Six things to consider when switching your business to remote working
COVID-19 has changed the ways that we normally live and work. One of the biggest changes so far has been the increased number of people working from home. Switching a business to remote working has been a great challenge for many. In this post, we provide tips on how businesses can prepare for remote readiness at any time.
As a global company, Capital GES employs both remote and office staff across the world. When stricter regulations were announced in March, both our offices in Dublin and Switzerland were given limited access, so we decided to move all staff to work remotely. Normally, setting up technology and implementing a remote working protocol takes months, but in less than two days, our IT and operations team worked hard to make our staff of over 30 remote ready. Our parent company, People2.0, also implemented a work-from-home model across North America. During this crisis, we have all employees from the People2.0 group working remotely and maintaining business continuity.
What the COVID-19 crisis has taught us is the importance of being remote ready. In uncertain times, organisations can still maintain business continuity provided they have plans in place. To make the smooth transition to remote working, it’s important to have the right toolkit, procedures, and skills in place. Below, we provide some basic tips on how to become remote ready.
Checklist for Remote Working
1. Infrastructure, Devices and Programmes
For the sake of company security, it is better to provide the hardware, so your staff doesn’t have to use their personal items for work. In addition:
- Ensure that all your staff have a laptop, headphones and webcam to work remotely.
- Ensure that all your staff can reach your cloud-based applications and services directly without having to go through the company network to avoid a slowdown in processes.
- In order to maintain productivity across the workforce, it’s very important that all staff use the same devices, tools and applications.
- Make sure that all staff have access to the same tools (communication, file sharing) and that they receive the necessary training for all new applications they are using.
Security is very important when deploying remote workers. Our list below will ensure your information is kept secure while your employees are working remotely.
- Ensure that all devices used by staff remotely are updated with the latest security packages and software applications.
- If not already part of company security protocol, implement multi-factor authentication and strong passwords when staff is accessing cloud applications.
- Instruct your staff have had cyber security training and are aware of how to handle a phishing attack.
- Ensure that the IT team/department monitors security and communicates when there are any triggers/warnings in relation to cyber security attempts.
- Create backups of your systems so staff can keep working in the event primary services go down.
3. Train the remote leaders
Running a virtual team is more challenging than the office so its important managers have the skills necessary to lead a remote team.
- Ensure that employees have all the tools they need to allow them to do their work from home.
- When switching a team to remote work, it’s important for managers to maintain a routine and structure to keep things running smoothly.
- Managers should learn how to track progress on projects and measure results. Having regular meetings will ensure projects are kept on track.
- Managers need to communicate with their teams regularly and encourage informal chats within their department to avoid isolation.
- Within each department, its important that managers establish a sense of community and provide updates.
4. Active Communication
Loneliness and feeling left out are the biggest struggles employees face when working remotely. In addition, remote workers can get frustrated with the lack of communication from their colleagues. Managing workers remotely is different from the office so its important managers have the right tools so they can be able to communicate frequently with their employees.
- Have a strong communication plan in place helps clear up any miscommunications that could happen.
- Setting up regular video/call meetings allows mangers to discuss progress with their employees individually and provide feedback and advice.
- Encourage employees to take part in informal conversions. Using instant messaging or having virtual meetings can replace the ‘water cooler talks’ and help avoid people feeling isolated and out of the loop.
For some workers, switching to remote work can take a while to get used to. New working conditions and learning how to use online tools can be stressful. Therefore, it is important for managers to:
- Provide guidelines or instructions to their teams. Clear guidelines on remote work rules can help employees settle faster and allow them to focus on important tasks.
- Ensure all teams can communicate easily with each other. Encourage employees to use real-time communication and share updates with their colleagues as soon as tasks are finished.
- To replace the normal one to one office meetings, it is important for managers to arrange virtual meetings so that the employees can stay productive and avoid feeling isolated.
- Before transitioning a team to remote work, it is important to outline expectations, share them with everyone on the team, and update them regularly.
6. Company Culture
Positive company culture is vital for employee productivity and engagement. With advanced technology, there are several ways remote leaders can maintain company culture.
- Virtual parties or quizzes can help the team bond and feel connected.
- Communication is vital for company culture, so it is important to maintain regular communication. Here, managers can provide company updates and successes.
For everyone to remain productive, it is important for all managers to outline their expectations, communicate regularly, and monitor progress. Having the correct infrastructure in place will ensure the smooth transition to remote working. To avoid employees feeling isolated, its vital that managers maintain regular communication and focus on employee engagement.
As COVID-19 has shown us, it is important to be remote ready. Through advanced technology and strong leadership, organisations can still maintain business continuity during uncertain times provided there are plans in place.
Global Expansion: Employing remote workers internationally using an Employer of Record Solution
As countries start to ease their lockdown restrictions and allow people back to work, organisations will start to refocus on business matters. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, there are still limitations for businesses planning to physically expand this year. However, if you are considering employing international remote workers this year, then an EOR solution may work.
Employing your workers abroad directly can be a costly and complex process. Using an employer of record (EOR) solution is a cost-effective and faster way to hire new remote workers internationally. With EOR, your business can be present in a new international market in a matter of weeks saving you lots of time and money. There is no need to engage with lawyers, solicitors, banks, or foreign tax authorities because the EOR provider ensures that all workers are legally and fully compliant to provide services in the new markets.