In the wake of Covid-19, many businesses and organizations have had to make drastic changes to their working environments. Further to the extended lockdown period and the need for social distancing measures, businesses of all kinds are making operations remote — in some cases, for indefinite periods.
While transitioning to a remote system is straightforward in some cases, this new way of working presents its own unique set of challenges. Read on for a few tips.
Provide the Right Tools
Providing the right tools for your company is one of the most critical steps. You want to ensure that your staff can access what they need to get their work done efficiently. Even if you only run a business of 10 people, you’ll want to provide the right tools for communication and collaboration. Some of the top and most popular tools for productivity include:
- Slack: for real-time messaging
- Dropbox or Google Drive: for document storage
- Microsoft Teams: for centralizing team communication and collaboration
- Zoom: for virtual meetings
- Asana or Monday.com: for streamlining project management
If you’re setting up your digital tools as well as modifying your IT system, experts at outsourceIT can assist with finding the right hardware and software solutions for your new remote needs.
It can be easy to lose touch with your staff or colleagues while working remotely. The lack of physical proximity can also cause some to feel alienated or unsure;therefore, optimizing your strategy for communication is critical. This includes regularly scheduled team meetings and 1-2-1s, as well as using the above-mentioned tools for chats or contact. If you’re managing a business or a team, establishing and maintaining clear communication channels will be imperative for the successful and smooth running of the business.
Just because staff are working at home, it doesn’t mean organizational rules no longer apply. As a business owner or manager, it’s essential to establish what the expectations are early on so that you’re not faced with complacency or laziness, or staff who turn up to online meetings in bed wearing their pajamas! Defining a remote working policy can include everything from the time they’re expected to be online, what digital tools should be used and when, as well as how to track team and business productivity.
Particularly in the early stages, your staff may feel overwhelmed or unsure about this way of working, particularly if it’s new to them. Offer support where possible, whether it’s through regular 1-2-1 catchups or via email. Managers need to listen to their staff and their anxieties and then set up the necessary protocols to ease any stress they may be feeling.
Provide Opportunity for Social Interaction
Shifting to a remote workforce doesn’t spell the end of social interaction. Take advantage of Zoom and host virtual office parties or an online drink social. You could also spend time at the beginning of team meetings addressing non-work topics so that staff feels like they can talk about more personal things. There are a lot of tools at your disposal, so try to make the remote experience as enjoyable as possible both for yourself and your staff.
Remote working might be the new normal for many businesses for the foreseeable future. If you are struggling to find ways to transition to remote environments, the above tips may help.