Social distancing and home isolation due to COVID-19, has become the norm. Many companies have turned to remote work on short notice to keep their businesses running and their employees safe. However, this can present a problem for organizations that are not already set up for remote work. At RFDM Solutions, our team is prepared to work remotely should the need arise, but we want to help all businesses that might not be. Here are our top tips for keeping your team on the same page when you can’t always be in the same place.
Solutions for Remote Work on Short Notice
It’s best to set a policy on how communications and tasks will be handled, and what is expected from all team members during periods of remote work or team separation. Creating a clearly defined process for communication, meetings, time logging and other aspects of a normal work day is important. Everyone should feel comfortable and understand what is expected of them. In this document, you may also wish to address equipment, stipends or reimbursements for costs associated with power and internet access, and any other resources that your team might need during this period. Workable offers a free remote work policy template for businesses that aren’t sure where to begin.
When they say communication is key, this is more important than ever with remote work. Tools like Slack, Zoho Cliq and Microsoft Teams make it possible for everyone to stay on track with instant messaging. Each of these apps are currently available for free. This way, small-to-medium businesses have the same advantages as larger corporations in this unprecedented time. You can easily create channels for projects and teams for better organization, as well as one-on-one messaging. IM is much faster than email, and less formal. These apps are also available for mobile. This means that people may be more likely to see and respond if they forget to keep chat windows open. It’s also a good idea to exchange phone numbers in case something urgent comes up.
It is difficult to keep up with meetings through chat alone. Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting offer audio and video conference options for small and large groups. They integrate easily with external and built-in webcams and audio systems, and requires no special set up. These apps can be used for internal team meetings, but they are just as useful for client meetings or discussions with suppliers or partners. As a team with clients all over the globe, we at RFDM have found that video conferencing is an efficient and effective way to communicate that is convenient for everyone.
Now that you have communication sorted, you’ll need a way to manage tasks and projects with full visibility for the whole team. Zoho Projects, Asana and Trello are just a few of the options available for teams of all sizes. Whether you are a small business with a handful of employees, or a larger organization, you can benefit from a project management tool. This will encourage close collaboration and reduce project miscommunications when you can’t all be together. The right project management software will lead to an efficient remote team, allowing work to continue as usual.
If your organization has to shift to remote work, you need to consider how everyone will easily and securely access shared files. Google Drive, along with Google Sheets and Google Docs, is readily available and most people are already familiar with it. These tools can be useful for file sharing and collaboration. They can also cause problems like file fidelity and version control. We suggest using a tool like Zoho WorkDrive. It is a secure shared workspace that is accessable online, or downloadable to the local drive. It also maintains original file types.
Remote Software Suite
Zoho has a great remote work bundle, Zoho Remotely. It includes Cliq, their messaging system (which we use and love), Zoho Office Suite, Projects, and their conference software, Meetings, among many others. For assistance when setting your team up for remote success, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation.