With the Coronavirus outbreak, businesses that have never embraced the idea of telecommuting are finding the need to implement remote work options for their employees on the fly. Most dramatically, may be the instances of the education industry. Seemingly overnight, thousands of teachers and professors across the country have had to figure out a way to teach students without being in the same classroom. Every industry is feeling compelled to find new ways to be productive without being in the same space. This can feel like a cumbersome challenge for organizations that are new to this concept . . . So EANE wants to help you be as successful as possible at your remote work process!
Know What Your Technological Restrictions Are
Several companies feel like they lack the technological tools to develop a successful remote work option. While some of your processes may not translate into new platforms, with a little creativity you may be able to patch together new processes that will “work for now,” or potentially open up the floodgates to innovative process improvements that your organization can use to grow after we survive the chaos of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Major Companies Are Trying To Make This Easier On All Of Us
Here are some companies that are providing FREE remote working technology that will help your team stay connected and productive.
- Cisco Webex | Video Conferencing
- Google Hangouts | Video Conferencing
- LogMeIn “Emergency Remote Work Kits” | Includes GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar and remote desktop access
- Microsoft Teams | Unlimited chat & audio or video calling with extended storage
- Zoom | OK, so they’ve been offering a free version for a while, but they’re expanding their network to increase capacity
In fact, EANE is learning to use Zoom for our own video conferencing. Below is a video from a Zoom meeting that we recorded earlier today. (If we can figure this out, so can you.)
Just remember that your organization may need to take a closer look at your cybersecurity settings with so many employees dialing in, so leverage the input from the tech experts on your team.
Top Tip For Successfully Implementing A Successful Remote Work Strategy
Communication May Look Different For Different Members of Your Team
It can be challenging to get messages in front of your workforce when you’re all in the same building. Communication challenges and strengths will be amplified by remote work unless you make communication a priority. Plan to engage managers in the process of getting the word out as you make adjustments during this chaotic time. While some messages are best delivered from the organization’s President or CEO, others will make more sense to be part of two-way communication between employees and their managers.
This is not a “one-size-fits-all” scenario. Some responsibilities are easier to perform remotely, some employees are more intrinsically motivated and don’t need constant supervision. Managers should already have some idea of what encouragement various employees will need to be successful working from home. Engage your management team in the communication process.
You’re Not Alone!
EANE has resources for employers who need to update their remote work policies (either temporarily or permanently). We can also help you navigate the federal and local employment law and resource changes that are coming out daily. EANE Members are encouraged to leverage the Member Forum to share ideas about remote work programs and to leverage the collective experience of our 1,000+ member organizations.
Too Busy For That Video?
If you don’t have the six and a half minutes to watch the video above right now, here are the highlights:
Companies that are considering implementing a new remote work policy need to:
- Assess their workforce
- Determine what types of technology you’re going to need
- Focus on communication
- Engage your supervisors and leaders
(You should still find a few minutes to check out that video – there’s discussion of great examples of this process in there.)