Even though many companies do some of their work online already, shifting to a more distributed workforce requires new strategies that go beyond business-as-usual for teams to succeed. Leadership and executives are often concerned about productivity while workers are concerned about communication and visibility. When a traditionally in-house team is forced to work from home, it is important to maintain engagement. We hope these tips and ideas will help.
Tip 1: Communicate more than usual
Every effective business and thriving company culture is based on communication. When you have workers all performing tasks remotely and in a distributed fashion, be careful about the assumptions you make because they can have negative consequences. This can be particularly true if the need for remote work is unexpectedly thrust upon your business.
Communication is vital.
Consider adding morning team check-ins, end-of-day wrap-up meetings and end-of-week meetings to address the issues of the week and goals for the upcoming week. These types of regular meetings can add structure to an already chaotic time and are a powerful way to get teams aligned and engaged. If video conferencing is a possibility, this type of interaction can help staff remain connected to the company and their coworkers. Video conferencing can also help combat the isolation that comes with remote work.
Tip 2: Break up projects into smaller units
With a more disparate and separated workforce, it can be beneficial to break projects into smaller, more flexible units. Many people in the workforce are dealing with disruption at home and work as a result of the coronavirus. This means many of the tasks that could be easily tackled within the traditional workday may be addressed outside of normal working hours.
Divide work tasks to foster a more seamless transition from one staffer to another. This will also allow business units to find new approaches for measuring progress. Breaking up large projects or tasks into modular sub-units that can be delegated to other team members is a powerful strategy to keep projects moving even when unexpected scheduling problems arise.
Tip 3: Leverage your IT department
For our clients, that means AM Data Service. We are your partners in this process. Our goal is to help provide the tools, technologies and services you need to ensure your business continues to thrive. Leverage our support services to ensure your entire staff has access to the programs, tools, databases and documents necessary to perform their work.
Tip 4: Use online tools
It is important during this time of remote work that the proper online tools are put in place to continue collaborating. Here at AM Data Service, we use many programs to keep our tasks on track and communication open.
Task Management Software | Wrike – An all-in-one task management system used for projects and daily tasks. It is easy to see real-time updates, statuses, project plans and assignments all from an online interface.
For more information, visit https://www.wrike.com/tour/. Note: They offer a free basic plan for up to 5 users. Other offers include professional, business and enterprise plans.
Chat Communication Software | Microsoft Teams – Throughout the day, communication is sent through chat to ensure tickets are on track and communication remains open. You can set up groups to communicate team-wide messages throughout the day.
For more information, please visit https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads. Note: This service is included with Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium and Microsoft 365 for Business.
Online Conference Software | GoToMeeting – Without the ability to meet face-to-face, GoToMeeting allows you to offer full presentations and share screens. You can fully control a meeting while working remotely.
For more information, please visit https://www.gotomeeting.com/work-remote. Note: They offer a 14-day free trial and emergency remote kits for qualified organizations – other offers include professional, business and enterprise plans.
If you have questions or specific topics you would like us to address in future communications, please let us know.
We are in this together and remain committed to supporting you and your workforce. Call AM Data Service at (734) 744-5300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See our previous blog post, Technical tips for teleworking.
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