While remote work may have sounded like a luxury to many, numerous companies are now finding themselves in a position where working remotely is no longer optional. As the COVID-19 Pandemic forces communities across the globe to engage in social distancing and strict hygiene and sanitation measures, many business owners are finding themselves forced into a remote work environment with little to no preparation.
As a company that has offered telecommuting as an option for our employees for many years, Smart Link Solutions knows a thing or two about finding success in a remote work environment. Whether you have been preparing for this transition into remote work for quite some time or thrust into it unexpectedly, there are some things you must know in order to make this work. Here are a few of our top tips for transitioning into a remote work environment.
Set Expectations for Your Team
Although your team is working from the comfort of their homes, there should still be certain guidelines in place to maintain the same level of professionalism and productivity you would expect in the office. Employees should stick to a set schedule each day. When employees go on break or go offline for the day, there should be a system in place to notify clients and coworkers of their absence.
Additionally, your team should be reminded of your company’s goals and each team member’s role during this transition into a remote workspace.
Plan for Additional Expenses
As your team prepares their home offices, you will likely find that there are tools and services you need to make remote work possible. You may have to make some changes to your existing infrastructure to give your employees remote access to certain tools your company will be relying on. Be sure to go over your budget during this time to see which areas are most flexible. For instance, you may want to subscribe to Dropbox to make your files accessible to all employees.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Lack of communication is the biggest threat to remote work environments. Although you are no longer in the office, you should still be able to quickly and effectively communicate with coworkers and clients. Take advantage of tools such as Slack, Dropbox, and Zoom to develop a channel of communication outside of basic phone calls. Continue to schedule regular meetings via video chat.
We currently use Slack instant messaging to send quick messages between co-workers. We also use Slack for video conferencing amongst employees. Slack offers a free version that we have been using for many years, and it plays a major role in our daily operations.
It is also important that you continue to engage with, and communicate any changes to, your customers. This can be achieved through social media marketing, blog posts, and email blasts. If you are utilizing a message on hold service, make sure you modify your messaging to update your customers on changes taking place within your company. These are all great ways to keep your customers interested in your products and services despite the sudden changes.
Navigating your new remote work environment will come with a lot of trial and error. You will make mistakes, and you will learn to overcome those mistakes. The important thing is that you be patient with the process and do what you can to boost the morale of your team.
Although you may not be seeing each other face to face, there are lots of fun virtual activities you can do to add some excitement to the process. Also remember that your employees may be having a difficult time adjusting to these changes as well. Try to be as supportive as you possibly can.
As we continue to work through this global crisis together, we must all do our part to ease the blow.
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If you have any questions about successfully transitioning into remote work, Contact us today for more information.