One of the major business trends to come from the COVID-19 pandemic is the sudden shift to remote working. In March 2020, many companies were drastically underprepared for the sudden change necessitated by pandemic precautions.
On the other hand, some businesses accomplished the transition with relative ease. Whether the initial move was rocky or stress-free, companies are now past the emergency mode of getting a remote workforce operational.
Many companies are now looking for ways to make remote work arrangements permanent, so that even when the virus is gone, their workforce can stay at home.
This article will discuss some aspects of remote work you need to think about as your company makes the transition to remote work permanent. Realistically, there are many options for a company looking to become fully remote, but some methods are more sustainable than others. Below are some of the best practices for ensuring the change to remote work sticks.
One of the first things your company should do is increase IT security. Even with the newest technology and platforms, there’s always a chance that data can be hacked or accidentally leaked.
This chance is increased when all of your employees are working on different networks and devices without proper data security protocols in place. There’s a good chance that those home WiFi networks aren’t as secure as your office network, so investing in extra precautions to address security concerns is critical.
You’ll also need to ensure all your team members have basic protection such as firewalls and anti-malware software installed on their devices and networks. Each employee should also be trained to use protected passwords, spam filters, and general safe internet practices.
Unless you’re an IT expert yourself, you’ll likely need the help of a professional when you’re deciding on cybersecurity policies and measures to put in place. Working with a trusted IT company in Birmingham is definitely a smart move when it comes to setting up your working-from-home security.
Create a Remote Training Program Rooted in Your Company’s Values
With the change to all-remote work, it’s also important to find ways to ensure your employees are ready to work efficiently and effectively wherever they are. Help your employees stay connected and focused by creating a remote training program unique to your company.
Something as simple as a company-wide meeting that reviews tips for productivity, expectations for each team, and security for devices can make a huge difference in closing the gap between in-office and at-home work.
Take steps to ensure that your program and new at-home policies are rooted in your company’s values. Those standards will be more important than ever in keeping your team unified from afar, and you’ll need to take active steps to ensure you don’t lose sight of those values just because the office is empty.
Invest in New Technology
Investing in new technologies is another way to promote data security and employee productivity. Because of the nature of remote work, you should look for technology that offers the most flexibility and compatibility.
One easy way to accomplish this is by investing in laptops your team can use from their homes. Employees should be able to use these laptops when they’re at home, traveling, or back in the office.
Software solutions such as Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams can also be great assets to keep your team connected.
When working remotely, communication is the biggest necessity of all. We all know it’s easier to communicate with people face to face, but that in-person interaction doesn’t necessarily need to be lost just because everyone is working from home.
With the use of quality devices, communication platforms, and updated software, teams can still directly communicate with each other.
When switching to remote work, put an emphasis on communication and go out of your way to confirm everyone knows what’s expected of them. It will become more important than ever to stay on top of assignments and communicate clearly with each member of your team.
Create Permanent Office Spaces
Everyone on your team should have a space in their home that functions as a dedicated, permanent office space. Of course that’s not always easy to do, but you should offer help and give guidance on ways to separate their working and living spaces. This distinction will allow them to focus on their work at home and resist distraction.
Working remotely provides the opportunity for a more sustainable work-life balance, and that’s a great benefit employees will likely want to take advantage of as your company grows. Follow these guidelines, and your new at-home working solutions will speak for themselves with increased productivity, energy, and efficiency.