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Launching a Work from Home Program – Part 1

July 23, 2014 / Rich Fox
Work from Home” programs are being launched by more and more companies, and a recent survey we conducted on cloud adoption proves that organizations are taking the technological steps required to offer increased flexibility for employees. Our survey found that more than one third of respondents currently have desktops in the cloud or are planning to migrate in the next three years – a secure way to enable work from home employees to navigate proprietary tools.

Technology is taking enterprise programs to the next level, enabling them to change the way they work. Cloud technology – such as unified business communications and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS), integration with critical applications such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Work Force Management (WFM) tools, and other advanced technologies provide the organization with better insight and new options for such things as Work from Home programs. Based on the survey results, organizations are currently or planning to take advantage of these technologies.

When done right, a Work from Home program benefits everyone in an organization. Staff morale will soar with reduced commuting time and costs, increased shift flexibility, and increased productivity. Employers also benefit because a telecommuting program cuts operational costs and because fostering happy employees means better-serviced, happier customers.
This two-part blog explores the top things an organization needs to consider when implementing a Work from Home program. Here is the first group of considerations:

Designate Physical Environment Best Practices
There are important considerations regarding the physical environment that employees working from home need to address. Employees should have a designated work area that is separate from the rest of the home. Ideally this is located in a separate room with a door to help eliminate possible distractions. The area should be comfortable with suitable lighting and furniture.

Determine Legal and Financial Policies
Clearly communicating legal and financial policies will help prevent gotchas and angst down the road. Be proactive in clearly documenting and verbalizing these policies to employees. Have your legal team weigh in on the compensation considerations and items such as how you will handle the approval of the work area.

Implement a Solid Technology Solution
The key items to address from a technology perspective are the ability for employees to make and receive phone calls, get access to your business applications and obtain technical support. Some other specifics you need to consider when determining the right technology solution include: 1) How will calls be delivered remotely? Are there additional costs or constraints? 2.) How do you ensure call quality isn’t compromised? Are wireless or cellular phones acceptable? 4.) How will staff easily but securely access important business applications? How will you easily provide support and upgrades for their desktops? Would a DaaS solution be more efficient and secure for your organization?

Next week we’ll look at building a program guide, selecting the proper associates, deployment, monitoring and evaluation.

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