Staying Connected and Keeping Costs Down with Flexible Workers
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Staying Connected and Keeping Costs Down with Flexible Workers

15th April 2015
By Candice Choo

When businesses promote flexible working, they often find that staying connected can become difficult to maintain and for remote workers themselves, escalating utility bills often prevents their ability to keep costs down. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that staying connected is an arduous task to sustain and keeping costs down isn’t a feasible option, it just depends on what products you use.

Utilising software is an ideal way to overcome perceived communication issues when trying to stay connected with those who work outside of the office because contrary to popular belief, software products are relatively easy to gain access to without paying a premium for.

Instant messaging

There are cost-free online instant messaging platforms such as Slack, which includes a whole array of features and integrations that are compatible with most tools that businesses already use.

Through platforms like this, team members and colleagues can easily maintain their communication between each other at any location and on any device.  The benefit of productivity tools such as Slack, is that it’s a cloud-based product that doesn’t require any downloads or administration rights that need to be approved like many in-company communication platforms.

Conference calls

But for businesses that require more collaborative solutions, conferencing services are a valuable way to stay connected with both colleagues and clients because it allows meetings to still run on schedule.  It also caters well to flexible workers as it ensures that they can maintain their remote working locations and allows them to avoid the hassle of coming into the office for one meeting.

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Although the provision of such services can come at a costly price, there are affordable options such as Powwownow  which help businesses keep costs down as they are cost free services that only pay for the cost of their call.  Particularly with staff that work remotely, conferencing services have become an essential for businesses to stay productive and connected as audio, video and web conferencing provides a more personal and efficient way of working with colleagues and customers.

Web conferencing

With web conferencing, businesses have had a more integrated way of communicating with each other as features include instant message, file share, screen share, and video capabilities that allow people to tailor their meetings to suit their needs.  By enabling more productive ways of working, web conferencing significantly reduces travel costs associated with meetings that require face-to-face communication without compromising anyone’s ability to work out of the office.

Co-working

If you’ve found that working from home or in a cafe isn’t the right work space for you, co-working has been a recent trend that has allowed businesses maintain their work environment-even when they’re not in the office.

Scattered around most cities, co-working locations have become a popular choice for business people with little time to waste because most provide instant access to a work desk with high-speed internet and a more work-focussed environment.

Internet is an imperative for most businesses, so unless you have Wi-Fi already installed or 10GB of data (or more) that you can readily use as your personal hotspot without driving costs through the roof, then co-working can be a more cost effective solution as most offer hourly, daily or weekly payment options.

The recent trend of co-working has been embraced by flexible workers in particular because most spaces don’t require bookings in advance and allows them to avoid the horror of their commute to work of unforeseeable delays or transport strikes.

So for businesses with flexible workers in particular, utilising software solutions and alternative locations to their office has been a valuable (and productive) way to stay connected whilst keeping costs down, as cloud-based communication platforms and conferencing services in particular ensure that staff stay productive.