Although remote working has been a growing trend over the last number of years, no one expected that it would completely take over in 2020. Overnight the kitchen table became the home office. This sudden shift has brought many challenges for businesses and organisations. As we face into another year of remote working, we want to talk about what you can do to not just cope, but thrive, as a remote business.
Every remote team is different and work using different processes, but they all need the same things- to be able to collaborate virtually on files, communicate in real time and share ideas. Covid-19 has been a large-scale experiment in remote working and we want to let you know what we’ve learned along the way.
How have you set up your home office?
Take a look around. Are you still sitting on a kitchen chair? Are you hunched over looking at your screen? When we’re working with our clients we send out an Ergonomic Assessment Consultant to assess their office set up. The same rules should apply at home if you want your employees to be productive. Our top tips include:
• Have a second screen.
• Make sure all screens are at eye level.
• Work at a proper desk (avoid the kitchen table which is often lower than and a desk).
• Invest in an office chair.
How do you communicate with your team?
In the office if you had a question for a colleague, something that might only require a short answer, you would be able to turn to them and ask. Now it could mean a phone call, email or Zoom call. We’ve had to transition from instant communication to a delayed response. The benefit of asking the question out loud in the office would also mean that other members of the team would hear ensuring that everyone has oversight of a project. Remote working means you need to make that extra effort to ensure that everyone has all the information they need to carry out their work.
Our top tips include:
• Use Microsoft Teams where you can set up different groups for different teams, for example marketing, sales or business development. The general conversations can happen in these groups.
• Other applications that allow for informal communication like this are Slack, Google Chat and Chanty. You can find more options for instant messaging here.
Working from home can often leave employees feeling isolated which is why at Hybrid TP we feel it’s important to schedule regular catch-ups that include non-work related chats. This helps us all to stay connected and ensure that we’re not feeling isolated.
How do you secure your data?
One thing that has become apparent is that remote workers may not have the right security in place to become remote workers. Two key features that are important on work laptops are encryption and multi-factor authentication. In the event of an employee’s laptop being stolen, the thief would need the employee’s phone to be able to gain access to the laptop.
Does your organisation have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan and is it up to date with your new remote working plan? This can help to protect your organisation against loss of data. Not sure what this is? We can help!
There are lots of benefits to remote working. At Hybrid TP we could have been on the road for three or four meetings a day. 40% of our day could have been spent travelling. Nothing can replace the value that face-to-face meetings can have but now with meetings all taking place over Zoom it’s saving us valuable time which we can now spend delivering the best service possible to our clients. It has allowed us to work on long term projects that may have always been put on the long finger due to time constraints.
Remote working looks like it’s here to stay. Is your business ready to embrace this change in work culture?
At Hybrid TP, we can help you put the right systems in place to maximise your team’s productivity while minimising the risk from threats like cyber attacks and data loss. Get in touch with us to find out more.