In 2009, the average American drove 2,078 miles for work-related business, according to the National Household Travel Survey. If your employees are constantly on the go, equipping them with the right tools ensures the pace of business goes as smoothly as possible. Start with these five tips to cover your bases.
1. Pick light, portable work computers.
Your office may have clunky desktops and oversized monitors. Your on-the-road employees need something much lighter for travel; making them carry six-pound laptops simply won’t do. Consider a tablet for your on-the-road employees if they’re likely to be using the computer to consume (but not create) content. If your employees need to create or edit documents, try an ultrabook or a Mac Air, super lightweight laptops that will get the job done. Ensure that any device you choose has a lengthy battery life, since road warriors may not always have access to a charger. Also provide employees with cloud storage, so they can easily access any needed office materials while they are traveling for work.
2. Make sure you have unlimited minutes.
If you provide employees with a business phone, make sure that their plans have unlimited minutes and data so there’s never any worry about long conference calls, webinars or check-ins. A smartphone like the Android 4.2 from Tmobile is a must for traveling employees, as it gives them email access, internet connectivity and more. Tmobile recently announced the Even More Plus plan, which allows you to offer contract-less plans to your employees. This is ideal if you rely on contractors and other short term employees.
3. Select a business vehicle that benefits the bottom line and offers the services you need.
There’s no one best business car. Some businesses prioritize cargo space, while others might not need any cargo space but need a vehicle that has excellent gas mileage for workers who travel hundreds of miles. When looking for a business vehicle, Inc. recommends choosing one that has a high resale value in case your business’ needs change, and serves the overall long-term business goals. If the car is green, so much the better.
4. Consider fleet management software for keeping track of vehicles.
If many of your employees use company vehicles, you may want to consider a fleet management system. This keeps track of different variables across all company vehicles. Use one to track routine maintenance (such as oil changes), miles driven, gasoline fill-ups and more. Receive at-a-glance GPS vehicle location directions so that you always know where your road warriors are, and so they can select the fastest route to save time.
5. Don’t forget the little things.
You’ll keep road warriors happy by investing in the little things, which include extra batteries, noise-canceling headphones, hardy tablet or laptop cases, and universal chargers and charger accessories. Consider keeping a stock of these supplies that employees can check out when they need to travel, or subsidizing each employee (up to a set amount) for convenience purchases like these. You’ll earn employee goodwill and ensure that staff can work in any of the conditions they’re likely to meet on the road.