Businesses are currently going through the most dramatic shift in the wake of the COVID pandemic. The transition is colossal as even the most traditional organizations are allowing their employees to work from home. Although things will eventually get back to normal, you can expect the remote working model to stay around for at least a few months ahead. And some organizations may actually embrace it as a long-term change. One thing is certain in these circumstances- you will have to think of long-term plans and develop a strategy that enables you to manage remote operations seamlessly in the foreseeable future. Here are some measures you can implement to make the transition for the long term.
Have A Robust Video Communication Strategy In Place
First thing first, you will have to streamline communication to facilitate connections between teams and employees. And the best thing to do is to find a reliable video conferencing tool that everyone is comfortable with. Video communication replicates in-person contact, which drives confidence and makes people feel closer to each other. While this is critical from the business continuity perspective, it also fosters the mental health of the employees. Unless there is a standard way for video communication, everyone is likely to face challenges. Ensure that the app you select is easy to use, delivers seamless experiences, and is secure as well. That’s what you would need on priority when it comes to going remote for an indefinite period of time.
Create An Air-Tight Contract For Work-From-Home Employees
Perhaps the most significant aspect of going remote is having a proper protocol and policy for people working from home. Legal experts recommend that a telecommuting contract should be a mandate for everyone. But the concern is that organizations did not have them for all their employees prior to the crisis. However, it is vital to have proper contracts as a part of the long-term planning for remote operations. Apart from covering the employee health and wellness area, it should also set expectations on aspects such as work scheduling from home, responsibility for business broadband services, damage, and repair costs to business hardware, handling of incidents of a data breach by employees, and more. Every small detail is crucial to ensure clarity and prevent disputes in the long run.
Onboard An It Support Partner
The current crisis is an unprecedented one and your business will surely require robust IT support more than ever in these times. It is best to look for a managed service provider that can provide the IT support your company needs at this critical juncture. You may consider having an in-house IT team or expanding the existing one to help remote workers in addressing their issues. But that won’t be a financially viable decision because hiring, training, and retaining IT resources would cost you a fortune if you do it in the long run. Moreover, they will probably be idle unless actual issues surface. Conversely, with an outsourced partner, you get dependable support as and when you need it.
Don’t Go Overboard With Tools And Apps
With this unexpected switch, many companies have suddenly realized that they were relying on way too many tools and apps. For example, many businesses were leveraging multiple cloud storage for different teams. Now, it is time to cut down the confusion that a redundant technology suite can bring for your company because they will only end up adding to your confusion and chaos rather than doing any good. While it gets tough for the IT team to manage such a large number of apps, your remote employees may be less productive when they have so many choices. Clearly, having too much can actually make things stressful and hectic in the long run.
Prioritize Mental Health Of The Employees
A vital yet overlooked aspect of long-term remote work planning is the mental health of your employees. Working remotely is challenging if they have to do it for a week after week and month after month because it brings the feeling of social isolation for them. Any long term plan, therefore, needs to address this key issue. There are many things that you can try in this context. Holding a weekly Zoom meeting just to encourage team talks rather than professional interactions is a good idea. Focusing on employee engagement and well-being can actually make all the difference to their productivity and loyalty towards your business, which is all the more important in the current situation.
These measures and tactics can go a long way in making your business ready for remote operations in the future. Remember that resilience and adaptability can be empowering for businesses during crises and this is what these measures can do.