If a while ago, work from home was an option, virtual offices have recently become a standard. In an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19, more and more companies have started to move their activity online and encouraging work from home due to COVID-19, yet doing so is not an easy process. From the hardware to the software required for daily activities to be carried out and targets to be met, everything needs to be taken care of.
While some industries are forced to stop their activity, others can continue, yet in a virtual environment. Thankfully, today’s technology makes it easier to transition to a home-based office. Just imagine what would have happened if the pandemic had unfolded a few decades ago. This is not to say that setting up a team of remote workers is trouble-free. Still, with the following tips, you can at least build a solid foundation for your remote team.
Choose experienced leaders and managers
Chaos can easily take over in times like these. That’s why choosing an experienced leader and manager, preferably with experience in remote team leadership and management, is vital. Shifting to a full-time work from home due to COVID-19 might be confusing and unsettling to many people who have not worked in such settings before. The leader thus gains even greater importance in the mechanism of your business.
Employees will need such a figure more than ever. They will likely have more questions, and providing them with a person who can answer those questions is the first step in building a strong two-way communication channel.
Communication is key
Speaking of communication, nothing can be achieved without it, whether it’s communication between managers or a team manager and the team members. Luckily, the tools we have at disposal allow us to get and stay in touch quite easily.
Still, a communication plan is recommended. Besides the usual daily updates and conferences, you can also set up a permanent video conference room for your team where the members can log in and out as they wish while working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. This may help your employees benefit from the unpredictable nature of office life and bring this element into their work from home based offices as well.
Compiling a communication guide for your employees and thus highlighting the steps that need to be taken for a fluid and effective communication is also a good idea.
Set up Scheduling Rules
In some respects, nothing will change. Deadlines, targets, and work volumes might not be affected, which means that scheduling is of paramount importance throughout your remote activity. Apply the same scheduling rules as before. Make use of the many tools available to keep track of your employees’ work progress, remind them of their deadlines, and so on. Many companies already use such tools and, if that’s your case, just make sure everything is up to date and running.
Read more. Here are 5 tips to Manage Flexible Schedule Workers
Work from home Tool stack
With so many online work tools these days, being tempted to use a variety of them just to make sure that important messages get across is not unusual. Still, think of the tools you already use and stick to them. In many cases, extra software is not even needed. Keeping your tool stack to a minimum might actually spare you the trouble of getting entangled and wasting precious time checking all sorts of online tools for notifications.
Google Docs is great if you want to share guidelines and keep your team members informed of new changes. Skype can make a great tool as well if video calls are required on a daily basis. But your company might require more sophisticated tools such as Zoom or Google hangouts. Try to go for tools that everybody can access with ease and that keeps information well organized.