I had lunch with a friend of mine the other day and he was asking me for some advice on different ideas for his own business. He is going to be opening his first office and wants to allow his employees to work from home or the office. He gave me a basic run down of what his business is going to be doing and what types of things he would like to see. I gave him a little bit of advice and decided that I wanted to share my ideas on this subject with you.
If you are going to allow your employees to work from home you are going to need those employees to have some of their own equipment. A lot of information can be handled through email or fax machines. You can fax just about all the documents that you need to back and forth from a home location to a central office. I recommend that he makes sure any of his employees that work from home have their own fax machines that way it eliminates any additional delays in sending or receiving the information that he would need.
Email is also another good approach that can be used by anyone running a home office or central office. Email is a very cheap, fast and effective way to communicate with anyone. It also helps prevent miscommunication by allowing everyone the ability to go back and review the emails and confirm any information they may have forgotten.
It should also be noted that using free standard programs such Skype are invaluable tools for just about any business. You can set up live chats and conference chats through Skype and keep in touch with all of your employees. I suggest that you set a required amount of uninterrupted time for each employee to be using this software. This way you can quickly and easily connect and communicate with your employees.
When we finished up our lunch I did mention to my friend that I thought he would be better off giving some more thought to his current plans. If he is going to offer the employees the chance to work from home like this, he is better off saving the money on leasing an office space and putting that money back into his company. If he does want to have his own office, then it would be better for him to have his employees work in the office, that way he can remain in contact with them and put the office to good use. I am not a fan of wasting resources and really would like to my see everyone who wants to start their own business succeed.