It is week two of quarantine and businesses have all but moved their work to a remote setting.
In the days since Corona or COVID-19 has emerged from a distant threat in China to a pandemic worldwide, we have gradually shifted to a new reality.
Work from Home:
This is the new way things are done. While remote working is not new, many businesses are still figuring out how to recreate their business process in a virtual setting.
While this concept could be unthinkable a few years ago, companies like COdesign, A digital agency in Bangladesh has transitioned smoothly into this novel way of working.
Here’s what COdesign’s account manager has to say about how to set up a work from home culture that works for you.
Get to know the tools of the trade.
Communications is the foundation of a functioning work culture. The greatest challenge your team will face in this trying times are those of how to communicate effectively, especially with large teams.
Thankfully, services like Zoom and Google Hangouts have announced that all premier features (that paid users have access to) will be made open for the public. Choose either tool for office meetings or one on one conversations.
Also, checkout Slack and Microsoft teams for professional chat softwares.
Pen drives are still popular in some workspaces for file transfers. Despite the fact that Google drives is free to use (upto 5 GB). If you’re office still relies on physical devices, now might be a good time to get a subscription to G Suite. It is cheap and can be scaled according to your needs.
3. Project Management
The best companies have very thorough well-documented processes lined up for each of their projects. These process can outline how tasks are divided into teams and individuals, a breakdown of tasks, relevant deadlines and interdependencies.
As complicated as it might seem, taking advantage of a proper project management tool like trello,Asana or Teamwork can help your business processes transition from th office to the cloud.
Use these tools to manage workflows,create a centralized hub for sharing information, monitor tasks and create a sense of accountability in your employees.
Create ground rules and a work process
1. Define the rules of engagement
Companies with strong work cultures have their work methodologies memorized to the teet. Which is why it is easy for them to move to a remote work environment. If your’re companies work culture is not as well structured, you can start defining some basic ground rules.
Ideally, you can start with:
- Set up a time for teams to meetup (for teleconferences).
- Assign tasks to individuals and teams separately.
- Note down tasks in your project management tool.
- Break down tasks into smaller tasks that can be finished within hours or a day.
- Set up deadlines.
- Move all important local files into the cloud.
- Use chat tools like slack for quick one to one communication and file sharing.
Move meetings to Emails whenever possible
The ease with each you could hold meetings in an office environment is something that can not be duplicated in video calls. To some extent that is good news.
Despite how much importance we give to meetings, most people can agree that it takes way too much time and more often that they are such a waste of time, they could’ve been avoided or at the very least discussed on an email.
So why not just do that? Github, with one of the largest work from home programmes of any company in the world, swears by their Emails over meetings approach.
When I say that employees should be accountable, I don’t mean install tracking software to see if your team’s constantly on their laptops working. In the transition to working from home, employers need to understand that they will lose a lot of control. As managers and employers, we need to come to terms with that.
Your employees, considering you’ve hired the right people of the job should have a sense of accountability instilled in themselves. Don’t be the big brother employer who spies on their employees. This is a sure fire way to break trust and create a demoralized workforce. Instead, focus on results rather than the process.
If you’ve setup your project management tools properly and assigned tasks in order, you should be able to see progress in real time at the end of the day. In a remote environment, your employees should be trusted to show their work within the deadlines and milestones set by you or the management.
Have faith in the people you hire
This is a rule that applies to both office and remote employees. However, in a more dynamic environment such as work from home, the onus is on the employee to deliver results.
This is why it is important to ignore those pestering thoughts in your head like whether they will be sleeping on the job or if they’re clocking in and out on time.
As you transition into this new normal, these old ways need to step aside and make room for a more open, honest and result driven culture.