Working Remotely for Small Businesses
This is changing times for all businesses, and for some this will be the first time that they have considered working remotely. There are many tools available, and they all have their place. It will be important to choose carefully which tools will give you and your business the best results. All of the large providers will have similar offerings. Although most large providers will be suitable for everyone it will personal preference that dictates which provider you choose.
Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium provides everything from video-conferencing to shared document libraries, and all systems integrate well. Microsoft provide desktop versions and it is also possible to login and work directly online.
Google’s offering is G-Suite and Apple uses features like ICloud and Facetime. Think about what you need from your online resources, and the tasks you undertake most.
Other resources to think about include Digital Dictation for workflow and leaving voice messages for other workers, Asana, Trello or Monday.Com for project management and task delegation, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet for real-time face to face meetings and video-conferencing. Xero and Quickbooks are just some examples of online accounting systems which can be accessed by multiple staff members. Your smart phone or call answering service. For small businesses the greatness of all of these online accessible apps is that they are already set up and ready for businesses to use wherever they are, and they are ready for businesses to grow into and expand. They can be accessed through a smart phone just as easily as a laptop or desk-top PC. If you plan on using your company’s domain name with any of the products and integrating your email it will be more important to choose one package for all features. If this is something you are considering it is worth obtaining specific IT advice from a local company.
Working from Home
It can be easy to become distracted when working from home. I like to work office hours 9:00-5:00 pm and set myself a lunch break. I only have my work emails on my mobile and on my laptop, I keep my tablet free from work email, so that I can browse my personal email without being interrupted in the evenings, and so I feel like I have finished work for the day. I like to prioritise client care, paid work and strategic marketing. When planning to work from home identify where you will work at home and how you can set this up to replicate an on-location work setting. Invest in the right equipment, for example an office worker should consider a suitable desk, ergonomic office chair, and good quality monitor, as well as additional lighting and heating, even if that just means a desk lamp and a fan heater.
- 1. Use the apps which best integrate with your infrastructure, large or small. If you are a great fan of Apple products, these will integrate best into your business. That said if all of your clients are on Android, look for something universal.
- 1. If remote working is going to be part of your business going forwards, opt for Business Packages, not home packages.
- 2. If you want to use your company’s domain name consider obtaining specific IT advice from a local company to make sure the products you choose will fit your goals.
- 3. Set yourself daily working hours and stick to them.
- 4. Don’t do the washing or hoovering when you are supposed to be at work!
- 5. Identify your work priorities to ensure you achieve your business goals.
- 6. Write out a quick list of the tasks you need to action each day and work through them strategically, as if they were being given to you by a line manager.
- 7. Decide if you are going to work ‘over-time’ to complete them.
- 8. It is worth investing in an ergonomic work-station.
Article written by Richenda Solomon from My PA Mobile Secretary