You’ve made the decision to have remote employees. Now you may start to think about how you can best prepare your data, technology and your employee to work from home whether that is one day a week or full-time. There are some specific systems you’ll want to think about in order to keep the flow among team members and grow communication among distanced collaborators.
Here’s some of the technology and policies you should have in place for workers who decide to do their job outside of the office.
1. A technology policy
Every company should have one of these whether your employee works in-house or at their house. For remote employees, the policy is just more defined to speak about what types of connections can be used for different tools, how they access the systems they need and how they will care for their technology and the sensitive data it may hold.
2. Secure connections to sensitive data
If you are going to have people working outside of your network, you need to allow them secure access to your sensitive data if their work needs it. A VPN is still one of the best solutions to allowing distanced employees to access your server. It offers a secure connection that helps keep hackers out.
3. Cloud technology
Even if your employees have solo projects like editing or accounting, cloud technology helps keep data available to everyone through a simple tool that lives on the cloud. This could be Microsoft 365, using Google tools like Drive, Sheets, Docs, etc., or using an online secure database like Salesforce.
4. Communication tools
Not many people are a fan of meetings, but we still need to be able to communicate with the whole team- even if that team is all over the world. There are tons of tools out there for communication like GoToMeeting and Zoom. For one on one conversations, you can use one of many chat programs that include direct messaging, call or video communication as well. These are essential to helping the team collaborate and, well, bond like a team.
5. Technology training and testing
We need to remember that not all employees adapt to technology, so to make working remotely a success, ensure everyone knows how to use the tools, test them out and evaluate how comfortable they are with each tool.
6. Be a champion of collaboration
Encourage your team to communicate and talk if they are working remotely. Employees can start to feel isolated and disconnected if they aren’t able to check in with others or collaborate on projects or bond with co-workers in ways that aren’t always project-related. Have some time set aside for team-building even if it is from afar.
These tools and preparations will go a long way in building a remote team that works collaboratively in an online environment. There are many benefits, but you’ll only see them if you are properly prepared. Have a concern about technology and your remote employees? Contact us and we’ll discuss best practices.