The current shift to home working has opened up exciting possibilities for those people who are looking for a better work-life balance. Yet, it has also put some extra pressure on businesses to find new processes that suit their workers who stay at home. So, what are the key factors to take into account when creating new processes for remote working?
Use the Right Tools
There are plenty of tools around that make it easier to work from home. These include the widely-used Google Workspace suite that can be used to create and share content, as well as for group chat and setting up a shared online calendar.
Other popular tools include the likes of screen sharing software, project management programs such as ProofHub, and team collaboration tools such as Basecamp. Video conferencing software has also improved markedly lately too, with the likes of Skype and Zoom offering easy, instant access to online meetings.
Everyone in the team should have the same tools and be working on the same versions, but they might need different access levels, so having central control of this matter makes sense. If the company doesn’t operate on its own bespoke platform, they should be able to put together a list of the recommended tools for each task fairly easily.
Another issue that needs to be dealt with is the question of how to support users by providing technical assistance and troubleshooting in their home. With this, the Dameware remote software provides a solution, as it offers remote session tools and multi-platform support to help businesses to control and manage their systems at any distance.
As the remote worker market grows, more tools like those we have looked at should begin to appear in their droves. Therefore, the key is in working out which specific tools are needed to support your processes. If necessary, you may find it makes sense to change some processes to make the most of the best tools, rather than sticking rigidly to ways of working that aren’t supported.
Promote Good Communication and Team Collaboration
As we have seen, some of the most popular tools for remote workers are aimed at making it easier for them to communicate with their colleagues and work together seamlessly even when far apart. This is great news, but it only really helps if staff are encouraged to use them to their full potential.
This means putting in place processes that are designed to make the most of these tools. For example, you could arrange regular virtual team meetings that have clear agendas, allowing everyone to participate freely. People might be wary of speaking out at virtual meetings at first, so they will maybe need some time to get used to it.
It is also important to give people the chance to collaborate with others on their projects and tasks. A clear process covering when and how to share information with co-workers will help this to soon become a natural process that gets carried out the same way every time.
The best idea is to lead by example. This means that managers and other senior staff should host virtual meetings and share information online whenever they can. If some team members aren’t used to doing this, then they will probably be more comfortable once they see that this is how their bosses operate.
Like most other aspects of working remotely, it is a question of getting into the habit of doing it. Even someone who has never worked from home before should be able to change their way of thinking after a few weeks, after which the policy of staying in touch and sharing information is clear to see.
Make It Easy to Find Information
One of the biggest challenges for anyone who is working from home for the first time is that they might feel alone and isolated from the rest of the team. This can become a major problem if they are unable to find the answers to their questions and don’t know who to ask for help.
The first step to ensuring this isn’t a problem is in making sure that all of the information that they need is online and easily accessible. If the process tells them where to seek assistance there should be no issues that can’t be solved.
Using a cloud service to store all of the important details is the best move, yet this can become unwieldy once a huge amount of data has been uploaded across the company. Therefore, it is important to set up a sensible, logical folder system that anyone can get to grips with in little time.
Covering Security Issues
Another major concern when a lot of staff work remotely is over the security of the data that you use. If sensitive information is spread out over numerous devices all over the country or further afield, then there is a greater risk of something going wrong and the data falling into the wrong hands.
The processes in place should advise staff of the basic points to remember while working, such as not using public Wi-Fi networks, and to only ever use work devices with an anti-virus program for sensitive data. They should also be encouraged to take great care that other people can’t see their screens when working in public places.
It is a good idea to carry out some digital security training sessions for anyone who is going to be working away from the office. This switch to using their own devices in different settings might not seem like a huge issue, but some reminders about the new security processes could mean that any possible problems are avoided.
Staff should also know who to contact in the case of a potential security breach, allowing for swift action to be taken right away. If all of these steps are followed, there is no reason to believe that working remotely has to be any less secure than having the full team all together in the same room or building.
By putting the right processes in place with these tips, the switch to having everyone work remotely will be a lot smoother.