Telecommuting is one of the biggest buzzwords of 2014, as more millennials entering the workplace request and expect access to this type of virtual working environment. While some business owners already employ some form of telework, many have just begun to examine this option.
Staples recently conducted a survey among nearly 300 employees and executives across the U.S. and Canada, examining how people viewed telecommuting in the workplace. The organization found that a rising number of people were in favor of this practice, as it provides a great deal of physical, emotional and environmental benefits that help individuals and companies save time and money.
Widely regarded as one of the most important companies in the technological realm, Google continues to unveil sites and devices that have proven to exponentially improve operations in the business world, especially as they pertain to this increasingly popular practice.
Thinking about refining your telecommuting strategy? Examine the string of devices and sites Google has released that can improve your workers' productivity from remote locations.
1. Google Hangouts
One invention that has already had a significant impact on organizations whose employees work from remote locations is Google Hangouts, which offers a variety of features to users across the globe. Those engaged in a Google Hangout have the opportunity to connect with coworkers and leaders on a virtual platform, which has both video and voice capabilities.
Those involved in a Google Hangout can spend the day exchanging messages, speaking over a microphone or discussing issues face-to-face. Additionally, this function works on a range of desktop, mobile and tablet devices. Up to 10 people can connect in a single Hangout - ideal for small teams or groups of workers.
Before taking advantage of this feature, however, people must have their own Google+ profile, as the service is only available to these users. Access to this social network is free, and it allows people to access the variety of other sites and features of Google.
2. Document-sharing sites
While Google Hangouts are ideal for allowing workers to stay virtually connected through the day, employees cannot share documents with this tool. However, there are a variety of file-sharing formats that workers can take advantage of. If your employees are fond of Google, Drive is perfect, as it allows people to virtually send documents to coworkers that any person can edit. Google Drive is a good option for those who already have Google email addresses or Google+ pages, as they can connect their numerous profiles and documents.
There are several other options that perform similar feats. Dropbox, for example, is a free way for workers to share large files and series of documents with a set group of others. According to Dropbox's website, the feature is capable of storing a large amount of information and has extensive security measures in place to help protect your documents. Additionally, executives can opt for Dropbox for Business, a paid service that provides supplemental measures and features specifically in place for organizations and their employees.