This year has given us unexpected challenges when it comes to the workplace. Many offices have had to shut their doors and begin working remotely. While some spaces are slowly opening back up, many are opting to continue working remotely. This presents the challenge of working efficiently and maintaining open communication in the workplace.
Weekly or monthly meetings can no longer happen in person, which means that a substitute will have to take their place. There are the options of FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, and GoToMeeting which all allow companies to communicate with large groups and have regular meetings. These offer the ease of access that working remotely requires, for both formal meetings and more casual workplace virtual happy hours. Connecting with your colleagues is more important than ever with employees having to isolate due to the virus, and it’s important to maintain a personal touch with both colleagues and clients.
Another important piece of working remotely is instant communication. Email may not always be the fastest way to elicit a response from a colleague when the task or question is urgent. There are online resources for instant chat such as 8x8 Virtual Office, Slack, Telegram, Mattermost, and Quip which all allow for group or one-on-one communication with your team. You can create specific groups for your sales team, HR team, support staff, and more. This way you won’t clog up email inboxes and can send out personalized messages to specific teams or individuals. While these won’t replace the ease of communicating in person, they are a good substitute.
Another worry that managers have is time management and ensuring that projects stay on track with their deadlines. Without being able to have meetings in person to discuss progress, it can feel like projects are falling to the sidelines. While you can hold virtual meetings on the aforementioned platforms to discuss progress, you can also utilize other project management platforms to limit these meetings. Make sure that your workplace is all consolidated onto one task management platform and lay out a clear and concise plan for the project or projects early on to make checking in easy. Your office could use Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Monday, or Teamwork. Each of these different apps offers different features, allowing your company to find the perfect fit for your requirements. These offer options to manage tasks, message and collaborate, share files, report, and easily search the apps easily. This helps to reduce the number of meetings and allow managers to easily check in on the status of a project.
Working remotely means that staff won’t always be working from home, which could potentially compromise the security of vital information. It is pertinent that passwords be updated often, and that they are created to be strong. IT support needs to make sure their company knows not to use public Wi-Fi, even if their devices and apps are password protected and encrypted when possible. Businesses need to make sure that devices are set up with up-to-date anti-virus, encryption, and strong firewalls. Email is often a common way for attempts to access company information, and staff should be on the lookout for suspicious-looking emails and the company policy on how to handle these emails. There are many different malware and anti-virus technologies, and it’s important your company finds the right option to stay secure.
In summary, there is a plethora of technology available to ease the stress of working remotely but communicating with your staff and colleagues doesn’t need to be sacrificed. Video meetings and calls can help communicate important information, while instant chat can help with rapid responses. There’s no need to worry about projects getting off track with a variety of software options that offer a range of task management options. Security is also an important matter with everyone working from different locations, and IT teams need to be ready to discuss the best practices to keep their company secure. Times are changing, but we have the software and technology to keep up and resume business as usual. We will make it through these uncertain times, together.
Do you want help in making your office more remote-friendly? Email the professionals at CDI today at firstname.lastname@example.org.