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How To Give Your Team The Best Technology For Remote Workers

How To Give Your Team The Best Technology For Remote Workers

With the shift to remote work, many newly distributed teams found themselves in an ad hoc situation where they had to suddenly provide equipment for their employees.

Many companies left it up to their employees to figure out their workspace. Only 38% of remote companies provided devices or a home office stipend in 2020 to their remote workers.

Now, as remote work and hybrid models continue to be the preference of employees around the globe, companies are left with three options to equip their distributed workforce

  1. Utilizing their budget through expense reports
  2. Offering a stipend. 
  3. Using remote work software for equipment management.

 

remote working software

 

Using each option has its own benefits and challenges. However, using remote working software for equipment management is certainly the most cost-effective, has the fastest delivery, and requires the least amount of time invested. 

Let’s dive into the key points of equipping employees for remote and how important it is for employee productivity and retention. 

 

How to Setup a Remote Worker for Success

Putting your remote employee in a position to succeed begins with providing them the remote work tools they need to get there. This will require highly rated and ergonomic furniture, hardware, and software to make your employee’s lives easier and more comfortable simultaneously. 

  

Best Technology for Remote Workers

While specific tools and technology can vary depending on the position and responsibilities of the employee, there are a few essential elements that every home office should have. 

  

Laptop

Remote employees want to perform their jobs as efficiently as possible and can’t do so while working on a slow computer. The business computer you secure for your remote staff will be their link to the rest of the company and needs to be a high-class model so you won’t have to worry about technical difficulties hindering your workday. 

 

best laptops for remote work

 

You’ll also have to consider the weight of the laptops you provide. Just because your employee is working from home doesn’t mean they won’t need to transport their computer occasionally.

Lighter weight models will make an employee’s life easier and save you money on shipping costs. Their number of USB, HDMI, and other outlets, is also important.

Keep in mind your virtual teams will also need room in their equipment budget for any additional adapters they might need.  You will want to consider a camera for video conferencing and sufficient ram to run collaboration tools for teamwork.

 

Remote IT Security

With your company working on a remote basis, it can leave your internal systems vulnerable to a cyber attack. All the work, news, and information exchanges for your company will be taking place online.

Before any remote team member logs in to their business computer, your company needs to ensure it is secure. 

The best way to guarantee cyber safety is to supply computers that already have business software installed.

This software can have multiple functions like remote workforce ID card logins, multi-layer defense systems, and securing and encrypting emails and other means of communication

One of the best softwares for securing a remote working network is Apple Business Manager.

 

apple business manager

 

Not only does the software provide the security we mentioned above, but it also integrates easily with other essential IT and business software like Jamf Pro and EMM.

If an employee runs into any technological issue or security threat, your IT manager can swiftly resolve the issue regardless of their location. 

 

Why a VPN Is Useful for a Remote Worker

If you’ve ever received a “this content isn’t available in your area” warning, then you understand the value of a VPN on a distributed team.

Remote staff often live in different parts of the world, and specific content can appear differently or be blocked depending on where you log in.

Having all your employees use a VPN that puts them in the same region will ensure they view the same content. 

 

vpn for remote work

 

VPNs can also make your company more secure. Employees can be traced back through their IP addresses and leave the company vulnerable. By using a substitute IP, it makes their network harder to track and infiltrate. 

 

Computer Monitor

The standard for a computer monitor is about 19” wide. This length will help your employees from neck flexing or squinting to read the fine print on their laptop screen.

The monitor’s position will determine where your employee’s head will be for most of the day, and a wrong position can result in lasting pain or injury. 

If your employees work on more than one application at a time, then having an extra monitor will also save them time.

Instead of clicking back and forth between the tabs, the material can be referenced, copied, and quotes with one click or keystroke. Having just one monitor can increase employee productivity by 20-30%.

 

Ergonomic Desk, Chair, Keyboard, and Mouse

Ergonomics helps keep your employees healthy while they’re remote working from home. An ergonomic workspace is a space in your home specifically designed for maximum comfort and productive deep work.

 

work from home package

 

An ergonomic desk needs to have sufficient legroom and plenty of surface area for extra equipment like monitors and keyboards.

Consider supplying desks that have keyboard trays for your employees so they can better position their hands. You can also try a sit-stand desk, a new and innovative way to work, which puts less stress on the lower back muscles. 

Ergonomic office chairs need to be very adjustable. They need flexibility with the back and leaning functions and height adjustability to reach key ratios between the top of your screen and eye level.

You can also try a kneeling office chair or one without a back for some new-age designs. 

 

ergonomic mouse

 

For mouses and keyboards, it’s all about hand position. Your employees will need keyboards with large keys that provide some resistance when clicking to prevent cramps and joint pain.

