The Ultimate Small Business Guide To Setting Up a ‘Work From Home’ or Remote Network Access System For Your Staff
Critical facts and insider secrets every business owner must know before installing a ‘Virtual Network’ to allow employees to work from home, on the road, or from a remote office.
If you are the owner or administrator of a small or medium sized practice that has implemented a “work from home” program for your employees – or you’ve installed a virtual network to enable you and certain key employees and managers to work from a remote office – make sure you read this eye-opening guide.
This report will explain in non-technical terms the importance and best practices for setting up remote access for you and your staff, as well as important questions you should ask any computer consultant to avoid making the most commonly made, costly mistakes made when setting up the technology for a work from home program.
- The single most important thing you MUST have in place before starting any work from home or remote office initiative.
- How one company saved $11 million after implementing a work from home program – and how you implement the same money-saving strategies for your small business.
- How one company slashed its turnover rate from 33% to nearly 0% – and increased productivity by 18% – all by implementing a “work from home” program.
- 8 CRITICAL characteristics you should absolutely demand from any IT professional you’re considering to setup your remote office technology; DO NOT trust your infrastructure to anyone who does not meet these criteria.
- How to get a FREE “Home Office Action Pack” ($97 Value).
April 20, 2020
From the Desk of: Sheryl Cherico
Imagine being able to get double the work out of your employees while simultaneously slashing overhead costs, padding your bottom line, and securing incredible loyalty from your staff.
Sound too good to be true? I assure you it’s not…
My name is Sheryl Cherico and for over 15 years, I have provided business and technology consulting services to thousands of medical practices. You might have heard of me as I’m Chairman of the Board of the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition and I’m on the Board of Lifeline Animal Project.
While it may seem like I’m making radical statements, I want you to know that I’m not a radical person. I’m a very grounded and conservative-minded technology consultant with a long track record of helping my clients enjoy more stress-free productivity, lowered costs, and competitive advantages. These are dramatic times that have resulted in organizations needing to totally transform their business practices.
Here’s how to turn the working from home phenomenon from a necessity into a smart strategic move for your practice.
Telecommuting is a fast-growing trend among small and medium businesses that is drastically increasing productivity, cutting costs, and driving more profit to the bottom line.
Telecommuting doesn’t sound sexy when you first hear it, but when you see the bottom line impact it has on profits and productivity and talk to business owners who rave about how much money it’s saving them, you’ll start to see what all the excitement is about. Many practices have implemented telecommuting exclusively in order to protect their patients, their providers, their staff and their practices.
Given the current global situation Telecommuting is the only option for a good many practices to survive.
- Managers and health care workers can protect their health and the health of the patients they serve.
- Telecommuting actually increases employee productivity, lowers stress levels, and improves retention. Contrary to what you may believe, employees who work from home tend to work more, not less. Because the computer is right there in their home, they will often put in extra hours during the evening and on weekends when they normally wouldn’t be able to access the network. Plus, employees working on detailed programs and projects tend to get more done when they don’t have to deal with office distractions.
- It allows you to keep great employees that need or want to relocate, need to stay home to take care of a sick family member, or who are sick, injured, pregnant, or otherwise unable to physically come into the office.
Common myths, mistakes, and misconceptions about allowing your employees to work from home
One of the biggest fears many business owners have about allowing people to work from home is the loss of control they have over productivity. They believe that without someone standing over them, employees will goof off during work hours and become LESS productive.
But the hard results prove very different…
Telecommuting has grown at a steady 3% per year for more than 15 years. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, more than 23 million people are working from home at least one day a week. The amount of people working from home has increased exponentially.
Original telecommuting experiments were projects focused on being earth friendly and generating business savings by reducing use of high-priced big city office space. However, when businesses started seeing how it drastically improved turnover and productivity, this fad became a hot trend. Now it’s become the norm.
Take the Los Angeles Bank for example; they decided to test telecommuting to see if it would help their 33% turnover rate. Here were the results…
The experiment worked and within a year the turnover rate was cut to nearly zero and to everyone’s surprise productivity went up 18% saving the regional bank more than $3 million dollars per year.
