The drive to figure out remote work solutions has never been higher. Questions and ideas that used to get replies like “someday” or “maybe down the road” are finally being answered. As the world changes, the flexibility to work remotely and adapt to new challenges is more important than ever.
You may be struggling to find a solution. Some of the weaknesses in your business’ day to day operations may have been exposed. However, with the right help, you’ll also start seeing an abundance of possibilities.
WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN?
Start with a deep breath and a smile. The best approach to such a transition is with an open mind and knowledgeable assistance.
Thousands of people around the world have experienced the same fears and doubts you feel. Thankfully, many of those people have been busy developing the tools and technology to address them. They saw what you see; the benefits of remote work are more than worth it.
These benefits include:
- Flexibility when adapting to new circumstances
- More efficiency with time, money, and resources
- The ability to hire and retain employees anywhere in the world
- Business continuity through unforeseen events
- In most cases, it’s environmentally friendly
WHAT TOOLS WILL I NEED?
Deciding on the best combination of tech and software is an ongoing process. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools to help address specific needs. Here is an overview of the basic needs of remote business operations:
Working from home or remotely starts with computers. Each team member will need either a laptop, a desktop they can set up at home, or some other dependable way to connect with your business network. Many of your employees already have something available.
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
In some cases, your team may be able to virtually access their office computers. Should they need to quickly locate a file, send a message, or check on the progress of a project, all they’ll need is a mobile device and an internet connection.
Whether through the internet or via cell towers, your team will need to stay connected. Landlines from the office can be forwarded to cell phones. Applications such as Zoom allow video conferencing to facilitate meetings, both internal and with clients. Scheduled emails can provide company-wide updates. Direct messaging solutions can ensure individuals connect with the right person in the right department whenever they need to.
Tools we use for communication and collaboration are mainly Ring Central (which integrates zoom) and Microsoft Teams. See Links
Cloud solutions for data
With information spread across so many devices, you may be worried about data being lost. Cloud solutions provide realtime data syncing and near-instantaneous backups. Also, they provide security against malware and viruses. Should any of your team’s devices get infected, lost, or destroyed, it won’t affect the rest of your network or your data.
Learn more about Office 365 Sharepoint
Applications such as Microsoft Teams and allows real-time collaboration on shared projects. Team members can track changes as they are being made and offer suggestions directly into the document. Explore Microsoft Teams Here!
Managed IT Solutions
Keeping track of so many moving parts can start to feel overwhelming. That’s why knowledgable assistance is an integral part of both starting and maintaining a remote work system. Managed IT solutions are the best way to streamline this process, ensure all of your unique needs are being met using the best tools possible, and provide network-wide dependability.
HOW CAN I HELP MY TEAM THROUGH THIS TRANSITION?
There will be a lot of questions and uncertainty, but developing guidelines and a general structure ahead of time will save a lot of hassle. Remember, you’re not starting from scratch. You’re exploring ways everyday operations can continue remotely. The more you can adapt systems instead of replacing them, the better.
You and your team might still be carrying some misleading ideas about the reality of working remotely.
- We won’t really get anything done.
- I’ll never have to get out of bed.
- Our inner-office relationships are going to suffer.
- It’s like being on call 24/7.
None of this has to happen, and most of it is just not true. Intentionality is the answer to avoiding potential pitfalls. Again, you’re not going back to square one.
Maintain schedule and routine
Do your best to keep normal work hours. If 9 to 5 is the norm, keep that norm. Remember that without the daily commute to the office, this provides team members with more freedom each day without sacrificing work time. You can even use a video conferencing platform like Zoom during break times for those who still want to spend their lunchtime chatting with their co-workers.
Encourage creating a home workstation:
The benefits of separating work life from home life cannot be understated. While the drive to and from the office usually provides that separation, designating an area of the home as a workspace can have the same effect. While not everyone will have a full room they can convert into a home office, clearing a desk of everything but work materials is an option.
Other steps to help create a workstation can include:
- Downloading a time tracking app like Rescue Time to block distracting websites
- Installing an alternate web browser like Opera, Firefox, or Chrome to be used only for work
- Using a visual timer like an hourglass or a timer to encourage regular breaks
- Informing family members or other people in the house when you’ll be unavailable
Prioritize Communication Methods
Not every message sent needs to be addressed immediately. Special care should be given to how messages are sent and what that communicates about the priority they should be given. For example, a company-wide email might contain information to be aware of throughout the week, while a direct message through a program like Teams signals time-sensitive, actionable data.
Another advantage of a Managed IT Solution is allowing employees to provide anonymous feedback. As new technologies and systems are being implemented, anonymity will allow them the comfort to ask questions and share invaluable feedback from their personal experience.
HOW CAN I GET HELP THROUGH THIS TRANSITION?
Building the infrastructure your small business needs to effectively work remotely is an ongoing task. Managed IT solutions ensures that you have the support and knowledge necessary to address current and future needs. Comprehensive IT Support provides:
- Flexibility and options
- 24/7/365 management
- Realtime backups of all data
- Continual monitoring of technology and software
- Protection from malware and viruses
Call or email us to learn more about how ADVANTEX can help!