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Email Fax and Other Essential Telecommuting Tools

The days of the traditional 9 to 5 shift at the office are almost through, thanks to the recent phenomenon of telecommuting.  As a business leader, it’s likely that you’ve already had a few brushes with telecommuting.  Perhaps you work part-time at home, or maybe you encourage your employees to work from home one day a week to save time and money at the office.  Even conducting a meeting over your Blackberry at home can be considered a part of telecommuting, as this represents the growing trend of performing work from the comfort of your home.


Employees who telecommute part-time to work represent a growing population in the workforce, and for good reason: these employees are typically happier, more productive, and more satisfied than employees who work at the office.  This is because telecommuting employees spend less time in traffic and spend more time with family members.  This can be particularly beneficial for business leaders who might not have the resources to offer financial incentives to boost employee productivity.  Offering your employees the chance to work from home – and spend time with family members – can be more of an incentive than a small pay raise, and it also increases loyalty to the business.


All in all, telecommuting is a great way to grow your business success – but do you have the right telecommuting tools in place?  From email fax and shared servers to project management software, it’s vital for business leaders to make it possible for workers to telecommute without feeling isolated from the office.


The Challenges of Telecommuting Without Proper Technology


Telecommuting might seem like an instant solution for some of your biggest small business problems.  After all, having your employees out of the office for at least one day each week saves you money, and the long-term benefits include improved productivity levels, increased employee loyalty, and lower levels of sickness and employee burnout.


However, that doesn’t mean you can jump right onto the telecommuting bandwagon right away.  In fact, it’s crucial for business leaders to understand that doing so can result in major delays and obstacles, including:


  • Crucial communication delays.  If your employees don’t have the necessary Internet speeds and equipment at home to keep up with the fast-paced world of the office, then you might discover that some employees drop off the radar throughout the day.


  • Lack of adequate technology.  It’s highly unlikely that your employees have the same equipment at home as you do at the office.  This includes fax machines, efficient computers, printers, and more.  If you want to enjoy the benefits of telecommuting, you need to ensure that your employees have the proper equipment to do so.


  • Employee Isolation:  If your employees telecommute more than two days each week, you might discover that they begin to suffer from isolation.  Working in an office promotes a feeling of community, which can be crucial for creating employee loyalty and enthusiasm.  If your employees feel disconnected from the rest of their team members, they might not perform up to their usual standards.


To help promote productive and efficient telecommunication within your workplace, it’s important to have the proper tools on hand.  These can include the following:


Email Fax:  Telecommuters must have a safe and secure form of communication when they’re working from home.  That’s where email fax comes in.  Your employees don’t need a fax machine to send and receive messages from the office and clients around the world.  Online fax involves scanning a document to the computer and sending it to a person’s email address or a traditional fax number.  Online fax is much more secure than its traditional counterpart, as you don’t have to deal with sensitive lying around the office.


Shared Servers:  Shared servers act as exclusive websites that only your employees have access to.  This allows them to share secure messages, upload project documents, and record project milestones – all without having to step foot in the office.  While shared servers might be more efficient, they can also be considerably expensive.  This leads us to our next and final telecommuting tool.


Project Management Software:  If you provide your employees with this software, they can upload project documents, record progress made on projects, and communicate with other employees.  Best of all, project management software is considerably less expensive than shared servers, which makes this an ideal option for small businesses looking to save money.


Enjoy the Benefits of Telecommuting


Telecommuting can have a profound impact on your business’s productivity and efficiency.  If you’re interested in having your employees work from home, make sure they’re set up with the proper technology.  This can include email fax, access to shared servers, and access to project management software systems, all of which can be found online right now.


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