5 Tech Support Tools for Telecommuting Employees
Technology is constantly improving and evolving to make it easier to work regardless of location. For some businesses, employees simply need to be able to stay connected while on vacation or traveling for business. Other companies need more robust tech support tools to create a remote office for part-time or full-time telecommuting employees.
Telecommuting has become more commonplace in recent years; a 2011 WorldatWork study found that 26.2 million workers in the United States (nearly 20 percent of the 139 million working adults) telework for an entire day at least once a month. The majority of this group, 16 million people, is composed of employees and not contractors.
If you have employees who telecommute on an occasional or permanent basis, you need to make sure they have the IT resources to work efficiently and securely. Here are five helpful tools to keep everyone in the loop.
Tech Support Tools for Remote Workers
For telecommuting employees, especially those who travel frequently away from their home offices, VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology is a great alternative to a traditional landline or cell phone. Providers such as Skype or Google Voice allow workers to make phone calls over an Internet connection, which is often an affordable option for employers to support.
2. Smartphone or tablet
A reliable mobile device is essential for remote workers or frequent business travelers, providing a way to join conference calls, stay in touch with clients and manage online operations. Smartphones and tablet computers also have a wide variety of business apps that help employees manage contacts, documents and media on the go.
3. Secure cloud backup service
It’s important for employees working outside of the main office to have a secure place to store , share and access documents. A cloud service stores servers, email, software, data and other technology capabilities outside of your office, which allows more flexibility for the location of your employees.
4. Project management software
One of the biggest challenges for telecommuting employees is finding a way to collaborate with coworkers from afar, but web-based tech support tools simplify this process. Programs such as Basecamp, Siasto or Zoho track projects from start to finish and manage tasks, to-do lists and files for different collaborators.
5. Instant messaging
For employees who work a few desks away from each other, it’s easy to ask a quick question or get feedback on an idea. For remote workers, it’s more challenging to have these short everyday interactions. Instant messaging, through Google, AOL, Skype or another service, gives colleagues a way to stay in touch easily.
Do you have employees who work remotely? What tech support tools do you recommend?