In these unprecedented times, most businesses have had to make significant adjustments to their typical operations in order to accommodate changing social distancing safety requirements. We’ve already discussed what COVID has taught us about working from home and how to ensure data security while telecommuting. As it becomes clear that this “new normal” is here to stay, it is time to take one step further in creating the perfect work from home strategy for your company. The following three pillars can guide you in creating a positive and productive environment for your employees regardless of their locations.
Software Efficiency and Security is Key
According to Greatland Yearli, creating a good foundation for your work from home strategy involves building a solid infrastructure. One of the areas that they suggest small business owners test for quality is their staff’s network capabilities and efficiency. Ensuring that your employees have access to reliable, fast internet (upgrading their service or equipment if necessary) is a good place to start. You’ll also want to make sure that your team is well educated on cybersecurity. You may want to employ tools such as two-factor authentication or virtual private networks (VPNs) to keep your data (and your clients’ personal information) safe from hackers.
Focus on Company Culture
Curating a purposeful company culture is also incredibly important during this time. A positive work environment leads to higher team satisfaction, employee retention, and even productivity. Creating opportunities for your team to gather virtually is an important part of managing your business. Doing so will allow them to feel united, supported, and connected to your company. For more information on how to prioritize company culture while telecommuting, read our article here.
Since to face-to-face communication is harder these days, utilizing technology to foster collaboration within your team and with your clients is a must. Choose the right software to use for video conferencing, live chatting, and project management, and be sure to look at your email system’s efficiency so that you can meet clients wherever they are most comfortable in the digital landscape.
You may also want to clarify with your team what the preferred method of communication might be for different scenarios (i.e. what is your default mode of contact? What avenue should be used for urgent requests?) Doing so will avoid confusion in the future and lower the likelihood of missed messages.
The Yearli article “Accounting from Home: Three Things Every Business Must Know” references a study by Microsoft’s Modern Workplace Transformation team that found that instant messaging has increased by 72%, shorter meetings increased by 22%, and both video meetings and overall weekly meeting time have surged by 10%. With this data, it is easy to see how crucial it is to have effective collaboration and communication tools available to your employees and customers.
If you entered hastily into any technological solutions when you had to quickly set up a work from home strategy, now is the time to reassess and adopt more permanent resolutions.
Since many experts anticipate that telecommuting will continue to be a part of standard business operations even after the pandemic subsides, creating a strong work from home strategy will help to futureproof your business in addition to keeping your employees happy and productive.