With COVID-19 impacting communities and businesses around the globe, many organizations are taking preventive measures by allowing their employees to work from home. While this is an effective measure in preventing the spread of illness, many companies aren’t prepared for the major shift in office culture. With a large percentage of the workforce newly working from home seemingly overnight, organizations are finding that they do not have the appropriate technology infrastructure to support this shift.
Here are 3 tips for easing into the work-from-home transition and how to ensure you are maintaining peak efficiency.
1. Implement Agile Technology infrastructure
With flexible working comes the need for a flexible technology solution. 72% say their biggest challenges to flexible working are digital transformation and technology.
Virtual workers require agile, remote access to computer systems, software, and communication. Virtual video conferencing and real-time collaboration tools are just a few ways to bridge the gap between virtual workers. With the outbreak of COVID-19, 55% of workers have canceled work-related travel, with 40% have increased their use of video technologies.
The use of virtual connectivity tools like Zoom and Slack is surging due to the overnight need for flexible communication. Having a seamless technology strategy will enable workers to work anywhere, anytime, efficiently and easily.
But simply having these tools in place is not enough. Ensure remote teams are trained on the technologies and feel empowered to use them. While these tools greatly enhance virtual connectivity, they can cause distraction and inefficiency without the right training.
2. Create new processes that support remote working
First and foremost, trust your employees. With the sudden influx of employees working remotely, managers should be encouraged to trust that their employees are working. When equipped with the right technologies, 30% of remote workers say that telecommuting allows them to accomplish more in less time and 28% are more engaged toward their work.
Beyond establishing this trust, making appropriate adjustments to processes will further support remote working. Regular check-in meetings, maintaining company culture and keeping open lines of communication are very important.
Consider implementing weekly video check-ins or open “office hours” to keep lines of communication open and fuel connectivity. Maintain company culture by virtually celebrating milestones and acknowledging wins as they arise. Overall, communication is key to a successful work-from-home transition.
3. Strengthen data security
Working outside the office does not mean that your data will automatically be at risk, but certain security measures will help you maintain control. Start by amping up your home network security. If your home Wi-Fi is not already secured, add a strong, unique password. Do the same for your laptop and business mobile as well. You can also disable your network name from being broadcasted publicly. This will add a layer of security to your home Wi-Fi.
Never use public Wi-Fi to conduct business, as most public networks are unsecured. If you need Wi-Fi on the go, a more secure option is using a hot spot on your mobile phone. Be sure to include a strong password here as well.
Next, improve computer security through firewalls, anti-virus protection programs, device encryption and securing shared files. Implemented strong security measures will pay off and put clients and workers at ease.
With the overnight surge in remote working, many organizations are finding they are not ready for the dramatic shift in office dynamics. Following these three steps will get you a few steps closer.
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