The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a seismic shift in the way we do business and interact with each other; itís forced many organizations to adapt to remote working without having any strategy in place for it. As we move into long-term solutions, there are those that are still struggling.†
If your company is still trying to adapt, weíve pulled together some top advice to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Educate and Communicate
Itís vital that you keep your staff informed of your plans at every step of the process. This will keep morale high, offer employment security or affirmation, and make sure errors are kept to a minimum while people are left to their own devices in a way like never before. Let them know what you intend to do, give them a clear timeframe of whatís coming, and communicate your expectations. Plus, most important of all, show gratitude; every step of the way.††
Itíd be wise to produce technical guides in order to instruct staff on how to log on to the company network remotely, and provide contact details so they can easily get in touch with your IT team should issues arise. This should include an FAQ of common issues with remote working, and how employees can rectify these issues themselves. This will no doubt reduce pressure on your overworked IT technicians who, like everyone else, are likely working from home.
In addition, a lot of staff will be using new tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom in order to communicate. Make sure you provide remote training sessions so they can get the most out of these applications and fully understand them. The more informed and educated your staff is, the more easily theyíll adapt to this situation in the long-term.
Prevent Common Cybersecurity Mistakes
Not only will you need to train your staff in a new style of working, but youíll also need to put some work in to prevent cybersecurity mistakes made by employees. Working away from the office brings a whole new set of challenges for your organization, and opens up security gaps you might have overlooked. These include risks like open, public WiFi, use of weak passwords, your teams downloading unauthorized apps, and employees connecting unknown devices to company kit.
These risks can be partly mitigated as part of the education program youíll benefit from implementing, making staff aware of the critical cybersecurity dangers of remote working, but youíll need to introduce some additional controls to plug other gaps.
Restrict Access to Systems and Data
You might want to consider a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution. These have been specifically designed with remote workers in mind and will give your organization full control over the systems and data each staff member can access, and from where. It works on a zero-trust or least-privileged model and will prevent employees from accessing anything they shouldnít. Alternatively, you might want to do a full security review so you have a clean list as you move into indefinite remote working.
Acclimate Your Staff
You have to remember that the last 12+ months have been tough on everyone, so itís important to acclimate your staff and monitor their mental health. If you have new processes or systems youíre trying out, you should test them with a trial run using just a few members of staff at first; some variation of in-house A-B testing would go a long way. Once they’re used to new ways of working, they can assist in rolling it out to fellow employees.†
Itís vital to work alongside HR to ensure everybodyís mental health is well taken care of. It can be quite isolating working from home and staff will be missing out on the normal day-to-day interactions they usually get.†
Try to encourage remote coffee breaks within teams and increase the number of catch-ups between managers so people are aware of whatís going on in other departments. Without solid communication, thereís a real risk you could end up with deflated workers.
Donít Forget Your Customers
Donít overlook the changes that remote working will bring to your customers. It could mean reduced hours for your contact center, a switch to increased digital communications, or even an impact on the speed of service in the early days of your transition. Document any issues you have and communicate them to your customers so they know what to expect.
<H2> Analyze Your Stats
Keep track of how productive your teams are under long-term remote working. Are your workers being more productive or less? Are they taking longer to respond to clients than usual? Try and get feedback from your employees and keep in touch with all individuals; some may be taking to remote working better than others, and improvement solutions wonít necessarily need to be applied companywide.†
Try not to overdo it on the scrutiny, though, as too much monitoring can make employees feel uncomfortable and under even more pressure to perform. Work with your HR department to strike a good balance between efficient off-sie working and staff wellbeing.†
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