Virtual home offices are becoming more and more common nowadays. If people can be just as productive, if not more so, working from home there is plenty of upside to letting them work from home full time.
Depending on the role, this could become a location independent role in that they work from wherever they please.
For now, we’ll just worry about those who want to work from home.
Good Internet Available
Having a good internet connection ensures productivity is maximized. Have the person run a test on a site such as speedtest.net from their home so you can verify if the internet can handle the work.
A System To Monitor Hours Worked
When people work from home, the idea of being able to snooze that little bit longer is often too hard to ignore. To know employees have checked in, that could be as a simple message in a chat box or an email. Something that takes less than 15 seconds to do is best, the exact solution will be different for each company.
Scheduled Breaks Are Coordinated
When you’re in the office it’s easy to let others know when you’re taking a break. For those working at home, the physical presence is removed.
You’ve got two strategies, have fixed times for breaks each day or use a system like you did when they ‘check in’ in the morning. Have a chat and see what’s best.
Depending on their role, they may need a cell phone (always provide a work phone in addition to their personal phone) or you may want to bring in a phone set like your workplace.
Buying a couple of pens won’t break the bank, but when you start need to buy paper, computer supplies and other random stationary equipment they add up.
Do you want them to keep the receipts for future reimbursement or do you give them a monthly allowance?
If your team has regular meetings, you’ll need to decide whether it’s important enough or not for the person to come into the office on ‘meeting’ days. Consider how the whole team may feel if this person doesn’t physically come into these meetings.
Another alternative is for them to ‘come’ to the meeting via a conference call. Again, consider the rest of the team before doing this as it may make some of them feel uncomfortable.
Data storage is massive, and everyone will need access to different database and systems. The IT department will be able to get this organised (make sure you give them a bit of notice). It’s always good to make sure this is all tested before the first full day in the remote office takes place, or it’ll be a day lost talking with IT trying emergency hacks.
If you consider all of the above, you can have virtual employees working for you who won’t be taking up valuable desk space in the office.
As you need to hire more people, you may want to consider hiring virtual staff from the outset to take on any new roles.