Posted by : Amanda Stein Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Due to the rise of online businesses, blogs, Internet shopping, and Internet marketing, there is an increase in the number of Americans who can work or run businesses from home. However, the risk of running your business in such a manner is the lack of office community and managerial oversight.

So how can you manage productive employees while you’re at your home and they are, presumably, in their homes? Here are five tools for the small business owner managing from home.

1). Work emails and networks

Google email accounts allow you to build spreadsheets, documents, calendars, and other files and share them with other select Google profiles. It’s wise to ask that your employees remain on their work Gmail accounts while working and leave your own account open as well during business hours. Whether you use Google or another system, the key is to have a one stop shop where employees can access the company’s documents, emails, and online resources.

A constant problem for all businesses is the inevitable scenario in which an employee needs direction from the manager for a project or task and the manager is unavailable. However, if you have a policy of always being available for an online chat or email, you can provide your remote employees with the direction and guidance they would have received in an office.

2). Face to face meetings

There are many forms of communication and expression that can only take place face to face. Communicative cues that come from facial expressions, voice tone, or hand gestures can make a huge difference for a business. Therefore, it’s important that you take opportunities to get face time with your employees.

Through their Google email accounts, you can arrange video conference meetings between multiple employees who live in different towns. It’s also worth the expense and travel to arrange lunch, dinner, coffee or casual times with your employees to help overall communication and teamwork.

3). A good home-office

Having your own space and equipment is already essential to running a business from home but it also benefits when it comes to managing employees. If you can make space for another worker to work in your office should the need arise you can save money. Avoid leasing an office that you won’t regularly use by having space available in your home. This can serve as a tax write-off as well.

Being able to conduct interviews, meetings, and evaluations within your home office is immensely valuable and lends a family-friendly and comfortable feel to your business.

4). Separate business account with business software and PayPal

Managing the expenses and daily balances of a home business will be needlessly difficult if you attempt to merge this account with your own personable banking. On the other hand, if you have a separate account linked with PayPal you can more easily pay your employees and manage your expenses.
Quicken software and other business software can make it possible to view your accounting simply and with organization while also making tax filing far easier.

Besides the benefit of an easy payment method, your employees will always be more easily managed if your finances and company’s account are in good order.

5). Company phones

If your employees’ tasks require them to frequently be on the move and in contact with you and each other it’s a good investment to provide them all with company phones.

With a blackberry or smart device with Wi-Fi access they can utilize their company email accounts, server, and each other regardless of where they are located.

You can also make phone calls without the worry of running up private expenses for you and your business that will have to be accounted for or written off.

Today’s technology and Internet-driven businesses can make working from home far more simple for employers and employees provided they take full advantage of the technology in a streamlined fashion and don’t neglect the more personal aspects of management and business.

IanB writes for USA news brief where you can catch up on breaking news related to business.

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