Back in the day, employees had to suffer through morning traffic, shared cubicles, and awkward watercooler chats with Jeremy from HR. Nowadays, workers are a lot happier because they don’t even have to be in the office to do their jobs.

“Jeremy, nobody cares how well your fantasy football team did last week.”

But from a business owner’s perspective, there are some real challenges involved with remote work. If you don’t have the right strategies in place to keep your mobile employees in line, productivity could decrease dramatically. So if you don’t want this to happen, here are some things you MUST do when creating a remote work policy.

Get the right tools

First and foremost, you need to have the right technology to support your mobile workforce. VoIP systems like Skype and cloud productivity platforms like Office 365 were built for companies like yours. So by overlooking them, you’re essentially passing up the chance for greater collaboration and productivity.

As a manager, no remote work policy is complete without mobile device management (MDM) software -- a program to make sure workers are actually using their smartphones and tablets appropriately. After all, you don’t want employees working on sensitive files while they’re connected to a cafe’s “free” -- in other words, easily hackable -- WiFi network.

MDM software restricts access to company files based on one’s role and the device being used, and even allows you to wipe them from lost or stolen devices.

Provide robust training

Before you let your employees out in the wild, they need to be trained on security best practices. While MDM software will make enforcing your policies easier, there’s no accounting for dumb mistakes like visiting websites that are obviously riddled with malware. To avoid this, teach employees about the dangers of phishing scams and fake apps.

“See what you did there? You just handed over $5,000 to a Nigerian prince.”

Also, make sure to hash out the finer points like mandatory work hours, what information can be accessed outside of office networks, and how to report a lost or stolen device or data breach.

Don’t let everyone work remotely at once

Just because everyone has a mobile device, doesn’t mean they should all be allowed to use it to do their jobs. When adopting a remote work policy, take it slow by onboarding only a few people, preferably the ones who need their mobile devices most like sales reps and consultants. From there, you can identify any problems with your policies and software settings and fix them before everyone can join the fun.

Create a company culture

Because employees are working outside the office, it can be easy to forget that they are part of the team or that they even exist.

While some people prefer working in solitude, it’s incredibly important to at least have some level of interaction between your onsite and remote workers. Thanks to collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams and Slack, which come with audio, video, and text messaging features, you can ensure everyone’s participating and nobody’s lonely.

Ultimately, you should establish a culture that encourages group chats. This way, you can simulate watercooler interactions online, which may be a problem for introverts, but goes a long way in creating a sense of camaraderie amongst your employees.

Especially among the generation of people whose only friends are virtual.

Prepping for remote work can be overwhelming when you have no clue where to start. Fortunately, the team at Red Key Solutions will not only provide the tools to help you become more mobile and productive, but also guide you through the implementation process without sounding too geeky! Call us today to get started.

Red Key is a leading Managed IT firm that is bringing AI to companies in New York City, Westchester County, Fairfield County Connecticut, California & beyond.