In light of a worldwide pandemic school teachers, customer care teams, solutions specialists and staff functions have had to be moved to remote workers. IT also has gone remote as do a lot of retail associates for certain sectors who can. Everything that can move to a work-at-home environment has or is being moved until conditions improve.
Here are 5 best practices to consider when making the move to remote workers:
Gear has to get to the front lines
When working from home you don’t have the typical comforts of an office desk. Technology is the key to creating an open, transparent culture. After all, when you connect people and give them access to information, you can change culture and transform your business. It’s so important to leverage the right technology that not only connects everyone, but makes them feel physically present. Laptops with cameras, IP phones and a solid Internet connection has to get to your employees to enable online work and support from home. Provide them with the right tools to do their job if you want to insure success.
Remote work means remote training
The next thing to consider is that any training to help people do their jobs has to be done virtually. You need to be prepared to continue any existing training as well as adding training to help employees make the adjustment to doing their roles from home. Train people on how to do effective conference calls, how to communicate effectively when your working remotely. Create a single source website for employees to go to for answers on how to do things, trainings and other information.
A few tips for remote training:
- Avoid distractions
- Log in early
- Use a hands free headset
- Find ways to involve participants
- Set up some post training success
Be Patient and Flexible
There will be distractions, there will be dogs barking and kids getting on camera during your video calls. Everyone should do their best to create a professional environment but be tolerant and patient of the reality of work from home distractions. Just move on and focus on the job at hand.
Video Conferencing as a substitute
Video is not a bad substitute for face-to-face meetings. Use video to conduct meetings but rather than have everyone chime in and communication difficult, encourage everyone but the presenter to mute and use the chat function to create dialogue and steer the discussion/presentation rather than interrupting.
Orthodox rules will be rethought
The day to day corporate culture and generally accepted practices will change. The move to remote work will likely enable a more decentralized version of your company and create more of an internal skills market for expertise. Find the hidden the strengths of your employees and allow this cultural shift to be a benefit that pulls you out of the typical ruts you can get stuck in. At the leadership or management level, making use of relevant internal skills to ramp up operations in a particular area can be more effective then looking externally. With chat and internal communication employees can reach out to find assistance that normally is not available in day to day departmentalized work environments.
The most important practice when moving to this new remote work environment is to exercise Patience. Patience with each other and understanding of the struggle to make the adjustment to a new normal. Also recognize the innovation opportunity to speed up your digital transformation.
To learn about available solutions to set up remote workers