With the pandemic, many businesses that could offered their employees to work from home in order to keep productivity and as much profitability as possible. Even as many businesses are allowed to reopen, many are still choosing to allow employees to work from home if they choose. Many are finding benefit to downsizing their offices, or hiring more than their offices could hold. They are also finding with the benefit of the cloud and online tools, they can hire from any zip code so they can get the exact skills they need. Even big names like Facebook have announced permanent work from home directives.
As we’ve moved clients to the cloud and have been able to help many businesses to move from work at home situations, we’ve answered a lot of questions for employers. Below are some of our best tips for creating a work at home culture that still feels like a connected team of people with common goals — all while keeping your technology and data safe.
Are they prepared?
Before you allow someone to work from home, you need to know they have everything they will need to be just as if not more productive than they would in the office. You may provide the computer, access to your server, cloud or tools. However, it is really important to create a checklist for them to know exactly what they will be provided and what they will need to provide.
Employee home office requirements
- What hardware will you provide them with (computer, phone, monitor, office chair)?
- What are they expected to provide?
- What type of internet connection is required?
- What type of space is needed? Does it need privacy or quiet for talking with clients?
- Don’t forget any other office equipment or tools as far as additional monitors, keyboard, mouse, printer, etc..
Create an Employee technology agreement
Even businesses with one work-from-home employee should have an agreement. Include the Employee Home Office Requirements in this document as well as:
- How they will securely access your technology systems (like a database, CRM, email browser, etc.)
- If you want your systems or business emails to be accessible or loadable to any other devices
- How your data should be managed
- How printed data should be managed
- Any security requirements around the data
- Expectations around the use of the data or company information
- Expectations of maintenance or security procedures
- What should not be accessed from a business computer
- Who has access to the data on their computer
- Procedure around work-from-home technology upon termination or resignation
- Consequences of breaking the technology agreement
- Who to contact if there are any technical problems
Dedicated IT Resource
Probably one of the most important thing is a dedicated person that anyone can call with their technology problems. It’s more difficult if you split this task up and have a list of people that you call depending on the tool or program. So you’ll still have a technology resource on staff. They can connect with the support they need for each tool or technology piece. If you don’t have this person, come talk to Grace Computers, we can help.
Use Cloud Systems and Servers
To limit the amount of time that you need an IT person in-house and the amount of downtime for the entire company, see how you can safely take your systems online. With cloud systems and tools, your employees don’t have to wait for as many updates as it’s updated before they even log in. There’s less downtime, less IT intensive and accessible easily from anywhere. If you have concerns, questions or need feedback about your systems and tools, contact us, we can help.
This is perhaps the biggest key to keeping your teams on the same page. It needs to be easy to connect in several different ways.
People are different. While some may love picking up the phone and others may prefer an internal messenger system. It’s also ideal to lay down some guidelines like if they need immediate help, they messenger but if it’s not urgent, they email. This can help keep priorities in communication clear and help people stay more focused.
Luckily, we no longer need to have phone conference calls. There are lot so ways to have meetings online with the ability to record, chat, share a screen… the choices are pretty endless. Make sure that you decide as a company what tools you want people to use to ensure security and seamlessness between one meeting and another. Plus multiple tools mean people have to learn multiple platforms. Don’t make it hard. Decide on one and use it across the company.
Each business will have additional requirements above this depending on their business, but these are the most important tips that run across all businesses. If you have questions, we invite you to talk to us about your needs. We can find the tools and the ways to get you to the technology that makes working from home successful and productive. We can keep your company running – on your server or in the cloud.
Contact Grace Computers, our prefered partner at 215-536-0100.