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Setting Up a Remote Working Environment

Hillary Cyril

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Telecommuting, known as remote working, the future of working, flexible working, telecommuting, freelance working, telework, and remote workforce, is basically a working arrangement where employees don’t travel or commute to an off-site location of work, like an office building, factory, or shop. In a telecommuting arrangement, the employees communicate with their supervisors and colleagues through their personal computers or cell phones. These telecommunication systems can either be accessed online through the Internet or by a cell phone network (VoIP). The advantage of this arrangement is that the employee gets to work at his own convenience. However, it also has its disadvantages.

It is the flexibility of a remote working style that appeals most to companies. The company can hire an entire team based on their location, with different teams assigned to various departments or business units, as per the requirement. The remote employee, with a regular work schedule, can be located in any part of the world and be engaged in his work without the supervision of his supervisor. Thus, no loss of time or infrastructure is experienced. The remote employee can also choose his working hours, depending on his availability. No geographical boundaries inhibit a remote employee from participating in a conference.

However, there are certain drawbacks to working remotely. One of them is the inability to hold regular, in-person meetings with the people who are physically located at the other end of the communication lines. Apart from that, in remote working arrangements, there is no guarantee of receiving quality work output, as there is in the case of regular office working.

To combat the aforementioned problem, a system must provide team members with an excellent work environment, where they can easily work without any problems. A remote working environment must be equipped with all the facilities required for a smooth and comfortable work environment. These include basic equipment, like a desk, chairs, computer, printer, fax machine, telephone, etc. This will ensure that there is no hindrance to the functioning of the office. Proper communication links, including internet connectivity, must also be available.

The most important thing to consider while planning a remote working environment is the team members’ mentality. It should be understood that no one will work happily at any place. Team spirit is an extremely important aspect of any business. A good and productive work culture promotes the productivity of the employees. As such, the entire team should be encouraged to participate in a harmonious work environment. Any absence of team members in the working environment, due to temporary or permanent reasons, may affect the overall efficiency of the business.

Any physical limitation of the employees can prevent them from performing their duties to their full efficiency. To overcome this problem, effective communication links between the employer and the remote workers should be established. Apart from the physical factors, there are also various other issues to consider when setting up a remote working environment. However, if you do not want to have any sort of hassle in managing your workforce, you should go for an integrated solution. In this case, the use of telecommuting and online collaboration tools can come to your rescue.