Since then there have been numerous, well documented, program studies reflecting promising results. AT&T, for instance allowed employees to telecommute on a regular basis from home in a New Jersey office of 600 people.
Over a 5-year period a region of AT&T saved more than $11 million annually. Half the savings came from real estate savings while the other came from a measured increase in incremental work hours from employees who were able to have a higher level of concentration with fewer interruptions.
You’re probably thinking, “But I don’t have 600 employees…how will this apply to me?” No matter how small your practice or your real estate situation, you can save money. It’ll just be a bit smaller than AT&T. For instance:
On average, small businesses report saving $85,000 to $93,000 per year in lower turnover, reduced operating costs (gas, utilities, office space) and increased productivity after implementing teleworking programs. (Source: International Teleworking Advocacy Group)
Of course, telecommuting might not be right for every employee on staff, but it is a great option (and reward) for key managers or employees whose work results are measured by key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than hours worked.
The single most important thing you must have in place when implementing and maintaining a Work From Home program or setting up remote access
THE single most important thing for you to do first is find a very experience IT consultant who will recommend and implement the right technology to support YOUR specific situation and needs. This is unbelievably important to avoiding expensive mistakes and unnecessary frustration.
8 CRITICAL characteristics you should absolutely DEMAND from any IT professional you’re considering to set up your remote office technology
DO NOT trust your infrastructure to anyone who does not meet these criteria!
There is no “one size fits all” solution; the best solution is greatly dependent on your specific business needs, the applications you use, how many people will be accessing your systems remotely, the available equipment and dozens of other factors. That’s why you want to look for a consultant who meets the following criteria:
- Look for a consultant who has experience setting up remote access and STRONG (and recent) client references.
Do you really want to be the person who “pays” for your consultant’s training? I’ve found that the price to correct problems created by novices is much greater than the cost to do it right the first time with an experienced technician. Ask for recent references and call them! Past performance is generally a good gauge of future performance.
- Make sure they do a THOROUGH evaluation up front
If your consultant doesn’t insist on doing a thorough evaluation BEFORE handing you a proposal, do not hire them! If they don’t do the homework they could easily sell you the wrong solution, causing you to have to spend more money, more time, and have more frustration getting to what you really need. Most consultants will do a quick, cursory review and provide a free recommendation (proposal) because they want to close the deal fast. Here is a short list of the things they should investigate or ask you:
- What are your overall goals and specific objectives for allowing your employees to work from home?
- How many employees will be working remotely? Will they be accessing the network at the same time or at different times?
- What applications (including specialty or proprietary apps) and data will your employees need to access?
- What type of devices will your staff use to access the network? (PCs, laptops or tablets)
- What type of internet connection will be available on the sending and receiving end?
- What levels of security do you currently have in place?
- What levels of security do you want in place?
- What level of monitoring do you want in place? For example, are there certain web sites and content you want “off limits?”
- Will the remote worker need to print documents?
- What are your 1-year and 3-year plans for growth?
- Make sure they are able to TRAIN you and your staff.
So many IT consultants are great at installing the technology but fall short on training you and your staff how to use the great products they’ve just sold you. Make sure you hire someone who is able and willing to do the “hand holding” required when installing any new process or technology…we’re only human after all.
- Make sure they can provide help desk support AFTER hours.
One of the main appeals to teleworking is the ability to work at night or on weekends; that means you need someone to be “on-call” at times during those off-peak hours if you or your employees have technical problems logging in or accessing the network. Bottom line, if you’re your consultant doesn’t offer after-hours support, don’t hire them to do the job. There is no benefit to having remote access if you have to wait until Monday or 9am the next day for support.
- Make sure they INSIST on maintaining the network
Virtual office networks require more care and feeding to make sure they work properly and stay secure. You cannot “set it and forget it” or you’re asking for problems. Only hire someone who is prepared to perform regular check-ups and updates of your network, usually under a maintenance or managed services plan.
- Look for someone who can also solve the phone piece of the puzzle, not just the network access piece.
If you want your work-from-home employee to be able to make and receive calls and APPEAR as though they are in the office to the caller, then look for someone who can set up your phone system to work with your remote employee’s home phone or cell phone. Usually this can be accomplished with VoIP technology (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Confirm that whomever you hire can either provide these services or has a partnership with a reputable vendor who has this expertise.
