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Top tips for quickly transitioning to remote working 

With the recent outbreak of Coronavirus, organizations across the world are preparing for a shift in operations and asking employees to work from home for the foreseeable future. 

For companies new to remote working, ensuring business continuity can be a challenging prospect. And not just from a technical perspective. 

Keeping morale and productivity high and withholding strong connectivity and communication amongst employees, as well as clients, are just some of the key hurdles associated with remote working. 

However, thanks to technological advances and the power of digital collaboration, remote working is proving to be the future of business – and a culture many leading workforces are thriving from. 

In this article, we’ll explore some easy-to-implement recommendations on how to quickly and effectively adapt to working from home. 

1. Use collaborative tools 

Collaboration is the backbone of high-performing businesses. So when you’re away from the office environment, it’s more important than ever to keep connectivity and communication going strong across the whole workforce. Thanks to the rise in online platforms and digital tools, productivity is no longer chained to a physical desk. 

Communication 

There are a number of simple communication apps available which offer benefits such as strengthening company culture, boosting morale and improving productivity: 

Slack 

Designed to replace email as a primary channel of communication amongst teammates, Slack offers users a ‘chat room’ style environment for the whole company. Keep your team in the loop via its open spaces known as ‘channels’, or update colleagues on a one-to-one basis with private messages which allow users to share files in real-time. 

Workplace by Facebook

An ideal solution for larger businesses; Workplace is essentially a business-style version of the social networking platform, Facebook. With the exact same look, feel and function, Workplace is exclusive to your company and completely separate from your personal account so you don’t have to worry about mixing the two together.  

Talk and listen to your entire organization through sharing updates or running employee polls via the communal newsfeeds.  You’re also able to hold real-time conversations with fellow teammates in Workplace Chat or via HD video call. 

Microsoft Teams 

As an alternative to Slack, Microsoft Teams is another chat-based hub specifically for teamwork. Keep conversations flowing with effortless instant messaging between groups or with individual team members, share documents and files, and escalate messages to an audio or video call for deeper conversations which allow for screen sharing and group discussions. 

Project Management 

For remote teams, organization becomes an even bigger priority than it is when in the office. It’s vital for everyone to understand their own workloads, as well as others’.  

Luckily, there’s a range of fantastic online tools to help easily manage tasks and deadlines,  while empowering employees with a sense of ownership and accountability – essential for a productive working environment. 

Trello 

Trello is just one of the visual management tools available to help workforces streamline their workflow in a collaborative environment. 

In one glance, teammates can view exactly what’s being worked on and who by, quickly determining the status of a project, the tasks involved, and their due dates. Categorize projects and assign the relevant team members to Trello ‘boards’, plus attach files and snippets of information to each board to keep production flowing. 

Google Drive 

A cloud-based management solution, such as Google Drive, is a great collaborative tool for remote teams wanting to keep file storage and sharing straightforward and organized. 

Google Drive provides unlimited and secure file storage and saves the worry of losing files. Create documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoints in one safe place and share unique links with your colleagues without having to attach large files to an email. 

2. Encourage productivity 

Working from home can disrupt the typical workplace structure and routines. Naturally, some employees may find there are distractions such as pets or childcare, while others might need a boost in motivation. 

Timekeeping 

In certain sectors or teams, time-tracking tools such as Toggl or Timesheets can work well to help employees monitor projects and time being spent on individual tasks. This can help to spur on productivity and keep staff on track, whilst helping employers determine where the most time is being spent and any improvements that might be needed. 

Guidelines 

Adapting to a remote workplace requires some getting used to, so it’s important for employers to expect and support an adjustment period. Producing guidelines for staff on how to set up a comfortable workspace in their home or any IT tips and FAQs is a great idea to help employees settle in quickly and get the most from their new work environment. 

Do staff have the correct equipment and access in place to support their daily work from home? Include a checklist and run through it with each employee to check equipment such as laptops and access to databases or platforms are in place and all up to date. 

Meetings & updates 

Checking in regularly with team members is even more crucial when working from home. Whether it’s just for a quick chat or a brainstorming session, video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Skype are great for keeping up interaction and communication with employees, as well as clients. 

Use a digital calendar tool such as Teamup or your email calendar to schedule in regular weekly meetings with different staff members and teams to help you stick to the usual office diary routine. 

3. Maintain company culture 

Taking time to invest in your company culture is fundamental to employee engagement and ultimately your business’ success. This is still the case outside of the office and there are a number of techniques you can employ digitally to help maintain morale. 

As well as incorporating some of the tools mentioned above to maintain a high standard of communication between employees and fuel productivity, sending daily company-wide updates to the whole workforce via email or platforms such as Workplace helps to keep everyone in the loop with the bigger picture. 

Letting staff know they are valued and their inputs is appreciated with recognition and rewards such as gift cards, for example, is an effective way to boost morale and keep spirits high. 

How can Moneypenny help? 

At Moneypenny, our powerful solutions, for both small and large businesses, facilitate remote working and continuous communication for your customers and staff. 

Chat to our experts today to discuss your options and discover how we can support you to continue running your business as usual. Call us now on 866.202.0005. 

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