The once skeptical manager on whether working remote would benefit (or hurt) their company, need not be skeptical any longer.
We’re all being forced to consider working from home, like being shoved in the small of the back into a reality only once imagined in an H.G. Wells novel.
With the current Coronavirus situation, companies are being forced into considering remote working as a viable option. As much as some of us don’t want to, we should be embracing it rather than seeing it as a barrier for work.
But, in order for your employees work effectively from home, you’ll need to clearly identify, document, and communicate a set of remote working policies. If you just dive straight into remote working without taking this into account, your employees may be unproductive and frustrated with their tools or lack thereof.
IT and Technology policies for working from home
First thing to do is bring teams across the business together to discuss it, ask them what they need access to, and how other teams can facilitate that access.
For example, IT will need to set up a VPN so sales can access their data in your CRM or line-of-business application. You might also need to evaluate new tools if your current ones aren’t suitable with things like video conferencing, time tracking, project management tools, etc.
You’ll need buy-in from everyone from managers to interns, so make sure you get everyone’s input and remember the policy will need to be adapted and updated for each team from sales to operations to account management. You’ll want to consider how to measure the success for each team that works remote.
Be sure to manage tasks, track activity and be clear about deadlines and goals as you craft your work from home policies. Your work from home policies should include daily stand-ups for certain teams, meetings with peers to interact, and times to touch base with managers. Communication is key.
Cybersecurity and phishing attempts during Coronavirus (COVID-19)
One item you’ll want to be sure and address right away are your security policies.
Working remote can have many benefits, but sometimes employees and staff will forget the importance of advanced security threats while working from home. This should be near the top of your discussions when crafting your remote work policies, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. During normal times an email from a senior manager asking you to transfer money would raise a red flags and it would only take a few minutes to call IT or physically interact with your technology resource to confirm this request, face to face.
But while working remote, an email may not look too strange to you or your employees because of the strange times we’re living in. Don’t be afraid to offer additional training to all your teams over Microsoft Teams so you avoid these inevitable attempts. Just because Coronavirus is impacting us doesn’t mean that cyber-crime will stop. Be sure to avoid this by having a security policy in place.
Hardware and other technology need during Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Other things you’ll need to consider is hardware.
You’ll want to make sure you make the best technology investments for your teams. Investing in the right laptops, peripherals, and video conferencing hardware is critical for your success with a remote workforce.
Even think about getting creative by reimbursing employees and staff for their home office space. Things like broadband costs and/or redundant internet access with a wireless device should be things your staff shouldn’t have to pay for long term.