Four Pillars to Maintain Business Productivity While Working Remotely
By Mohamed El Wakeel
Group Chief Operations Officer, EFG Hermes Holding
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, companies around the world are adjusting to remote work and many are facing logistic and operational challenges as they convert their traditional models to fully – or majorly – remote models. However, companies that invest in the most accessible and adaptable tools are having less difficulty moving their entire teams to remote work. Having the right tools can make all the difference for your business.
To ensure transitioning to remote work runs smoothly, assess what your business can do to streamline logistics and operations. Here are a few four main pillars to make the transition as painless as possible:
Security Comes First
Security is a common challenge many companies are facing during this time of mass-remote work. Employees are working from different places through different internet connections with varying levels of security, making it difficult to manage from afar. Having a clear security policy in place before you transition will keep your employees from avoidable security issues. If possible, providing your employees with access to VPNs, ensure that the security policy is being followed strictly and only rely on secure applications that do not compromise your business.
Communication is essential to any workplace, but when working remotely, proactive communication is crucial. During the transition to remote work, it’s important to keep teams on the same page and on top of projects. If you aren’t able to collaborate and connect, you won’t be able to move forward. To keep things running smoothly, it helps to have a communication collaboration platform for your team to connect with each other throughout the workday. If your business does not already have communication tools outside of email, it’s worth looking into. Communication platforms allow for shared documents, project management tools, and even email to be streamlined, providing an easy platform to let everyone know what you’re working on – and accomplishing – every day.
Audit your Hardware and Software
Audit available IT hardware and software and close any gaps your business. It is likely that you have not anticipated that the large portion of your employees will be working from home. This poses a challenge to secure enough laptops for your workforce for example. If your business is not already running on a cloud-based solution, invest in one to ensure your team’s transition is still productive. If new products are adopted, make sure the employees who need to use them are properly trained. A successful IT department should constantly be updated with information about which cloud-based solutions are reliable in order for you to make a swift decision.
Once you’ve established efficient communication channels, closed the gaps in software and hardware, and secured your business, it’s time to determine how departments and managers will measure performance from afar. Various strategies can help this, such as daily check-ins, time tracking applications, or measuring results. Setting firm expectations for employee’s new roles and responsibilities while working remotely will let them know how to meet productivity goals and what they should do if they find themselves struggling. While having a productive team right off the bat is ideal, it’s important to give your team – and yourself – some flexibility as the world adapts in these unprecedented times.
As your company eases into the new normal of remote work, you can periodically reassess and determine what isn’t working and why. As your business gathers data and changes policies or procedures to better align with remote work, you will slowly find your business functioning efficiently – possibly more than it was before. At a minimum, with remote work measures in place, your company will have an organized, flexible structure to ensure operational continuity at anytime, anywhere.