I realize the struggle large businesses face when considering or enlarging remote worker options. Overhauling large systems and insuring security are two of the biggest obstacles. But it seems even small businesses and start-ups are reluctant to endanger their cultures by letting team members work from home.
More and more technology news, however, points to an openness — if not complete acceptance — of the transition to more virtual employees.
Here are 3 of the top signs:
1. BYOD to work growth. Bring Your Own Device policies have brought untold savings to businesses, not to mention allowed employees to simplify their lives using their own smart phone to access company systems and email. The Wall Street Journal recently covered what that means to BlackBerry, previously a common go-to source for corporate phones. WSJ cited that in 2007, corporate clients made up 71% of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd’s (RIM) business. Now that share has dropped to 20-25%.
I think a lot of corporate employees could have made about the same estimation without that data, just by observing what colleagues use in meetings with other corporations. In fact, call me an iPhone addict, but the only place I see BlackBerry in use is on Homeland. That’s funny to me, as on some level it seems passe. But I realize BlackBerry is the provider for many government agencies, so it’s probably just factual.
2. More apps for project and people management. We started with a few apps for productivity — and insurance that remote workers were really working. Now, these resources are not only growing, but providing services for the next level. You can keep just stay in touch via Google Hangouts or conduct meetings there or via GoToMeetings or WebEx. You can manage projects through BaseCamp or WorkZone. And those are just a few.
3. The Cloud. Yes, the Cloud offers unlimited storage possibilities and access. And technology is offering more and more ways to be tied to it. Microsoft’s Office 365 is a recent example, making an employee’s work — you guessed it — more remotely accessible.
Stay on top of all the new options…the right one is out there for you!
Last June, I shared some highlights from a TDS blogger event, one of my clients. The day’s discussion was centered around Paul Miller’s recent book, The Digital Workplace, How Technology Is Liberating Work. The discussion by bloggers Thomas Clifford, Don Stanley, Catherine Morgan, Paul Gibler, Tom Snyder, and Kris Cain revolved largely around employer hesitation to embrace the growing demand for digital workplaces.
The day’s conversation played a balancing act of the benefits of a digital workplace v. employer fears of cost, trust, and more generally — the unknown.
This past week, the folks at the Digital WorkPlace Forum (DWF) came out with the results of a new study which actually put a value on investment in key areas of the Digital Workplace: Technology, Absenteeism, Real Estate and Productivity, among others. I’ve highlighted some top financial benefits in the infographic below:
Check out the entire report and see for yourself. The benefits of the new digital workplace are paving the way!
CNBC has its Top States for Business special report underway, culminating this afternoon with the unveiling of the No. 1 state for business (my guess is Oregon). Each state gets points for cost of doing business, workforce, quality of life, infrastructure and transportation, economy, education, technology & innovation, business friendliness, access to capital and cost of living.
Good scores on the report — hugely important to the marketing of every state — has Governors buzzing around the country.
But they’re not the only ones talking about it. The Top States for Business Twitter Battle has state residents voting to put some oomph behind their home states. Click on the link to vote for your state. Currently, Iowa is leading and Wisconsin is in second. The Twitter Battle is a great attempt by CNBC to educate and involve viewers about how each state is doing.
So vote, tweet, and learn more about your state at the same time! It’s good for business.
Note, the link didn’t work above. Please try: topstates.cnbc.com
Do your friends and colleagues a favor and share your favorite blogs. It’s amazing what’s out there that can educate, entertain or inspire. Three that I’ve especially enjoyed recently are:
1. http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ – Jay Baer, a former colleague and virtual friend, is one of the foremost experts on Social Media. His blog offers a depth of Social Media understanding and tips. Sign up for the daily emails, “Get 1 Social Thing.” You’ll have a better understanding of the Social Media world and what it can do for you and your business.
2. http://www.besointeriorstyle.blogspot.com/ – Patti Borrelli, another former colleague and friend, is a stylist who seems bottomless when it comes to ideas. Look to her for your home design inspiration.
3. http://www.chicagonow.com/successful-in-chicago/2012/06/bloggers-madison-managedip-oh-my/ – I cannot lie. Catherine Morgan, a blogger I just met a couple weeks ago, is a favorite, simply because of her coverage of a recent blogger event I worked on for TDS. We couldn’t have asked her to write such a great summary of the event and its intentions. Thank you, Catherine! This is a great example of the power of an endorsement by a blogger!