Even before a stay-at-home order was issued in different states, remote working had already been a growing trend. In 2019, about 4.7 million workers across the United States spent half of the workweek being productive from their homes. The numbers are sure to get higher, as enterprises have begun adopting remote work arrangements to keep operations running during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remote working is fast becoming the new normal. And just as employers have made their offices comfortable for their employees, they should also empower their remote workers so they can work comfortably at home. As a business owner, here are some things you can do.
Equip employees with the right tools
Your remote workforce needs two kinds of tools: tools that allow them to communicate with their colleagues, and tools that let them access work-related data and apps. Without either, employees cannot do their work effectively.
To get a better grasp of what technology support your employees still need, ask these questions:
- What equipment do employees currently use to get work done?
- Are those equipment lacking in any way, such that they hinder employees from performing their best? For instance, do they have the right internet solutions to handle necessary apps, including those for audio and video conferencing?
- Do their devices have the latest software, software patches, and security solutions to keep cyberthreats at bay?
- Can they access data securely? For instance, do they need a virtual private network (VPN) to hide traffic information? Are they provided with secure logins? Do they employ multifactor authentication where necessary?
Should you need help in setting up secure access or remote support, coordinate with your IT department or with a managed IT services provider (MSP) like Midwest Data Center to ensure that employees can securely communicate and collaborate with their peers without encountering any issues.
Build strong relationships
Because team members are physically distant from one another, building strong relationships can be more challenging. But it’s important more than ever for everyone to be on the same page and to solve problems as a team.
Invest in technology that allows you to make, maintain, and strengthen productive connections. Midwest’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions, for instance, enable your remote workers to place and receive local and long-distance calls via the internet. VoIP also offers productivity features such as voicemail-to-email transcription, desktop sharing, web meetings, and video conferencing, among others, so you can maintain open lines of communication with vendors, clients, and other stakeholders.
Set daily benchmarks
Remote working can only be deemed effective if your remote workforce is productive. Clarify and quantify the work you expect from your employees, and ask them to regularly send reports about what they accomplished during their shift. Implementing familiar routines like this can also help ground remote workers who may feel lost or isolated during this time.
And should employees fail to meet expectations...
Give guidance and support
Employees may encounter unprecedented challenges in a work from home setup. They may face a steep learning curve when adopting remote working tools. Or, they may suffer from downtime because of their unreliable internet service provider (ISP).
Be prepared to give the necessary support that will allow employees to work optimally. Leverage technology at your disposal: if someone is having a difficult time mastering a newly introduced app, arrange a virtual walkthrough session to help them get over the learning curve. Allocate resources smartly: if an employee needs to upgrade their internet plan, look for ways the company can help.
Remote working might be uncharted territory for your business — but don’t fret. Midwest is your local MSP, providing IT support and solutions to businesses in Rock Port, Maryville, and Saint Joseph. Let us handle your technology so that you don’t experience any remote work-related headaches. Schedule an appointment with us today.