Since the dawn of the digital age we have seen a larger number of dispersed workforces and remote employees.
This, of course, has brought benefits of flexibility and the ability to appoint once (literally) out of reach specialist staff.
However, there is a range of common issues faced by businesses that have employees scattered across the country – or sometimes even the world. Do not fear though, any problems presented can also be cured by digital methods – enter top notch business software.
This article will explain the most common problems that come with employing a dispersed workforce. Potential solutions, made possible through business software, will also be covered. It will focus on four big themes in particular; project management and collaboration, human resources, communication and cybersecurity.
What are the drawbacks of a dispersed workforce?
Well, for a start, training and staff development can be quite tricky when employees are working remotely – away from the main business nest.
Confusion and misunderstandings can be common, and there may also be some big cultural differences to work out.
As an employer, you’ll also have to trust your remote team. Are they self-motivated? Will they be able to use their initiative to get on with the job and spend time wisely? Will their working hours be different?
This in itself is not enough to suggest a dispersed workforce is a bad thing. In fact, many businesses profit from it and others simply can’t function without staff all over the globe.
Project Management and Collaboration
Document storage and sharing is very important to master for a dispersed workforce. Fortunately, there is a wealth of project management software out there to help you on your way.
FileHippo has also put together a piece on Favourite Team Project Management Software, just to give you that extra bit of support.
With so many options for project management software out there you’re spoilt for choice, but not all of them will work for your team. Two very popular platforms which work for a majority, however, are OneDrive and Zoho Docs.
Firstly, OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution response to Dropbox. It integrates with your desktop and functions like any other folder on your PC or Mac, but the files are automatically uploaded to the cloud space. This means documents can be shared and collaboratively worked on, with others using the service. Great news for remote workers!
Meanwhile, Zoho Docs can also be used for creating, collaborating, storing and sharing a variety of documents. The platform is incredibly easy-to-use and offers a professional suite of features for business users. File sharing, collaboration, project management, document retention – it has all these bases covered, and more.
Managing shifts and logging time can be quite difficult, especially when staff are operating in different time zones or are working flexible hours.
One program which can help is Replicon TimeAttend, a unified platform specifically designed to help employers stay on top of a dispersed workforce. It manages schedules, overtime, labour compliance, time off and more.
Through this platform, employers can manage all that and more in real time, while ensuring compliance. Replicon TimeAttend is perfect for managing dispersed workforces of various sizes and can also be customised to suit specific business needs.
Let’s not forget Lanteria HR either, it works from SharePoint and Office 365 and can streamline HR online. It is a great piece of collaborative and customisable human resources, including modules for core HR, time and attendance, recruiting and applicant tracking and much more.
Overall, Lanteria provides an all-in-one HR solution which will suit all your business needs. It facilitates communications between three main user types; HR professionals, managers and employees. Specialised roles can also be created and it integrates with a range of third-party systems to streamline your processes.
Every employer will know that when your employees are not in the same room, communication is vital. As well as passing on clear instructions and objectives, it also helps to keep up team morale and remove communication barriers.
Thankfully there are many Chat and Messaging Software options out there. They open up for free, safe and instant communication and messaging. As you would expect, some of the best apps are from the big names – like WhatsApp, Skype and Yahoo! – but there are a whole host of gems out there from smaller publishers.
One of our favourites is Dialpad, which is designed to “get your business talking”. Essentially it is a platform that hosts voice and text messages, video and even meetings across your existing devices – connecting your team in an instant.
It is commended on three main points; usability, reliability and affordability. Dialpad was built by the same team behind Google Voice, taking the latest tech to deliver a reliable and robust option. It has been backed by several thousands of businesses and it’s easy to see why, as it saves on rising IT costs and equipment.
Last, but certainly not least, is cybersecurity. When you’re looking at business software this should always be the big one.
As we covered in our recent article, ‘Does your business need a VPN?’, the answer is almost always – definitely. There’s several reasons behind this, and fortunately FileHippo can suggest a plethora of Business Antivirus options.
With hacking and cybercrime on the rise, no business can afford to take cybersecurity for granted. We have detailed the best business antivirus software on our site, including the Avast Business Antivirus range which offers exceptional protection and a 100% malware detection rate.
If you’re a smaller business but are unsure where to start to improve digital security, you’ve come to the right place. After this, why not check out our ‘How to improve cybersecurity for your small business: A quick 7 step guide’ to find out how to do just that.
So, there is no excuse why you cannot protect sensitive business info, no matter where your employees are based.
So, as we have covered, in 2018 having a dispersed workforce is a pretty common thing. This is only made possible by the great business software opportunities out there.
In short, without scalable and effective business software, it would be very difficult to communicate, share files and protect staff all around the world. But with it, it’s easily done.
In fact, business software can often help a dispersed workforce be more productive and efficient than if you based all your employees in one large office in just one location.
We have covered the main issues and solutions in this article, but there really is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to top notch business software. It can really help to revolutionise your business, not matter the size.
Why not take a look at FileHippo’s collection of business software gems and start your transformation today!?