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Remote office workers

I'm taking on an employee next month who will be working from home - advice please on systems

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I'm taking on an employee next month who will be working from homeĀ  - does anyone else have a practice set up like this and do you have any advice in terms of systems you use?

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By ohgoodgodno
26th Apr 2018 13:46

surely the biggest problem is monitoring if they are actually working or not!!

surely this arrangement is better suited to a subcontractor

but the key issue will be security of your clients data

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By Paul Scholes
26th Apr 2018 15:08

With regard to the systems to use, this will depend on what you are using at the moment and whether they can be easily shared remotely or whether it's time to look at changing or updating them so that they are available to all, from wherever they are.

When I did this 6-7 years ago, we were still running deskbound software and an office server and whilst I could have made the server accessible for my two remote employees, it was cumbersome and would have meant me leaving the server on 24/7.

So I moved everything to Hosted Desktop UK and it solved the lot overnight and also had lots of added benefits to the business.

These days (now on my own) I use cloud apps for everything and if I was still employing people I'd use Googles Business apps for email and file sharing and, if I was sill stuck with deskbound stuff, would host just that.

With regard to trust, it never made any difference to me whether they were working at the next desk to me or at home, it's a question of effective and efficient management of people and workflow and creating a good team approach.

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By jantill
27th Apr 2018 11:50

I believe that as employer it is your responsibility for the safe working conditions of your employee wherever he/she is working.
Things such as adequate seating, computer screen environment, etc to name but two come to mind. Don't forget about employers' liability insurance.

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By tdculverhouse
04th May 2018 11:36

I am part of a team working remotely who use Slack and this works perfectly for having different channels for discussions, different conversations with people who can be involved as well as sharing documents. I've been impressed with the functionality plus you can use it on your mobile when you're out and about and make calls through it.

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By SteveHa
04th May 2018 11:53

For just one employee, I'd be tempted to simply go with a remote desktop solution. That way, you still have all the data etc. at your premises, and the worker simply logs in to a machine at your end.

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By Charlie Carne
04th May 2018 12:47

If your practice is entirely in the cloud, then your software problems are non existent, as it doesn't matter where they log in from. If your team need to use 'desktop' software, then I'd strongly recommend a hosted desktop solution like Hosted Desktop UK (as Paul Scholes does). It's not worth the hassle of having them log into your office servers, as you need to buy them, install them, maintain them, update them, back them up, ensure a permanently live line, etc. Let IT be someone else's problem by using cloud and/or hosted desktop. If there are any problems, the IT experts will fix them on their own servers for no additional cost to you. You can concentrate on being an accountant, not an IT support desk for your team.

If you are asking about systems used to monitor your staff, then I'd say that the importance of that depends upon the type of work that they do and whether you pay them a fixed fee per job or an hourly rate. If it's fixed, you only need to review their output, not the time taken (or, indeed, when they did it). If you pay by time worked, then you'll need to monitor them more carefully, but not a great deal more than you would for office-based staff. Again, you can judge them by the output. If they're doing bookkeeping work, for example, then use software that will track their work for you (eg QBO's audit trail will show exactly what each person did at what time and for how long).

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By greybeard
04th May 2018 14:31

We work both from home and the office -we are only 4 in number so pretty small. I can pass you the details of our IT guys who host the data and sort the backups etc. if you so wish.
We made the move in 2011 and have never looked back.

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Elliott Chandler Picture
By elliottchandler
04th May 2018 18:56

If you want to talk through different options and how they can be used then get in touch. All the options presented by others are valid but it is best to have a talk with someone who has experience all of the options. I can do that.

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