Work-from-home (WFH) may sound enticing when the routine becomes monotonous, with you running to the office every day, waking up quite early in the morning, and worrying about punching-in on time.
Though your home-office might have brought a bit of relaxation, success hasn’t been easy for a lot of organizations in the world’s largest work-from-home experiment. More than 90% of HR leaders believe a lack of technology infrastructure and adaptability are the biggest challenges with work-from-home.
And then, this global work-from-home shebang may continue for an unprecedented period. Around 20 percent of the global population is under COVID-19 lockdown and cases of COVID-19 are only mounting. This makes it even more important for leaders to follow best practices that ensure remote work success.
There’s Nothing Like Open Communication
The human resource department is responsible to keep employees well-informed of the different policies, expectations, and requirements for this crisis. Understand your employees are working remotely. They thus receive less information from organizational channels than when they were in the office in person.
A robust and up-to-date employee communications plan is the most essential requisite here. This plan should emphasize creating a distinct source of truth for employees so that they can better manage work-life balance.
Compunnel Digital has also created a Communication and Reporting Committee, as part of its Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) team. Its BCMS team has been tasked with communicating status updates from all teams and their members. Responsibilities of the team include providing open ticket status and informing employees of the current status of the ongoing pandemic. The committee helps to address employee fears and anxieties, helping everyone feel unified as they operate in isolation from home.
Trust Matters the Most
Your remote work policies cannot succeed without openness and two-way communication. Trust your employees are working, even when you can’t check in on them in person, as trust is the only foundation of remote-work success. In the words of Aaron McEwan, Vice President of Gartner, “Remote work success depends heavily on whether you trust employees to do their work, even if you can’t see them.”
It is a common complaint among managers that they lack visibility into the schedules and workflows of their direct remote reports. These worries on remote employee productivity are overblown, most of the time. Let your subordinates manage their time. They should be free to leverage the time of day when they can be optimally productive.
As a manager, focus on results in productivity and performance reviews. Not only do you need to set expectations with your virtual employees, but clear objectives. Doing so helps to boost supportive interactions amongst team members. Once the world is out of the pandemic phase, you will find your remote working employees were just as productive during the crisis, if not more.
According to Great Place to Work, “Regardless of industry, company size, or leadership styles, a high- trust culture is a defining characteristic of every company that wins a coveted spot on the “Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for” list that we have produced each year since 1998.”
Say No to Poor Technology
We cannot emphasize enough on the role of technology and infrastructure in business communication and remote work. Poor technology is the biggest obstacle to effective remote work across organizations.
Guide digital nomads to efficiently leverage instant messaging, email, and internal social media platforms. Communicate best practices and use cases for optimally using cloud-based productivity tools. This communication also improves the effectiveness of virtual-working tools and technologies.
As your business aims to maintain a safe, seamless workflow for remote workers, your IT and cybersecurity professionals need to be hawk-eyed. Ensuring business continuity is key here. If you wish to learn how to review your business continuity plan, here’s how you should do it.
Remove the VPN Speedbump, as your remote employees need a safer, faster channel of connection to access files and productivity software. Only then can they be productive and play their part in business resilience and growth.
The IT department of an organization should also provide for device-agnostic capabilities. Your virtual employees need to know exactly how they can conduct business. An efficient remote work solution accommodates varied OS platforms. It also supports people access web-based apps, data files, and intranet sites they may need while at work.
At Compunnel Digital, the IT team is ready 24/7 to address and resolve any technical issues that its employees are facing. The organization has adopted the “work-from-home” model due to coronavirus in the US and the rest of the world.
It’s Not Yet Time to Give Up on Virtual Apps
As social distancing surfaces as one of the most effective ways to combat the spread of 2019-nCoV, businesses must transform their work-from-home ideas into reality. But they are over-burdened with logistical issues of employees working from home. This is the reason workplace digitization has become the order of the day.
In this context, desktop and application virtualization, not only aim to improve data security but also double down end-user productivity. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology has, indeed, simplified the work of IT administrators, decreasing overall computing costs at the same time.
Besides, the need for virtual tools is on the surge. Social distancing shouldn’t become an obstacle to running your business. Empowering remote workers, virtual apps enable them to stay in touch and collaborate.
Clear communication is one of the major challenges businesses face when making their remote workplace ready. Virtual apps help businesses overcome this challenge, as they allow remote team members to communicate faster and more efficiently.
Chatting apps lend you options to not only talk, but also share files, sync devices, set appointments, and much more. Then there are virtual apps to conduct face-to-face meetings and important discussions. Save on time and effort spent on sending long emails back and forth to communicate with your remote employees.
Project management virtual apps are critical to your business success. Manage workflows, track work done, assign tasks, and look for possible gaps in the system. Your team should know what exactly you are accessing. Productivity can be ensured only when operations run transparently.
Data Security Comes First
Due to the ongoing pandemic, organizations are compelled to allow their employees work-from-home. This way they are running their businesses, while ensuring data security. IT teams work hard towards strengthening infrastructure to facilitate good business cybersecurity practices.
Check if there is effective asset management in place.
Learn what devices have access to your data and network. Remove or block obsolete equipment from the organization’s network.
Encrypt devices (laptops, tablets, mobile phones) to ensure data protection. Use BitLocker or an appropriate third-party solution, in the case of Windows.
Deploy mobile device management (MDM) solutions to secure data on mobiles.
Ensure that there is day-to-day security. This involves strong passwords, suitable and secured local administrator accounts, as well as well-controlled network services and applications.
Ensure that well-configured VPN clients on employee devices allow secure access to the network.
Train your employees in a way that they connect to an external firewall or a well-managed cloud service, says Office 365.
Limit as far as possible exposure of additional areas of your network to the internet and the subsequent threats.
Consider restrictions within your network.
Enforce strong password policies and multi-factor authentication.
Set up an authentication app to make your business highly secure while considering device-based authentication.
Look out for Coronavirus Phishing
One of the worst effects of the COVID-19 outbreak is that it has created an opportunity for malicious actors. These actors can be scammers or hacker groups. Phishing campaigns are targeting businesses across the globe. They intend to play on the fear of coronavirus and the lack of credible information on the ongoing pandemic. As a business, you need to be extra vigilant about any communication, attachment, hyperlink, or request for information on COVID-19, such as new cases reported or what is happening to cure the disease.
Secure your employee’s network environment and communicate to employees about best practices so that your business is ahead of the curve when it comes to cybersecurity.
Remember if your business has the right level of security, it will be in a strong position to defend itself against cybersecurity threats.
The Bottom Line
You are now all set for the remote-work future. The rapidly expanding remote-work environment at present makes you future-ready. This is a time when automation expands the role of knowledge workers and younger generations call for more remote-work options.
Key Takeaway – The current mandatory use of remote work to ensure business continuity demands enterprises to revisit their remote working policies. They should restructure these policies for wider business applications.
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