Is your organization supporting remote workers? Do you employ remote workers in your organization? If so, how do you make sure that they still feel a part of your team, while ensuring that they have the tools to collaborate with their in-office colleagues?

In this blog, we’ll look at six types of remote workers, and the tools that you should be using to make sure they’re at their most productive. Plus, we’ll explore the four key challenges that remote workers face and how you can help them overcome them. Read along to find out more, and drop us a line if you want more tips on supporting your remote workers!

 

Four Key Challenges in Supporting Remote Workers

support remote workers

There are four key challenges that remote workers often complain about:

  • They don’t feel that they have access to the information they need.
  • They don’t always feel like they have the ability to communicate with their co-workers – they don’t always feel like they’re receiving updates of things that are happening within the office and on team projects.
  • They don’t have the flexibility to work on the device that they’re most comfortable with, leading to a reduction in their productivity throughout their work day.
  • They don’t feel they have access to tools and best practices to keep their work secure (which also hurts the company in the long run).

When supporting remote workers, you need to make sure that you’re addressing these challenges. In the next section, we’ll talk about six types of remote workers that you may either currently employ, or may consider employing in the future, plus we’ll discuss some key tools that you can use to support your remote workers and show them that you care about making their jobs easier.

 

Six Types of Remote Workers (& The Tools To Support Them)

The Commuter

Commuters are those employees who opt to work from home a few days each week or month. They’re typically far enough away from the office that getting to it every day can be a pain, but close enough to be able to attend important meetings when needed. Whether they’re working from home or working on their way to and from the office, Commuters are always connected.

Tools to Consider:

  • Microsoft Teams lets the Commuter stay in touch with their colleagues, whether that be a quick message to them or participating in a video conference.
  • SharePoint and OneDrive helps the Commuter have access to all the latest company files, with real-time co-authoring capabilities and available on any device at any time.

The Night Owl

Meetings, loud co-workers, coffee breaks – the workplace is sometimes quite a busy place to actually get work done! The Night Owl, therefore, chooses to take a long stretch of uninterrupted time in the evenings to knock tasks off their to-do list. This type of remote worker is the type that is most productive after office hours, so they still require network access to get things done.

Tools to Consider:

  • Using Microsoft Teams helps the Night Owl to stay in contact with their co-workers during business hours, then have a record of what was discussed when they go home that night.
  • Tools like SharePoint and OneDrive also help the Night Owl to have the access to the files and data they need when they’re at home – both OneDrive and SharePoint can be accessed from any device, at any time, and all you need is an Internet connection.

The Migrator

The great thing about today’s workplace is that borders are no longer barriers to productivity, collaboration, and communication. The Migrator knows this best – they’re the person in your office living in a different country, yet still a vital part of your team.

Tools to Consider:

  • Implementing OneDrive and SharePoint means the Migrator always has access to files and servers that are needed to do their job, regardless of the time zone or continent they’re on.
  • Microsoft Teams provides those instant communication and collaboration capabilities that the Migrator needs to be able to stay in touch with the rest of the company.
  • Should the Migrator happen to lose their device, Mobile Device Management can give your IT team the capability to remotely wipe it of all your company data with just one click.

The Jet Setter

Jet Setters spend lots of time in airports, with weak Wi-Fi signals and device batteries that don’t always have the opportunity to fully charge, so they’re often relying on mobile access and security. These remote worker types put less emphasis on the internet connection, which is why Jet Setters need to have tools that can enable accessibility and security, regardless of where they are, whether or not they have Internet, and no matter what device they’re using.

Tools to Consider:

  • Implementing SharePoint helps the Jet Setter because they can access their files from any device – if one runs out of battery power, just switch to another and keep on working. For those times when Wi-Fi isn’t as reliable as it should be,
  • OneDrive has the “work offline” feature, which lets them work on documents even without an Internet connection (and changes will be synced when they’re back online).
  • Microsoft Teams provides the Jet Setter with a platform that will let them monitor conversation tags, notifications, and meetings from their mobile device (the same way they would on a desktop).

The Road Warrior

The Road Warrior is the salesperson or marketing professional that’s constantly on the go. Hopping from trade show to trade show, client meeting to client meeting, the Road Warrior isn’t always able to be connected to the Internet at all times. When they are back online, they do what they can to stay in touch with their colleagues via mobile productivity tools.

Tools to Consider:

  • Implementing Microsoft Teams goes a long way, giving the Road Warrior the flexibility they need to stay in touch with their colleagues from their mobile devices.
  • OneNote can also be accessed from the Road Warrior’s mobile device, and can help the Road Warrior access add notes to files they’re working on, add comments where needed, and keep up to speed on what’s happening on various projects.
  • OneDrive, even when the Road Warrior is “off the grid”, can still help the Road Warrior stay productive. Files can be worked on while the Road Warrior is offline, then their changes and updates are synced and shared when they re-establish Internet connectivity.

The Industry Expert

Every organization out there needs a specialist. Someone who knows the industry upside down, inside out, forward, and backward. That’s your Industry Expert – someone who has the valuable expertise you need in order for your organization to stay ahead in your field. It doesn’t matter what time zone they’re in, these Industry Experts need to be autonomous and flexible, but also feel like they’re supported and part of your team in order to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.

Tools to Consider:

  • SharePoint’s security features let you share only the data and apps that is necessary for the Industry Expert to do their job and protects your more sensitive data from being accessed.
  • OneDrive can let the Industry Expert share files and collaborate with the team on their own time, so they don’t end up feeling micromanaged.
  • Microsoft Teams brings the Industry Expert into the fold, so to speak, by giving your team the capability to chat, call, or conference with the Industry Expert with just a few clicks of the mouse, plus, co-creation and co-authoring capabilities allow the Industry Expert to jump in and collaborate on documents and files at any given time.
  • If/when your Industry Expert parts ways, Mobile Device Manager can remove their access to your corporate data across all of their devices.

 

How Are You Supporting Remote Workers in Your Organization?

If your organization is not already embracing remote workers and adding them to your business, there is great incentive for organizations that do.  Remote workers widen the talent pool available for your business, it can save you an average of $20,000 annually for each full-time employee that works remotely, and your employee productivity could increase by more than 30%!

Supporting remote workers, once you’ve hired them, is a vital part to making your organization more successful. Interested in some of the tools that you’ve read about in this blog? ProServeIT, a Microsoft Gold Partner, has a long history of helping organizations implement Office 365, including SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and more! Contact our experts today to get started.

 

This blog content was taken from the Microsoft eBook, “Six Types of Remote Workers and How To Support Them”. Download your copy here.