get out of control.
First you need a physical space for your in-house employee to work. You need office furniture and computer equipment along with many other costly expenses. In addition, standard employment usually calls for a big spend on recruitment, health insurance, and potential relocation. Each of these costs add up before you even begin thinking about the salary you would like to pay an employee.
Remote workforces tend to be more affordable as you have more flexibility when it comes to how you bring people into the team. With a remote workforce, you can offer contract or part-time positions, often without many of the key costs of in-house employment.
Of course, a remote workforce is not just more affordable. When you can choose people anywhere in the world, you can always find the specific expertise you need.
If you are looking for niche skills in customer service, technology, or any other area of your business, using a remote workforce gives you the opportunity to find the best people for the job, regardless of their physical location.
Smart businesses are moving to a remote model to give customers the best service without increasing costs. But how do you begin to engage your first remote employees and guarantee their performance?
Make a remote workforce happen at HostingCon 2013
With an insight into why you should consider a remote workforce, HostingCon 2013 is your opportunity to learn how.
In his new session, “Making a Remote Workforce Happen,” Douglas draws on years of experience to give you a head start on developing a productive team. You will learn how to hire the best people at the lowest costs and, most importantly, how to make sure they are productive for your business.
If you are ready to grow your business beyond your current team without the risk of costs and logistics getting out of control, this session is essential.
“Making a Remote Workforce Happen” takes place on Monday, June 17th at 1:15pm. Register now to get your pass for HostingCon 2013.
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