What to do if the whole company suddenly has to work remotely?
The recent coronavirus has brought to light the need for a digital workplace strategy and roadmap. It’s time to get serious about the idea of desktop employees working remotely.
Companies have to accelerate a digitization process that would otherwise take months, if not years of preparation. Home offices are the inevitable future of the workplace. If the coronavirus continues to spread, far more companies will have to rely on the concept of remote work as the norm. Be it because parts of their teams are quarantined, or they have had contact with infected people – or because suspected cases have occurred in the company.
What is required for a successful remote office?
The equipment in the remote office does not differ significantly from that in the regular office.
- A desk and a good chair
- High-speed wireless access
- A laptop or desktop and an external monitor depending on your business role
- Headset with a good quality microphone for video and voice calls
It is best to set up a corner in your home where you won’t be disturbed or, better yet, a separate room. Working from the sofa sounds nice at first, but it’s usually not half as comfortable as it looks. These are the basic requirements for a quick at-home setup. If your company and employees are serious about the concept of a digital workplace and remote work, it is best to set up a permanent home office.
Wich remote tools can your company quickly spool up?
A laptop is of little use in the home office if employees cannot use it to access the documents they need to work. The essential requirement is, therefore, a cloud-based platform. If your company has been on a slow digitization journey, you may already be using tools like google drive and Microsoft One Drive.
Digital tools are also required for meetings or project management if each employee is at a different location. Here is a VERY brief list of some of the more popular communications and collaboration tools available.
- Slack, communication tool for short-form chats
- Asana or Jira: digitize project planning
- Trello: replaces to-dos on post-it notes
- Miro: virtual whiteboard for creative, virtual collaboration
- Facebook Workplace: intranet, for example for essential announcements
- Zoom or Hangouts: video conferencing
- DocuSign: virtual signatures
- E-Post: saves you having to go to the mailbox
It is tough to implement these platforms in a few days, even weeks. These individual platforms also do not equal a full-fledged digital workplace. “Tools like Asana have a learning curve for implementation, management and team use. Companies that are not yet using any of these programs should at least begin the move to cloud document management with a platform such as Google Drive.
Which employees are best suited for remote work
Most jobs in digital companies only require WiFi, laptop, smartphone and the tools mentioned above. Employee roles such as IT, marketing, customer service, people & culture, supply chain, finance, internationalization and management can work remotely. It is difficult for departments that are still physically bound to files, product manufacturing and retail customers.
How do you know your employees are really work in their home office?
The company must become focused on value delivered that is measurable. In the office, you can’t make sure that everyone is delivering value at all times; “Presence is not the same as performance. “
The formulation of clear goals together with the employees and to motivate them to adhere to them. This simple statement actually requires a clear and well developed holistic plan. Hella creative can help with building a strategy that is actionable and quickly adopted by your workforce.
What else is there to consider?
Building up and maintaining “team spirit” is a hurdle when everyone is at home. When you work remotely, you tend to only talk to each other professionally when you have a meeting. Remote work means distance on all levels. But closeness is the basis for building trust. Strong connections within the team arise, for example, from the short, private exchange at the coffee machine or during lunch.
There is a misconception that remote working does not allow for the building of culture and company values. If your organization is holding onto the idea that face to face interaction is more valuable than remote, you will have a difficult time building culture. Facebook, Instagram, and Slack have built multi-million dollar applications around the idea of distant relationships.
Your employees are ready, young and old
Every employee in your workforce has become acclimated to this notion. They engage and exchange on these platforms every day, and much to an employer chagrin, at work. Your workforce is already prepared to join their teams remotely. Embrace it and trust that your workforce has been hired for their skill and discipline.
Culture is much like Brand, it’s not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. Brands do not require people to be physically close for success (unless your product is dependent on physically bring people together). They do need great experiences regardless if they are digital or physical. HR has put considerable energy into the physical experience with fun events and foosball tables. If your organization can build a strategy and plan that align with a road map and a digital platform, your companies digital employee experiences may surpass the physical.
Hella Creative Can Help With That