- Make sure your consultant is willing and able to be a vendor liaison for your EMR or other business applications.
It’s amazing how many critical applications work fine within the office network, but then slow down or shut down when accessed through a remote location. It’s important to ensure your consultant is able and willing to confirm your applications will operate efficiently remotely, which means they may need to get on the phone with the help desk of one or more of your software vendors. Some consultants do NOT offer this service or will charge you extra for it.
- Look for a consultant who has expertise in setting up employee monitoring and content filtering.
It’s a complex task to protect company secrets and protected health information (PHI) when it’s stored on a hosted server. Therefore, make sure the company you hire has expertise in setting up and managing content filtering and security for remote machines.
Ready to streamline and get the most out of your remote access?
Our free remote access consultation will help you decide
As a prospective client, we’d like to offer you a free remote access consultation. At no charge, we will come to your office or set up a GoToMeeting chat to review your current situation, business practices and needs and to provide recommendations on how you can effortlessly supercharge remote access for you and your staff.
We will also discuss your options, clarify any gray areas, and answer any questions you have. We will also map out the costs and steps involved so you know exactly what to expect.
You are under no obligations to do or buy anything; this is simply our way of introducing our services to you and demonstrating how we can make your remote access project a complete success.
Plus we’ll give you a FREE “Home Office Action Pack” just for meeting with us! This package include:
- Home Office/Remote Office Checklist to help you verify the home or remote office is a safe and productive environment for the employee to work.
- Employee Equipment Issue Agreement to outline the rules of use and maintenance for any PCs, laptops, cell phones, tablets, printers, etc. that are issued to the employee working remote.
We can show you how to maximize the benefits of remote access, just like these current clients…
“MAG has always been able to depend on Tier3MD for our technical/IT support needs. The customer service and care is always quick and efficient. We are grateful for the support provided, especially during our annual legislative meeting, where specialists are available on site and remotely to ensure we have a successful meeting. The adept skills, knowledge, and swift communication from the Tier3MD support team that we have the pleasure of working with on a regular basis makes our business processes that much easier. Thank you to the team for always being a short phone call away to alleviate any issues we experience.”
Renai Lilly, Manager of Membership Outreach of Medical Association of Georgia
“I have had the pleasure of working with Tier 3MD for the past eleven years. I originally met them when I was in a large Oncology practice here in Atlanta. At that time the company had a one-person IT department and the relationship was not working out. Tier 3MD came in and cleaned up the network, infrastructure and daily IT operations. I was so impressed with them that when I transitioned to Woolfson Eye Institute in 2007 and found the network and IT service was subpar I immediately called them. They very quickly came in and assessed our needs and built a new network that could handle the growth of the practice. In 2007 we had two doctors, 5 offices and 30 employees, currently we have 13 doctors, eight offices and 150 employees. Tier 3MD has been our partner through this substantial growth with zero downtime.
Tier 3MD understands the medical space, easily assimilates into our environment, provides 24* 7 service and has great insight/strategies to offer. They have been a great partner over the years and have been a vital asset when rolling out any project from EMR, phones, new equipment or opening new offices. I can highly recommend Tier 3MD to any new clients without reservation.”
Marc Gilpin, CFO Woolfson Eye Institute
What To Do Now
To request your Free Remote Access Consultation and FREE Home Office Action Pack,” do one of the following:
- Complete and send in the enclosed “Fast Action” response form.
- Call us directly at 770-670-6840
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Someone from our office will call you schedule a convenient time for us to meet for 20 minutes. Remember, there is no obligation for you to buy or do anything – this is simply a discovery meeting to see if streamlining your remotes access is right for you.
Our thoughts are with you during these trying times.
Founder and CEO
P.S. If you would like to speak to more client references prior to our meeting, simply contact us and we’ll be happy to provide the names and phone numbers for several clients we’ve worked with.
P.P.S. Please make sure you visit our web site to see the incredible 100% Money-Back Guarantee that we put on our services. You won’t find another IT consultant in the medical IT support arena who is confident enough in their services to put as bold a guarantee in writing as the one we have.
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