If you were not already implementing a remote work environment for your business before 2020, the pandemic might have forced your hand. As stay-at-home orders were mandated in countries worldwide around March, many companies continue to work remotely.
Many business owners might not have implemented work from home operations for their organizations because of their preference for a traditional company setup. However, there is no visible end to the pandemic. There is still a significant risk of COVID-19 severely affecting your workforce.
Working from home has several benefits for your employees and your business besides reducing the risk of exposure to disease-causing germs. It can allow you to introduce more flexibility to your employees in their work schedules. You can eliminate the cost of commuting to and from the office for your employees. Additionally, it can save you a lot of overhead costs associated with working from the office.
Whether your remote work environment plan was rolled out smoothly or thrown together roughly, there is always time to make improvements. Ensuring streamlined business operations and increasing productivity are major concerns for business owners in the new normal.
Setting up effective business operations to work from home might be frustrating and overwhelming. You can complete the conversion process if you take smart steps to make the change.
Steps to Keep Your Business Up and Running Remotely
Here are some of the most crucial steps you can take to make your business remote without compromising productivity and company growth.
1. Analyze Your Requirements
The first step is purely analytical. Gather as much information as you can regarding your company’s current needs and study how other similar businesses have made their transition. Not all businesses operate in industries that can work remotely. Analyzing your requirements can help you determine whether your company can implement a cost-effective and fully work-from-home model, or you might need to implement partial remote work.
Study all the processes held in your offices and what changes you might need to make to accomplish those tasks remotely.
2. Hire the Right Remote Services
If you currently have in-house workers and in-house services that keep your business running smoothly, you need to determine alternatives that can do the work remotely. Some instances could see you prepare your existing team members for remote work. However, there might be a need to outsource some of the work to remote services companies.
For instance, you could significantly benefit from hiring the services of a cloud-based managed security services provider to ensure better cybersecurity for your company instead of an in-house team.
3. Centralizing Systems
If your company has not transitioned its operations to cloud-based software, this is the perfect time to make the change. There are various cloud-hosted platforms that are allowing businesses to make the shift and are easily accessible on various devices and operating systems. The most suitable solution for your business can ensure a smooth transition to cloud-based systems and integration with existing business operations.
You need to gradually implement this step after thoroughly studying how to make the shift as effective as possible. Working with a managed services provider can make this step significantly easier.
4. Establish Clear and Open Communication Plans
A lack of in-person communication is one of the biggest challenges while shifting to a remote work environment. Your employees will no longer benefit from talking to each other in person the way they could at the office. Effective communication is mission-critical for businesses to ensure collaboration and coordination among team members.
You will need to set up a new communication system to substitute for the lack of in-person communication. Be proactive about this approach so that your workforce does not have to find alternatives by themselves. Investing in platforms like Slack can help improve business communications and retain productivity.
5. Test Changes Before Full Implementation
Never make the mistake of assuming that your remote working model will work how you intend it to. Before you finalize any changes and implement them throughout the company, you need to test it out. Run segmented trials to test any new systems you are planning on using.
Ideally, you could try migrating the different departments to the remote working model one-by-one. Running segmented trials will help you recognize weaknesses or inconsistencies that you can iron out before fully shifting to the remote model.
6. Communicate The Plan Transparently
When you feel confident about a remote work model that will work successfully for your company, your workforce needs to know. Keep your employees in the loop about important updates during the development of your remote work model. Make a formal announcement for the shift to remote work and make a clear schedule for the shift.
You might decide to close your office and make the shift throughout the company at once. Alternatively, you could assign various departments to shift to the remote work model in phases. Clearly announce your intentions for either approach so you can ensure a smooth transition.
7. Clarify All Expectations
Define the expectations you have from your employees in their changing roles and responsibilities in the new normal. Make sure your employees understand the necessity of meeting their goals and targets and let them know that they will be held accountable for not meeting them. Offer any support necessary to ease the transition for them if they face any challenges with the new arrangement.
8. Set Regular Meetings
Make sure you schedule regular meetings after implementing the remote work model for your business. Weekly or bi-weekly video conferences or even daily check-ins to help everybody stay on track can go a long way in boosting employee morale and keeping you apprised of any necessary updates.
Do keep open communication lines with your employees and encourage them to get in touch with your or their team leaders to clarify any challenges they face.
Lastly, you should remember that nothing is set in stone when it comes to the remote work model for your business. You need to constantly invest effort in finding new ways to improve the remote work model. Proactively implement anything that can enhance your business operations further.
Taking on a forward-thinking stance can not only keep your business up and running remotely, but it can also unlock more opportunities for your organization to grow.
Partnering with an expert firm like Microsys can help you recognize and implement the necessary changes to keep your business up and running remotely in the new remote working environment.