Everything is going digital. Entertainment and music, arts, our hobbies, education, our friends and relationships. Our jobs as well are increasingly dependent on digital technologies. With creating, sharing, editing and deleting data with a click of a button, can you even remember what it’s like to hold a pen and write anything other than your signature?
Yet, it seems as though nobody minds. And why should they? It’s easier, faster and it opened up the doors to a phenomenon that’s highly appreciated and beneficial to employees and employers alike - remote work.
Even though not every industry lends itself well to remote prospects, new remote positions spring up all the time. The trend is starting to cover ever more fields and business types.
So, which industries and organizational types is telecommuting most popular in? And can your company make it work?
We’ll explore some common types of jobs which are done remotely as well as why PC monitoring software is an indispensable tool to use for managing a remote workforce.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
Industries that Love Remote Work
According to last year’s reports, hiring remote workers is most common in the Sales industry, followed by Computer/IT industry and, maybe a bit surprisingly, Medical field. Other career categories in this top 10 list range from customer-centered roles like Education and Customer Service to more data-driven industries such as Finance and Administration.
The main reason why such a huge variety of businesses and roles readily adopt remote work is technology. Not only is it the basis for many common roles, such as IT experts, programmers, designers and marketers, but it’s also enabled certain jobs which would traditionally be considered completely independent of technology to be done remotely. For instance, a tutor or an instructor can now teach classes that are physically on another continent via video calls while sharing resources and grading assignments electronically.
It would seem that almost any imaginable job can be performed from the comfort of one’s home, miles and miles away from colleagues and bosses.
What About Organizational Types?
Does the same principle of flexibility apply to any imaginable structural type of business organization?
The truth is - remote workforce reflects differently on different business structures. As a rule, though, the more independent each position is within the organization, the more ready that organization is to hire full-time remote employees. The flat structure is therefore one of the best candidates, but team-based organizations can also easily accommodate remote workers, as well as any model that is based on open communication and flexibility such as network organizations.
Within the more traditional hierarchical or even matrix structures, the chain of command emposes the necessity for the top-level and mid-level management to know what their subordinates are doing. Conversely, the employees aren’t free to make major business decisions without consulting their superior(s). This dynamics is hard to maintain remotely.
However, with the right tools, managers in any type of organization can effectively oversee and communicate with remote employees. This starts with instant messaging and video conference platforms, through file sharing and project management, all the way to what can really make sure everything is going smoothly and what we’re going to focus on next - PC monitoring software.
How to Monitor Remote Employees
Remote PC surveillance software can give your company, whatever your organizational structure or industry, an opportunity to track activity and progress of your telecommuters as if they were in the office themselves. PC monitoring software has many features, some of which can be invaluable in managing a remote workforce.
Being able to monitor computer use remotely allows you to detect which apps and websites are active on employees’ computers and whether they’re actually working. This is a good way to track project completion, but a time tracking functionality is also useful for tracking its progress, setting appropriate deadlines as well as calculating billable hours. This is useful both if you’re a manager in a hierarchical structure and if you’re a project lead in a more flexible organization.
Another functionality of virtual employee monitoring software that derives from the data we’ve mentioned above are productivity reports and trends. Are your remote workers actually productive? Are they doing the job they’re paid to do? This is difficult to estimate when they’re not physically present, but it becomes easier with PC monitoring software. And the best part is that you can aggregate data for entire teams, which makes performance tracking even more convenient.
The most valuable thing you can learn from all this is what each remote employee’s work habits are without them having to be in the office. You’ll know what time of day is most productive for them. If they’re working in Sales or Finance, for example, you can assign the biggest clients or the most important projects for that period, thus ensuring high quality and timeliness. By monitoring work from home employees you’ll also learn when they typically have breaks and how much time they need for certain tasks, so you’ll be able to tell when something is off.
Finally, if you work in an industry that’s typically faced with many clients and different projects, you’ll probably find automated time tracking extremely useful for tracking projects. This feature records time on projects based on file names, which gives you a clear overview of all the assignments, even if they’re done remotely.
Remote work is becoming more and more popular as greater emphasis is being placed on employee satisfaction and retention. It’s not difficult to imagine, especially with the developments in employee remote monitoring and other technologies, that even more industries will adopt this rising trend in the future.