Ten years ago, the idea of having an entire remote workforce was a hard concept for business leaders to grasp, but now its a necessity for many. The COVID-19 outbreak is forcing businesses worldwide to adopt remote work as their new normal and they need the best solutions to get their teams set up and connected with technology at home.
But how can businesses ensure that they are setting their teams up for success, especially those without existing remote work policies? It will require developing clear policies and investing in the right tools. Here are some practical tips businesses can follow to get your workforce connected at home.
Invest in the Right Communication Tools
A prime driver of a successful remote workforce is communication. Email, while a necessary tool, isn't the most efficient way to get regular feedback and updates from staff members.
Communication tools like Slack and Google Hangouts are a great way to keep staff members connected with their teams while managing costs and eliminating email backlogs. While organizations may not be able to have physical meetings with one another, web conference applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and GoToMeeting are other great tools that can be used to connect team members across the globe.
Set Clear Security Policies
Remote work is still a new concept for many business leaders and their employees. Managers must create clear expectations for their staff on the best practices to follow to stay productive and practice safe business networking.
Along with outlining schedule expectations and regular check-ins, organizations should take the time to review their Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies. If your organization doesn't currently have a BYOD policy in place, there isn't a better time to develop one.
With many remote team members using their own devices to connect to business networks and access digital assets, it's essential to enforce cybersecurity best practices, which include:
- Use a secure WiFi connection, such as a VPN or encrypted remote computer access.
- Make sure security software is installed and up-to-date on all computers.
- Have strong password policies, including multifactor authentication.
- Limit network access to only a user needs and never grant admin access to user accounts.
- Prohibit the use of non-work related browser extensions and software.
Strong cybersecurity policies help organizations standardize how their team manages company assets in and out of the office. They also minimize the likelihood of someone downloading or uploading dangerous malware when accessing company resources.
Maximize Organization & Transparency
Project management applications like Asana, Monday, Trello, and Basecamp are an excellent tool for managers to keep their remote team organized while providing transparency on the status of their work. Managing and coordinating projects remotely can be a challenge, and these tools can help streamline the process.
The best project management applications share many of the same features, which include:
- Organizing tasks by specific projects, departments, or team members
- Setting goals and milestones
- Tracking time and progress on tasks
- Setting deadlines for reminders and accountability
- Adding comments to provide updates and feedback
Many of these tools can also be integrated with other third-party applications and allow you to centralize all your collaboration and task management on one unified platform.
Remote work has become more common in the past few years. However, it's likely to remain a common practice for many organizations in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Ensuring your teams have the technology, policies, and security they need to be productive out of the office, you'll be able to get the best out of your remote workforce now and in the future.