While COVID-19 has majorly impacted businesses across multiple industries. Setting up your employees as remote workers is a challenge. Do you feel unprepared and unsure where to turn for guidance?
Businesses suddenly find themselves scrambling to get their people working from home because of the pandemic. Daily operations became a mishmash of disconnected services and people when the lockdowns started. Small businesses find themselves with short cash reserves, supply chain disruptions, slower sales, and reduced productivity due to disconnected and dislocated employees.
Managing your business during the pandemic is a tough task and requires out-of-the-box planning and prompt execution.
Amazingly, many small businesses lead the way by implementing innovative ideas to survive. Managing remote workers and teams while maintaining customer engagement and continuous business operations is a daunting task, but every day another business finds itself working this out.
Even though the pandemic’s sudden onset didn’t give us time to strategize a game-plan, all is not lost. We’ve got 5 tips to keep in mind while managing your remote team and setting up your business for success.
Communication is Key
Just as in traditional workplaces, regular communication is an essential tool to foster engagement and productivity. This is especially true right now when disconnect and isolation are bound to happen.
Your remote management style takes an entirely different approach, one that requires consistent communication and attention. Frequent and purposeful communication over virtual platforms helps maintain the team spirit and ensures everyone is on the same page.
Time for Technology
Working remotely is now easier than ever, thanks to technological advancements. There are many services and apps that create a common platform for easy communication and sharing.
These tools are the way to keep everyone engaged. You can hold virtual meetings thanks to popular video-conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, and GoTo Meeting.
File sharing systems like Google Drive and Trello are great collaboration tools that allow everyone to access and execute day-to-day tasks with ease. Staying in touch with your employees is a must, and messaging apps like Slack or Google+ provide an easy interface to maintain internal communication.
Manage Resources for Swift Execution
Modern problems require modern solutions, and this is the exact approach that managers should follow while setting up remote workplaces. To reap the benefits of managing a distributed team, you must invest in adequate IT resources.
If your business is planning to continue the WFH model for the long term you might consider outsourcing your setup to an IT Partner who will advise you on your ever-changing technology choices. There are better, cheaper, faster, and more secure implementations. While a lot of free or low-cost solutions might have worked in the short term, a professional makes recommendations meant for the long term.
Making things easy for you and your employees, including resource management using virtual solutions, builds a successful remote company.
Ensure Security Measures
Remote working can put small businesses at risk. 80% of small businesses that experience a data breach or cyber attack are completely out of business in 6 months. Organizations are more vulnerable than ever with work-from-home arrangements and their inability to ensure the physical security of those setups.
With most employees signing in to cloud-based applications, there are multiple security risks that come with remote-access systems. Insecure passwords, phishing scams, cyber hackers, viruses, and even the shared home wi-fi.
While large, established companies have invested in cybersecurity and protected network systems for many years, small businesses are at a much higher risk of being attacked. With so many transactions now conducted online and limited financing, it is challenging for small businesses to invest in high-end security protection systems and protection protocols. However, outsourcing to professional addresses these issues and gets you a secure remote working environment at affordable rates.
Flexibility is Important
Every one of us is battling with the psychological effects of a worldwide pandemic. It is not possible to manage every aspect of the business during such uncertain times, so it’s important to have Plan Bs and contingencies to adapt to the situations.
Small businesses that are distributed across different locations are bound to face productivity issues. The current situation requires consideration, patience, and out-of-the-box thinking. Managers must trust their employees and give them some flexibility to get the work done.
Let your team know your expectations regarding deadlines, work hours, and projects. Good communication makes remote work a smoother and more satisfying experience for everyone. Focusing on outcomes is more important than ever.
One of the best ways to manage a small business remotely is to determine your ultimate goal and make it as easy as possible for your employees to execute. Managing your business and remote workers requires immense discipline, understanding, and a positive approach to solving new problems every day.
Checking in from time-to-time and having a solid remote plan ensures your business a successful work-from-home experience.