You might be struggling with implementing the process and that's okay. Often normal day to day operations can seem to conflict with your new remote environment.
WHERE TO BEGIN
In the beginning, it's important to be open-minded and optimistic to change.
However, you have options while working remotely, and with the right knowledge, you can make the transition seamless.
Many businesses around the world have gone through the same fears or doubts as you. On the bright side, many of those people have been hard at work developing tools and strategies to address it. They are beginning to see the benefits of remote work are more than worth it.
These benefits include:
• Ability to adapt to any new situation
• More efficiency with time, money, and resources
• The option to hire employees from anywhere
• Business continuity through unforeseen events
• In many cases, it’s environmentally friendly
WHAT TOOLS ARE NEEDED
It will be an ongoing process to try and find the right combo of tech and software to fit your business. Thankfully, there are several staples that can make you search a lot easier. Here's an overview of the basic necessities of a remote business:
When first thinking about remote work, we need to consider computers. Each of your team members will need a laptop, a desktop that can sit on a home desk, or another way to have a dependable connection to your business. Often times your employees will already have alternatives available.
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
Sometimes, your team may need to access their office computers from home. Should they need to find a file, send a message, or check up on a project, they'll simply need a mobile device and a connection.
No matter the circumstances, your team needs to remain connected. Your office landline can be forwarded to Cellphones and you have great options for video collaboration with Microsoft teams. Scheduled emails ensure your office is always updated. There are also many direct messaging solutions that can ensure that you are connected to the right person securely. The tool we use for communication and collaboration is mainly Microsoft Teams
Cloud solutions for data
With information spread across so many devices, you may be worried about data being lost. Cloud solutions provide realtime data syncing and near-instantaneous backups
. Also, they provide security against malware and viruses. Should any of your team’s devices get infected, lost, or destroyed, it won’t affect the rest of your network or your data.
When all of your information is scattered across multiple devices, having anxiety about losing track of it is completely normal. Cloud solutions can do real-time syncing as well as backups that take you only seconds. They are also the 1st line of defense against malware or viruses. Should something happen to a team members' device, your network remains safe. Learn more about Office 365 Sharepoint, One Drive
Apps such as MS Teams and OneDrive allows real-time collaboration on shared projects. A log can be viewed at any time that tracks changes so nothing gets left in the behind and your team can offer suggestions directly to the document. Explore MS Teams and OneDrive.
Personnel should be trained, have regular drills, and have their roles updated over time to account for changes in staff, system, or need.
Managed IT Solutions
It can be overwhelming to keep track of all these moving parts, which is why we recommend using Managed IT
. Having knowledgable assistance is vital to starting and maintaining a remote environment. It will streamline the process, ensure your unique business needs will be met using the best quality tools, and all while providing network-wide dependability.
HOW TO HELP YOUR TEAM
Inevitably, there will be lots of questions and uncertainty, but when you develop guidelines and a structure ahead of time will save you a lot of hassle down the road. It's important to remember that you aren't starting over, you're just exploring new ways your operations can be developed.
You and your team likely carry some false ideas about remote work such as:
• We won’t really get anything done.
• I’ll never have to get out of bed.
• Our inner-office relationships are going to suffer.
• It’s like being on call 24/7.
None of this has to happen, and generally, they just aren't true. Intentionality is the answer to avoiding potential pitfalls. Again, you’re not going back to square one.
Maintain schedule and routine
Keeping a normal schedule can be important. If everyone is used to the 9 to 5 keep it that way. Also, without the normal commute to the office, many of your team members have more freedom during the day without getting in the way of work. Some businesses encourage using video conferencing services like Zoom on breaks for those who want to chat on their breaks.
Encourage creating a home workstation:
It is incredibly important to separate work and home life. Normally, a drive to work creates the separation but you can also get a similar effect by designating a room or other area in your home as a work area. It can be as simple as clearing off a desk allowing you to get in the right mindset.
Other steps to help create a workstation can include:
⏱ Downloading a time tracking app like Rescue Time to block distracting websites
⚙️ Installing an alternate web browser like Opera, Firefox, or Chrome to be used only for work
⏳ Using a visual timer like an hourglass or a timer to encourage regular breaks
👪 Informing family members or other people in the house when you’ll be unavailable
Prioritize Communication Methods
Not all messages have the same amount of urgency attached to them. Choosing the right program to communicate with can help illustrate the priority the message can be given. For example, a company-wide email may have information that should be addressed throughout the week, while a direct message through something like MS Teams signals urgency.
Another use for Managed IT is allowing your employees to provide feedback anonymously. With a lot of change and new tech being implemented, getting quality feedback from multiple personal experiences can help mold your strategies to accommodate everyone.
How to Get Help
Building the infrastructure your small business needs to effectively work remotely is an ongoing task. Managed IT solutions ensures that you have the support and knowledge necessary to address current and future needs. Comprehensive IT Support provides:
• Flexibility and options
• 24/7/365 management
• Realtime backups of all data
• Continual monitoring of technology and software
• Protection from malware and viruses