Due to the pandemic, many companies have to transition their employees from in-house to remote – fast. Some are scrambling just to stay operational. The struggle is real, and it’s normal to have some doubts about the effectiveness of work-from-home solutions.
But what if this is the best thing to happen to your company? What if this whole remote work thing really…works?
You won’t know unless you create an infrastructure that allows your employees to thrive from afar – which is easier said than done in a world in crisis. Yet, here we are, with no other option but to make it happen. The question isn’t whether or not to go remote, but rather: what can you do to ensure that your remote work setup is a success?
Employ Proper Technology
Without the right infrastructure, remote work will not be possible. Set up a virtual office and migrate your applications and important files to a secure cloud. Your team will then be able to log in to the virtual platform from home. With the right help this can be easier and faster than you think.
This is even more imperative if you do not supply your team with company laptops, as they will still be able to access the suite of apps from their personal device.
Cybersecurity risks must be considered when working remotely. Make sure your team is hooked up to a secure WiFi network and employ a VPN (virtual private network) if possible. This will encrypt any data, which protects it from damage or corruption.
Consider Your Insurance Coverage
Worker’s Compensation may apply to your at-home employees if they are injured at home during working hours. To reduce this risk, promote guidelines for proper work-from-home procedures. Ask that your employees dedicate a specific, clean workspace while on the job, and offer injury-prevention resources periodically as well, if necessary.
Set Clear Expectations
Create a policy that states your expectations while they are remote. Be clear about how employees must track their work, how to appropriately protect company data and equipment, and address ways in which they can succeed while working at home.
If you have not offered work-from-home capabilities before, consider crafting a living document that can evolve over time. Work with your team to build a strong document as you all learn what does and does not work together.
Create Strong Communication Channels
Use tools such as Slack, Trello, Zoom, and other online communication platforms to organize and streamline your workflow. Consider creating a document that outlines what platform to use for which type of communication, and choose one main tool for the majority of your communication to limit confusion and lost information.
Educate Your Team
Provide articles, videos, and other resources to help your team make the transition to remote work. These resources can be generated in-house or forwarded from trusted sources around the internet.
Regularly send out both technical and “soft skills” oriented resources to give your team support in every area of their work. This will also boost remote company culture, as these resources are a way to connect each member of the team.
Know What Work Can’t Be Done Remotely – And Come Up with a Plan
If there is some work that absolutely requires someone to be in-house, create a traffic pattern that allows them to go in, do their work, and leave while still observing distancing practices.
For example, you could allow certain employees access to the building at staggered times or days so that they can accomplish their tasks without interference. This requires a bit of careful planning, but it can be done.
Maintain A Digital Company Culture
One of the main concerns surrounding remote work is that the company culture will begin to disintegrate due to distance. Don’t let it happen! Have a couple fun threads going on Slack or through email on topics like humor, sports, or cooking.
Offer up ways for employees to connect, perhaps with a Zoom happy hour, or a variety of video conference calls on niche topics that various staff members can connect on and talk about together. Even a funny gif emailed to the entire company can make a huge difference in company morale. Get creative!
Allow Room for the Adjustment Period
This is a tough time for many of us, and the transition will come with its share of bumps and rough patches. Err on the side of observing and adjusting rather than judging or reprimanding. Remote work may become the new status quo – at least for the relative short term – as the world figures out how to stabilize itself during and after this pandemic.
Provide solid, encouraging leadership for your team and you stand to make your company stronger rather than weaker in the long-run.
Get Remote-Ready in Record Time with Infinitely Virtual
Infinitely Virtual is committed to serving your remote work needs. Our office virtualization solutions ensure that your company has access to all your important tools and data on-demand, 24/7. Connect with a member of our sales team to learn how our white glove migration service can get your team ready for remote work without skipping a beat.