Posted by Team NetFortris

Since March is International Ideas Month, it got us thinking about one of the best ideas ever — the ability to work from home. Virtual home offices are starting to become as natural and normal for workers as regular offices, running the gamut from sales people in the field to running a whole business. However, building a strong virtual workforce presence within an organization requires a little more than simply allowing people to work from home.

WorkingfromHomeStrategy-WomanWorksfromherKitchenHaving a strong remote relationship between a worker and their company requires the same things all other distance relationships demand - trust, communication and a fast Internet connection. With a robust, virtual pipeline connecting workers and managers, productivity can stay in bloom for your company this March.

This post provides five ideas for how both companies and employees can make virtual home offices work alongside traditional ones:

#1 - Understand the Business

Recent data points to working from home as being a more efficient place for employees to do process-driven work, and workers tend to prefer it to running into the office every day. It makes sense that many of those moving to telecommuting jobs currently, or allowing people to work from home, are in process-driven industries or departments. Organizations with a lot of writers, engineers or even people who work phones all day may find telecommuting just makes sense for those employees. Business phone systems that translate work phone numbers easily between physical locations are ideal for people in this environment. Home offices benefit from easy access to the same information as the rest of the company. 

#2 - Accountability Is Key

The people who really succeed while working from home are those that are able to hold themselves and others accountable without direct in-person oversight, according to Business News Daily. People in positions or in team roles that demand a certain portion of work get done every day often allows for a better telecommuting experience for everybody. By ensure employees who have the opportunity to work from home are able to handle this pressure, everybody can win!  

#3 - Communicate

Being able to stay in touch with workers through a number of different means is an important part of telecommuting. It is not just phone calls, emails and texts that are essential nowadays. Internal chat, screen sharing and videconferencing are great for keeping a distributed workforce connected. These tools enable workers to become truly invested in each other and their company's plans. They also provide nearly instant access to one another without the high cost of business travel. Video meetings, for example, are a great way to avoid miscommunications because of the difficulty we all have judging  tone in email.
Fortunately, Fonality had the bright idea to create software that works with cloud-based phone systems for something called unified communications. UC pulls all kinds of handy collaboration tools together – like those above –  in one place workers can access from anywhere with an Internet connection. That kind of ease of use is important for both employees and organizations so the ideas keep flowing every month of the year.

#4 - Save Your Lunch Money

The most important part of organizing a home office is deciding where the snacks go. Two-thirds of office workers buy lunch every day they go into work. That averages out to $2,000 a year, according to Re/code. With telecommuting, you can pile on a variety of healthy salads, sandwiches or Pop-Tarts (if you want) as your lunch every day for far less. Whatever you decide to eat, make sure you are also exercising a little bit to compensate. Keep your home office stocked with snacks and you'll save no matter how many frosted breakfast dishes you eat. Those who stay at home to work cut back just a little on their walking every day, which can make a difference when you discover the joys of 24/7 access to cheese.

#5 - Let Others Know How Much They Mean to You

Those working from home can get cut off from corporate culture. Be sure to stay involved with phone calls and video chats, especially during long periods when you are unable to visit the office. Drop a coworker a handwritten thank you note in the mail when he or she has really come through for you. It might not hurt to ensure your company understands your arrangement is a win-win. Tell them about how you recently read about studies that show remote workers save companies $11,000 in costs every year. Most important of all, be sure to show ways you are just as - if not more - productive than any workers they keep in-house.


Do you have the technology you need to work from home if the need arises? If not, we’re here to help. Contacting us might not be the best idea you’ll have all month. But it might be close.