How To Approach Telecommuting In Small Companies?


Telecommuting in small companies is proving to be a productive option and also saves operating costs. Although many companies doubted its viability, they ended up implementing it as a result of the confinement imposed by the coronavirus . Of course, not all organizations were prepared for this type of work and had to learn as they assimilated the change.

On the contrary, for digital native companies, doing without face-to-face work was not traumatic at all. In fact, most technology companies offer their employees flexible hours and frequently work remotely. On the other hand, the members of many startups tend to manage their projects remotely using collaborative tools in the cloud.

All of the above makes it clear that much of the resistance to establishing smart working is cultural. In other words, the face-to-face scheme is still deeply rooted in a high percentage of organizations. We will talk about this and other reasons that limit the establishment of teleworking below. And then we will present some ideas and recommendations to address it in small businesses.

The Presenteeism Culture As An Obstacle To Telecommuting In Small Companies

In fact, it is paradoxical that the labor schemes of the industrial era are still valid in this time of advances in information technology . Although today we have proposals and successful examples of innovative organizational models, they take time to prevail. Certainly, most consolidated companies maintain a hierarchical chain of command management inherited from the past two centuries.

Thus, the directors of these organizations do not trust systems other than face-to-face. For them, keeping their collaborators on schedule in the same room gives them the ability to control. In their perspective, that is the best way to obtain productivity and profitability.

Furthermore, this phenomenon is common in SMEs where the small team and the number of directors make hierarchical structures simpler. So pretending that telecommuting in small companies is a common condition in the short term would be illusory. To achieve this in the medium and long term, it is essential to make managers and managers aware of the advantages and opportunities offered by this work modality.

Structure And Resources: Other Limitations To Teleworking In Small Companies

When the state of alarm was decreed , more than 40% of SMEs were not ready to work remotely . As we said, the Covid 19 crisis caught many companies in the early stages of their digital transformation . Possibly, insufficient knowledge of the tools available in the cloud, free or with scalable plans, influenced this figure.

It is also pertinent to consider companies that, due to their purposes and processes, cannot fully implement teleworking . Likewise, there are others that manage sensitive data and that require advanced systems to guarantee their security.

In this case, the important thing is that the learning by doing (practical learning) forced by the coronavirus is allowing small entrepreneurs to evaluate different cloud solutions . Hence, almost half of the organizations that assumed smart working due to quarantine are willing to keep it in the new normal.

Ideas To Establish Telecommuting In Small Companies

  • In the first place, it is essential to establish an action plan where the guidelines for remote work are defined. That is, the objectives, metrics for evaluation, assignment of tasks according to the specialty of the collaborators, etc. Obviously, this document will function as a general guide for the performance of directors and staff members .
  • Likewise, it is essential to know and evaluate contemporary methodologies for project management that facilitate the implementation of teleworking in small companies . Specifically, it is necessary to investigate and assess them with an objective criterion. In this way, it is feasible to adapt those that best fit the company ‘s business model and processes.
  • In this perspective, with a defined methodology it is easier to select the ideal cloud tools for project management. Indeed, the integration between method and online solution allows remote working in an organized and collaborative way. For example, if we choose a methodology based on the Gantt chart, we could use Gantter Project Management. This solution is compatible with Google’s G Suite tools . Therefore, it is feasible to maintain communication with the workers and monitor the development of the projects.

Relevant Technical Recommendations

  • It is true that a large percentage of professionals willing to telecommute have computers, laptops or mobile devices with the appropriate capacity and connection. However, before implementing telecommuting in small and medium-sized companies, it is essential to inventory the available resources . That is, verify that the teams and connections of the collaborators support the demands of remote work. The idea is to provide such tools to the team members who require them.
  • Effective communication with work teams justifies resorting to platforms like Zoom . In summary, this application allows you to make video calls and video conferences in HD , with a capacity of up to 49 videos on the screen. Each participant can share their screen simultaneously, as well as make and receive comments on shared documents. In addition, with Zoom it is possible to record and store meetings in the cloud, even transcribing them using Artificial Intelligence. Zoom easily integrates with apps like G Suite Calendar and Microsoft Outlook, allowing you to start or join meetings from within. 
  • In particular, those companies that manage sensitive data in their operations must incorporate security solutions that allow them to telecommute without risk. Tools such as Vodafone Augmented Connectivity facilitate the company’s communication with its collaborators through a private network . In this sense, the mentioned service guarantees protection and reliability to the information through encrypted traffic. Specifically, Cisco Meraki’s SD WAN technology using Augmented Connectivity streamlines data traffic at the user and application domains.

Also Read: Five Tips For Stress-Free Telecommuting

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