There are a ton of business benefits when it comes to hiring a telecommuting work force. For starters, in a deflated economy, telecommuters save employers the cost of overhead by eliminating the need for a larger office and costly health care plans. Plus, 1099 tax arrangements for independent contractors get rid of an employer’s payroll tax.
Telecommuters also bring the benefit of experience without the time and expense needed to train new staff. And when it comes to a team’s online marketing efforts, telecommuters bring a competitive advantage that’s hard to beat.
Work Harder, Work Longer – While working from home seems like a dream, the hard reality is that it’s a lot more work. While telecommuters have more flexibility, they also plug in a lot more hours than a routine 8 hour day in the office. Telecommuters are very wary of their productivity and they don’t waste time. Where a traditional office worker can easily waste two hours a day browsing the internet, chatting with co-workers or engaging in a long list of useless office distractions, the telecommuter plugs in a full eight hours (even if broken up throughout the day) into their work. If for any reason they haven’t met their goals, they’re likely to plug in more hours at no extra charge to the client, simply because “just showing up” isn’t good enough…telecommuters live by the code that your work value is in the results you provide.
Boost Networking Contacts – Telecommuting workforces also often have a strong network of well developed contacts. While traditional office workers simply go to the office and rely on networks there, smart telecommuters are constantly networking and meeting others in their field they can turn to for a number of reasons. This also transforms telecommuters into out of the box thinkers that can bring much-needed innovation to your marketing department.
Inflate Visibility – Because of their extensive networks and because they still have to market themselves, telecommuters will often plug your company and efforts (that they’re a part of) to their own circles. Whether it’s through social media, word of mouth, blogs or newsletters, telecommuters are mega marketers who will definitely increase visibility.
Tools Your Telecommuting Marketing Team Can’t Do Without
But telecommuting marketing departments have special considerations. A telecommuting team requires flawless efficiency that compensates a team that cannot just get up and walk over to your desk to sort out a problem, or use any number of tools at their disposal in a traditional office environment.
The primary need of any telecommuting team is effective unified communication. Unified communication allows a team to work efficiently without any bumps in the road, which increases productivity.
There are a collage of tools you can implement to put a plan in place, but Microsoft Unified Communications puts everything under one umbrella. The system combines email, phone, a/v conferencing, voicemail and instant messaging into one system that’s built like a fortress – which is another major concern of any telecommuter. As Microsoft best phrases it, you can “find and communicate with the right person – anytime, anywhere, on any device with a single user interface,” and you have the assurance of knowing your data is secured.
Telecommuting workforces may also want to check out Fuze Meeting, an iPad app that allows you to meet virtually from anywhere and also lead meetings and presentations from the device. With the app, telecommuting teams can schedule meetings, invite attendees and conduct a meeting where all users can share content. Competing systems for Fuze Meeting include Cisco and Adobe, but with a reduced cost and a free registration process it’s hardly a contest.