Coronavirus has put the entire planet on a halt affecting precious lives, businesses, and economic activities. We are dealing with a new type of SARS coronavirus, which is spreading in an unprecedented way. Horrifically, people showing no symptoms can also spread the disease to other people. WHO has already declared it as a pandemic, and world governments are enforcing total lockdowns to curb the spread.
Nationwide lockdowns, businesses also have to close their offices and ask their employees to work from home. Now, to some companies, it is not new to work with a remote workforce, but for others, it has come as a headache. According to a study by SmallBizGenius, around 44% of companies around the world don’t allow remote work, and if you are in this list, then making the transition will be difficult if you don’t plan well.
Allowing your employees to work remotely seems daunting at first, but with the right type of tools and coherent guidelines, you can make a swift transition.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best practices for companies to make their work from home campaign to curb the spread of COVID-19 a successful one.
With an extensive IT strategy and cloud telephony solutions, you can help your employees to be productive from anywhere and ensure business continuity. Here we will discuss some of the best remote work practices during COVID 19 for both employers and employees.
Remote Work Best Practices For Companies During COVID-19
1. Set clear objectives for remote employees
The first and foremost step that you need to take for making your work from a home campaign successful is to define a clear set of guidelines for your employees.
Having a well-documented set of protocols and company policies will help your employees to understand your expectations from them. Managers should guide the executives with details such as what they need to do and the quality expected for them to finish the task before the target date.
2. Setup tools for team communication and collaboration
Setting up proper tools for team communication and collaboration is critical for your organization to offer business continuity. Before implementing work from home for your employees, you first have to understand the communication requirements of various teams in your company.
Discuss with managers and discuss how teams will communicate with each other to discuss critical tasks? Do they require real-time collaboration, such as creating presentations, data reporting, or for any other jobs?
You can replace day to day meetings with online video or audio conferencing. There are many cloud communication suites which offer advanced features such as screen sharing, remote desktop control, etc.,
3. Invest in cloud communications
Cloud communication offers secure and reliable telephony solutions to your business. With a cloud communication solution in place for your organization, your agents can receive calls from anywhere they are located currently. As social distancing and remote working are the need of the hour, your agents do not have to come to your office for dialing or receiving clients’ calls. You can quickly set up call forwarding to any cell phone using cloud telephony solutions.
There are numerous benefits of investing in a sound cloud communication system, including:
– Flexible pricing plans.
– Call queue management.
– Integrations with third-party business applications such as CRM, sales enablement tools, etc.
Data is critical for your business, and keeping it secure is your responsibility. In the office, you would have taken proper measures to secure critical data by implementing firewalls, VPNs, physical protection of servers, etc.
Hence, your IT team should consider all the aspects of how you can keep the company data secure and physical devices from any hacking attacks. Implement two-factor authentication, data encryption, and advanced security settings of physical devices.
5. Continue to onboard new talent
While your employees might not be visiting the office, it doesn’t mean that you should stop expanding your team. Make a few adjustments in your recruitment strategy to continue onboarding new talent in your organization. Your HR department can conduct telephonic interviews for screening candidates and use online video conferencing tools for face to face interviews.
6. Plan for increased help desk support
As employees are now working from home, they might come across various technical issues such as not being able to access their office workstation remotely, backup drive not working, etc.
To establish a smooth workflow and ensure that the business operations don’t come to a stop due to these technical issues, you should plan and direct your help desk support team to prioritize support requests and handle them efficiently.
7. Backup plan if anything goes wrong
Just like you have a business continuity plan to deliver your services during these tough situations, you should also make a contingency plan if something goes wrong in plan A.
What if your employees don’t have a good laptop to work from home? What if they don’t have a high bandwidth internet connection? You should address these issues and think solutions for multiple scenarios where situations can become more challenging for your business.
At this moment, businesses must retain existing customers as in the future, and it will be challenging to acquire new ones until the economic situation of the world is restored to normalcy. Therefore, plan well to support your business continuity operations.
Remote Work Best Practices For Employees During COVID-19
As companies are trying their best to protect their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic situation by allowing them to work from home and offer other benefits, it is also the responsibility of employees to support their organizations by staying productive while working from home.
Here is how you can achieve more by following these seven simple tips.
1. Work when you are most productive
Choose a working schedule when you think you can work most productively and efficiently. For some, starting early in the morning works like a charm, and for others being a night owl brings out the best results. Embrace your working schedule and follow it consistently through the work from the home period.
2. Take care of your working ambiance
Another thing you need to keep in check is the ergonomics of your working environment and its ambiance. Keeping your home working space organized and clean will positively affect your subconscious brain. Don’t always keep lying comfortably on your couch or bed, as it will make it difficult for you to concentrate on your work.
3. Apply some psychological hacks
Dress up well every day and pretend as if you are going to your office for work. Consider work from home like your regular job only, and it is not a summer vacation. Stay connected with your team members using the communication and collaboration tools set up by your company. Frequent conversations related to your work can boost your performance. Have a positive outlook towards life as this shall pass too!
4. Good workstation
If you are using your device to work remotely, then ensure it has the recommended configuration so that you can work productively. In case you think your tasks require higher resources and computing power, then connect with your managers or IT team so that they can provide you a better workstation that you use during this COVID-19 pandemic.
5. Organized planning
The next step involves the organized and smart planning of your tasks. Plan your day as you would on any typical day and create a to-do list, prioritize the tasks, and get them done on that given day. Apart from daily goals, you can also create a list of your weekly and monthly goals to stay productive.
At first, working from home can appear to be a little distracting, especially when you haven’t experienced it before. However, you should first take your time to settle down and then pick up the pace by sticking to your work schedule consistently.
COVID-19 is testing businesses like nothing ever before. To sail your organization through this pandemic, you will have to make some necessary and fundamental changes to the working style of your employees. Have trust in them and follow the best practices discussed in this post to make your transition smoother. For employees, it is equally essential to support their companies by staying productive while working from home.