There are major cost savings to be had with a work from home setup for employees, especially on a temporary basis. That does not mean your remote workforce won’t bring about unexpected IT costs though. Here are some hidden cost considerations we’ve helped clients plan for when moving to a work from home setup.
When staff work out of the office, it’s expected you’ll be providing them with the proper bandwidth they need to do their job. If the Internet goes down or is having issues, it’s on you (or your Managed Service Provider) to get it resolved. Shifting to a remote workforce means employees are now responsible for having proper functioning connectivity that’s under their name. It becomes out of the hands of you and your IT partner from a direct control and direct billing perspective. That said, if this wasn’t expected of them when hired, you will likely need to reimburse for Internet connectivity.
That’s not to say that you no longer have to help the employee. In fact, it’s expected that you provide them proper guidance with what the technical network requirements are to use all the company tools such as Zoom, Teams, Microsoft 365, and many others. When their Internet stops working, or they have bandwidth issues (kids love bandwidth) there will be downtime, stress, and possibly customer facing quality concerns.
Create policies for what your remote workforce technology needs are. Make it clear to your staff, so they know they have the proper home connectivity and don’t have to guess on what that means. Define what is expected of them to troubleshoot and what they should reach out to your IT team or partner for help with. Our team at Blue Collar Computing will always help guide our supported home users in the proper direction for resolving any personal items.
Office desktops are a pain to move and get hooked up properly at home. Expecting staff to know how to convert HDMI to DVI or VGA and ensure compatibility with Bluetooth headphones is a recipe for disaster. Instead, have a standard remote worker setup and configuration. This ensures that every remember of your remote workforce has the proper equipment to ensure quality work, no guessing on what will be compatible with existing home devices (a security risk), and a fixed cost for your company. Here’s a list to start with:
• Laptop (match your existing travelling/sales staff specs)
• Docking Station
• HD Video Camera (to mount on monitor)
• Bluetooth Headset
• Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
• Shipping Supplies
• Company Branded Thank You Cards (or let a robot do it!)
Health and Wellness
Working from home comes with its own unique challenges. Having minimal separation between work life and family life can be a unique challenge and more so for those that have been used to going into an office each day. Also, the possible health benefits provided in person such as gyms, healthy snacks, quite rooms, group classes, and more will no longer be available.
Enable your team with new tools and resources to stay healthy both mentally and physically. We’re big fans of mindfulness and meditation. Consider providing your team with annual subscriptions to Headspace, the most popular meditation app out there. When the 2020 pandemic started they even offered free subscriptions to health care workers and those that were unemployed.
For physical health, many companies are doing yoga and Pilates classes over Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Find your class leader and get a weekly recurring event booked for your team! If the weather is still nice out, schedule video call walks and chats. Or, encourage your team to schedule independent time to step away from their desks.
There are plenty of free or paid IT driven fitness resources for those that need a little more guidance. Yoga With Adriene on YouTube is a fantastic starting point. Or for those wanting a full and live home workout there’s the Hydrow rowing machine. Just make sure to account for the costs for whatever offerings you will provide to your team.
With a remote workforce, the costs don’t go away but do change. Building a proper plan with policies before, or even after, will help your business properly budget costs. Your team will also appreciate the thought out approach. Furthermore, working with your Managed Services partner like BCC, you’ll have the proper technology with minimum interruptions for your staff. Book a 15-minute call today if you’d like to discuss your existing strategy or needs.