The notion that an employee must be physically in a chair, at a desk, in an office to be productive is waning.  Managers and business owners are increasingly accepting the fact that employees can be productive from somewhere other than their brick and mortar office. Remote access is called many things, but I like to call it Remote Productivity. The policies and procedures for remote productivity vary based on the needs of your organization, but in many circumstances it can improve your business.

Remote productivity can be a winning combination for both employees and owners.  Employees are afforded the flexibility of periodically working in an environment better suited to their needs, such as when a child is home sick or when the cable provider needs to visit between 8 AM and 12 PM. By providing remote productivity tools, employees have the ability to better control their environment and work somewhere they can be effective.

While remote productivity can be impactful to employees, it can also greatly enhance the customer experience.  With the right tools, employees can make onsite visits to customer locations, expanding a service area to within the walls of the customer’s location.  Imagine a customer’s experience when your business comes to them.

The ability to provide employees remote productivity comes in varying flavors and combinations.  The most common methods include:

  • Citrix
  • GoToMyPC (lighter version of Citrix)
  • VPN
  • Microsoft Terminal Services
  • “The Cloud”

It’s important to note that the right combination of these tools can serve the purpose of remote productivity and each option should be explored and vetted.  Before investing in a tool, determine the goal of remote productivity and who can garner the most benefit.  During the decision process, evaluate key areas including Security, Availability, and Cost.

So don’t immediately write off the opportunity to give your staff more flexibility and your customers better service. Although disbanding your brick and mortar location probably isn’t practical, you may be surprised how efficient and effective your workflow becomes using remote productivity.