Only a few short months ago it was working as normal. Nobody could have predicted the scale and speed at which our lives would transform as a result of the pandemic, and organisations all over the world have had to adapt faster than ever.
Some teams will have been better suited to working remotely than others, but generally people have noticed the considerable benefits of working from home and lots of the changes being made are likely to become permanent shifts in the world of work.
If your organisation has struggled to adapt, here are a few key principles to cover to help set up your remote team to succeed.
Make Sure Everybody Has What They Need
Too obvious? Maybe. But in these strange circumstances, making assumptions can cost you time and money. Not many people will automatically have everything they need to work successfully from home. Plenty of younger workers, for example, may be living in smaller accommodation in city centres without a home office, or even a table they can use to work on.
Checking everybody on your team has the required technology is the most fundamental thing every organisation should have covered. The two key areas here are the hardware and the software. Do you want your team to work on their personal computers if they don’t have work laptops? If not, look into hiring laptops for them to use whilst working remotely. This can be done relatively cheaply and can help increase productivity whilst providing a sense of normality, helping teams manage their work-life balance by compartmentalising their working habits onto a specific machine.
On the software side, access to an organisation’s servers is going to be necessary in the majority of cases. Most companies will already have a form of cloud-based storage, but if not, now is the time to get up to date. It goes without saying that this will come with a range of benefits, not least of all live co-working on documents, increasing productivity and efficiency significantly.
Reimagine Your Communications
Communication is crucial at the best of times. When things are tough, clear lines of communication are even more important. Video conferencing has become a part of everyday life and enabled millions of people to stay connected. Whilst these platforms may leave elements of human interaction wanting, they have shown us that for the most part, a long haul flight for one meeting is not necessary.
The range of features on most platforms from virtual whiteboards to the best zoom virtual backgrounds mean there are plenty of ways to keep your communications vibrant and engaging. Microsoft Teams and Slack offer great ways for remote teams to communicate and should be fully deployed. Further innovations will be just around the corner so keep an eye out for things that might help your organisation adapt.
Building strong foundations for your remote team takes time. Use this as an opportunity to learn from the companies who are doing it well and be open-minded to the possibilities that the circumstances open up rather than dwelling on what’s been – temporarily – lost. The organisations that will thrive in the future are undoubtedly those that will adapt the fastest and most effectively now. Getting your remote team fully equipped to join you on that journey is vital and should be at the heart of any organisation’s work.