Having a contingency plan when working from home is more important than ever. With natural disasters such as the recent, it is imperative that your teams know how to operate outside of a shared building space.
Even today, some companies remain hesitant to allow employees to work from home. While it does require trust and communication, we remain so confident in its benefits that we only have shared work space agreements, not solo lease agreements. We have found that with proper planning and modern technology, remote working can be incredibly successful and efficient.
Five tips to ensure your team have a seamless transition to working-from-home:
Ensure you have remote access to your files. This is essential, files are the life of the workplace! You can use any web-based cloud, which is also great for collaboration across teams as anyone can make and save changes. At Actualize, we use Dropbox and encourage those with desktops to ensure that their laptops also have all the files downloaded from the Cloud.
Determine communication strategies with each team. Work with each team on the best way to utilize technology to work remotely. For example, video conferencing is an effective way to conduct meetings remotely with a more personal touch.
Remote work policy. Have a clear work from home policy, including a plan, training, and support. Offer a QuickStart guide to trouble shoot any common problems that may arise with the new tools and technologies. Ensure all employees know how to remote in properly on whatever device they will be using to work remote. You should also have them practice this before they get home.
Reinforce collaboration. Working remote can be challenging for people who are not used to it or when it might not be a good personal fit. Understanding that and providing tools to help remote collaboration feel more like the office and make it more of an immersive situation can help. Video chat, voice chat, messenger, and even some out of the box solutions like Mural (a virtual sharable whiteboard) could all be useful tools to consider.
Communications tools: While we recommend regular email communications between your teams, instant messaging allow workers to communicate instantly, without clogging up their inboxes. Employees may resort to personal tools, such as WhatsApp and Messenger if they are unable to communicate via a professional platform, so it’s important to get this infrastructure in place.
Even if you are not yet comfortable transitioning to a remote workforce, focus on the positives and your team will thrive while working remotely. If you simply do not have the option to allow your team to work remotely, how can you add more flexibility to your workspace?