There are multiple factors that play into how easily you can roll out a remote workforce capability, including the type of work required to keep operations running, your technology infrastructure and internal support. Here are some best practices to consider.
Fear of the unknown is considered a fundamental fear.
In an unprecedented situation like the one we find ourselves in today, the unknown can quickly escalate. It may lead to high levels of anxiety and even panic. While you may not always have all of the information to alleviate employees’ fears, you should aim to at least communicate often what you do know, particularly as it relates to your organization.
How can you help relieve anxiety during remote work? You can keep your employees in the loop as to how the crisis is evolving and impacting your business. You may address how your organization is responding and what employees can do in the near term to help. It also shows you care about the health and well-being of your employees above all else.
Be sure to set expectations for each employee on their individual role. Be detailed in the tasks they are to complete, the processes they are to follow, and who they are to report to during the emergency. Uncertainty is the enemy in this situation.
Setting deliverable-based expectations is a much better approach than trying to ensure people are working every minute. Managers will play a pivotal role in ensuring expectations are clearly articulated to those who report to them. They will track each person’s performance and provide feedback.
Ask Employees What Support They Need
If you’ve had to create or increase remote work capacity in a pinch, it’s likely your employees will need support in preparing their remote workspace. Depending on the structure of your company, you may designate a single person to manage requests or enlist the help of managers to reach out to each of their employees.
You’ll want to know if they have the basics. This includes a reliable and secure internet/WiFi connection, VPN access if needed. Employees will also need a computer. Or, they may use an alternate device to log into email and other apps they need to perform their tasks. They should have a business phone connection either on their mobile device or via the use of a computer softphone (software that enables internet calling). Collect the information and then work with your team to equip people with what they need to do their jobs.
Reduce Vulnerabilities Combat Fraud
Sadly, some people may try to take advantage of your network or online communication tools during a pandemic.
The switch to working from home may mean new devices connecting to your systems. Make sure you ensure that everyone is using complex passwords. If someone uses “1234” or “password” for their mobile phone application, thinking that it’s just a phone, hackers will find the hole and exploit it.
Provide Employees With Tips For Working From Home
Many of your employees may have never worked from home before. Some may not know how to make the most of their new work environment. It’s easy to get distracted, procrastinate, allow interruptions and become less productive.
Here are a few resources you can provide employees who aren’t used to working from home so they can feel more comfortable:
PC Magazine – 20 Tips for Working from Home
Forbes – Five Crucial Tips for Working from Home
Inc. – 11 Best Productivity Tips for Working from Home
Keep The Workforce Connected
While working from home may be preferred by many, it can also feel isolating. This is particularly true for employees that are used to working with other people.
Gallup says 21 percent of remote workers say their biggest struggle is “loneliness.” For those employees who need it, they recommend establishing online group chats to encourage regular, virtual “hallway chatter” and/or weekly “phone trees” where remote workers can gather around a workplace topic.
Whether your employees enjoy the solitude of remote working or not, it’s important, according to Gallup, to make sure they aren’t “cut off” from the organization. Managers must make a concerted effort to keep their employees “visible and their advancement, development and recognition top of mind.”
Employees must be engaged not only with their work. They need to engage with your organization.
How Phone by Web.com Technology Can Help
During this situation, or any other that may require a change to business as usual, Phone by Web.com can help. We ensure that your business continues to operate smoothly, even if remote work is necessary.
Whether you choose Phone by Web.com or another solution, the important thing is that the system be reliable, scalable and easy to use.
Every effort should be made to ensure that calls are made and received on business phone numbers, not the personal mobile or home numbers of employees. This not only protects employee privacy, but it also will significantly reduce the chaos when this emergency has passed.
When using Phone by Web.com, you can make and receive calls using your business phone number. You may send and receive text messages, including pictures and group messages. You can access your voicemails with transcriptions, send faxes, and manage your business contacts.
Phone by Web.com also includes a mobile app for when you are on the go, as well as a fully-featured online desktop app, which allows you to manage your communications from anywhere.
This blog post was provided by the Phone.com Team