An ergonomic mouse can come in many shapes and sizes but is mostly about positioning the hand from above instead of laying on top of the mouse all day.  

 

The Options for Getting Your Team the Best Technology for Remote Workers


Using a Company Budget

Many companies consider shifting the responsibility of equipping the remote workspace to the shoulders of their employees. They can do so by requesting expense reports from their remote staff and then reimbursing them through the company budget. 

Using the company budget can be the fastest way to get employees the equipment they need because they will order it themselves.

It will also take personal preference into the center of the task because employees will choose the equipment they are most comfortable with or fit their unique home office spaces. 

However, company budgets and expense report systems have their limitations.

First of all, employees will need to spend part of their workday ordering the equipment and scheduling its delivery. You also won’t be able to verify the quality of the equipment your employees order or if it’s in line with company systems. 

 

company budget

Source: wallstreetmojo.com

 

Expense reports also won’t save your internal staff as much time as you think because they still take a long time to process at the end of the month.

Your accounting staff will also need to factor in the differences in expenditures between employees, budget limits, and verification of purchases.

This can be as much as $3,500 per employee in upfront costs. It is also risky if you have no way to deal with getting the equipment back which can lead to up to $5,000 in employee indirect costs

If you choose to go with this method, we recommend setting a budget limit and providing your employees with a catalog or a “recommended items” list so you can narrow their search. 

  

Home Office Stipend

An alternative to using the company budget is to offer a stipend. You, your HR, or your accounting staff can determine a fair amount of money for equipping your employee’s home office. They can use this budget to outfit their home office equally. 

Then you can partner with an e-shop or office equipment retailer to administer the stipends. You can also give the stipend out individually and let the employees shop wherever they want.

This is a great system to save time on budgeting, and it will guarantee equality of office space throughout your distributed team

Stipends also come with many drawbacks. It will still consume your employees’ time to order the equipment and your internal staff’s time to determine the budget. 

Depending on where your employees live here are a list of the challenges that you can encounter not to mention the logistics headache if you have your HR staff handling the delivery:

  • Storage
  • Multiple vendors
  • Language barriers
  • Customs and shipping fees
  • Erratic international pricing
  • Exchange rates 
  • Invoicing in local currency

 

home office stipend

Source: Decorilla.com

 

Some companies require entire teams just to make sure all the equipment gets to the right place

A stipend can also contribute to your company culture and your remote work culture because it shows your employees that you care.

Top employees always have several remote work options, so you need to do whatever you can to show you appreciate them, to improve retention.

 

Using Remote Work Software for Equipment Management

If you want to streamline equipping your employees, you should use remote working software for equipment management. 

Companies that specialize in distributing equipment to remote workers will set you up with a dashboard to deliver and manage your devices no matter where your remote team is located.

You can manage the life cycle of your own inventory or an entire catalog of top-of-the-line devices. 

 

remote work software

 

A company like Growrk is the best choice for managing equipment. They have a global device management service with a network of 150+ countries that makes delivering equipment over borders hassle-free.

The dashboard comes with an automated ordering and delivery system, which allows your managers or employees to set their budget and select the equipment they want.

 

technology for remote workers

 

For companies fearing the high start-up costs of supplying remote infrastructure, GroWrk has a payment plan where your company can make payments on a monthly subscription basis. 

They are like an IT closet in the cloud with end-to-end inventory visibility throughout the lifecycle of all your devices.

Each Mac laptop comes preinstalled with Apple Business Manager or for Windows, mobile device management (MDM) software. 

You will never have to worry about device security again as both softwares provide:

  • Remote access
  • Remote control
  • Device lock down
  • App management.
  • Immediate remote assistance
  • 24/7 help desk support

 

Who Should Pay to Return Equipment When a Remote Worker Resign? 

If you’ve invested in your employee’s workspace and they resign, you don’t want to be caught footing the bill of sending it back and storing it somewhere.

If anyone, employees should be responsible for returning their equipment when they leave, but the more straightforward answer is that neither of you should be. 

With a GroWrk subscription, they will handle the delivery AND the return of your equipment when an employee leaves the company.

 

remote working software

 

This way, you don’t have to make financial requests of a leaving employee or bear the burden yourself. Use GroWrk as your tool and let them handle it instead.

 

Wrap Up 

Without the proper solution or planning, it is difficult to equip remote workers. After learning about the best equipment, the necessary software, and ways to finance it, you’re on a path to better home offices for all your employees.

By providing these materials, you’ll increase your employee productivity and retention. 

 

Discover the platform that will get your distributed team everything they need to be successful. From laptops to standing desks, from the U.S to any location in the world.            

 

Schedule a call now 

 

Growrk home office equipment for remote teams

 

GroWrk Team

April 22

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