With a large portion of the US workforce now teleworking due to COVID-19, the benefits of working from home have never been more highlighted and discussed. Businesses are starting to realize remote work’s positive impact on employee productivity and engagement, and its ability to save significant costs on both ends.
Due to this, experts predict that about 25–30% of our nation’s workforce to be working from home (multiple days a week) by the end of 2021. But how can managers ensure efficiency? The five methods below will help you improve your business operations as your employees work from home.
Ensure workers have proper basic tools
Your first priority should be ensuring all workers have the tools and technology they need to work remotely.
An essential resource would be reliable internet access. Have your workers run a speed test to assess any issues with their internet connectivity. They must also keep their router firmware updated to keep bugs or other performance issues at bay. If necessary, they may also need to sign up for a reliable broadband network plan to meet your company’s bandwidth requirements.
The right hardware equipment is also a must. This includes laptops, headsets, webcams, power adaptors, scanners, and printers.
Implement reliable communication and collaboration tools
Once your workers have the basics, your next step would be setting up the necessary collaboration and communication software your team requires.
Having a reliable Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system is crucial among most businesses; helping you and your workers keep in close contact and maintain quality communication throughout the work week. (This, however, must go hand-in-hand with a sturdy internet connection.)
Setting up trusted cloud collaboration tools is also a necessity. A multitude of quality cloud platforms are now available for businesses of all sizes and industries, offering storage, file sharing, and project management tools to exponentially boost remote working efficiency. Examples of these cloud solutions include Microsoft 365.
Ensure quality cybersecurity
Teleworking comes with a few key security challenges, as there’s often little capacity to keep tabs on everyone’s personal devices. As such, you’ll need to implement a few new policies and data restrictions.
This includes enforcing “endpoint security,” where one ensures protection for common “entry points” to data (i.e., laptops, desktops, and mobile devices). Methods can include setting multifactor authentication on top of passwords (such as a fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, or SMS confirmation), ensuring all workers connect to a VPN (especially when using public Wi-Fi), and setting access permissions to data based on job role, device, and locations.
Having content filtering in place can also help you and your workers avoid receiving spam or messages from unauthenticated sources.
Have daily check-ins
To maintain a sense of community among remote workers, it’s important to have regular check-ins or virtual gatherings via video chat, phone call, or instant messaging. This is all the more crucial when transitioning from a traditional, on-site workplace to a remote working environment, as it reinstates a sense of normalcy and belonging among colleagues.
By keeping connections and camaraderie intact, employees are likely to feel more engaged in the work they do. Having regular check-ins also keeps everyone in the loop on project or company updates, new objectives, and upcoming business changes.
Set goals (but stay flexible!)
Finally, be sure to have clear, set goals for employees to work towards. Having definite objectives in place can improve both productivity and overall business efficiency. Have them report their progress on a regular basis, and encourage them to ask for assistance when needed.
While having concrete goals in place keeps workers on top of their game, providing flexibility is also key. Rather than focusing on how they spend their time each day, trust that employees are able to achieve their targets during the work hours that suit their productivity best. As long as they remain productive and communicative, and are able to reach deadlines, your company should remain efficient as ever.
Team communication and cybersecurity are key ingredients to successful remote workplaces. At Founders Technology Group, we’re dedicated to providing all businesses with the security tools and cloud services they need to remain productive, efficient, and digitally secure as employees work from home. Maintain a successful remote workforce — and inquire with our experts today.