In recent weeks, companies have needed to quickly mobilise teams from the office environment to working remotely. In many cases, they simply did whatever they needed to do to get their employees connected at home and up and running. But there are definitely guidelines and protocols to follow to ensure teams are working efficiently and most importantly, securely. Below are some tips to help make the transition.
How to quickly ramp up a distributed team
While you have likely already pivoted your team to work remotely, here are some general guidelines around the scenarios we have seen:
ASSESS your remote capabilities and productivity to your infrastructure
- LAPTOPS AND TABLETS – can users connect to corporate resources, via VPN, Remote Desktop Services, or SaaS applications without issue? Do they have all the endpoint security tools installed and are they managed?
- HOME COMPUTERS – Ensure home systems can connect to resources for best security practices. It is harder to manage the security on personal computers than corporate-deployed laptops that have all the required security protections pre-installed and up-to-date.
ENABLE productivity tools you may already be licensed for
- COLLABORATION – Does your organisation have remote collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams or SharePoint? If yes, do all users have licenses and software installed and are they trained on how to use it?
- WEB ACCESS – Many users are unaware they can access many applications via the web and do not require VPN. Are they aware and educated on how to access these applications, such as Office365, Outlook Web Access or OneDrive?
SECURE Hyper-awareness is critical
How to make sure your employees are handling the change well
- Communication, communication, communication.
- In times of rapid change, ensuring communication across multi-channel platforms is key. Users learn and adjust differently, especially if they are used to working in an office environment with their co-workers.
- Take advantage of the technology tools available – many can mimic “in office” communication and collaboration sessions. There are tools for unified communication, whiteboarding, chat and conversations and video communications. You may be surprised by more focused meetings that stay on topic with more actionable takeaways.
- Check in that your team is pivoting well. Are they having any productivity challenges? Are they adjusting their work\life balance? Remarkably, people often work more hours when remote than in a traditional office environment.
How to be efficient while keeping everybody sane
- Keeping conference calls to the time committed. Allowing conversations to continue outside of the scheduled time can bleed into other commitments for the person or group you are speaking with, causing them stress. Being mindful and courteous of their time keeps people more engaged during the time you are working with them.
- Don’t try to mimic an office with too many calls or meetings – allow people to adjust. You will most likely find they work more efficiently and have more output when they are not pulled into a virtual meeting every other hour of the day.
- Make sure you don’t end up “living” at your desk, and neither do the teams you manage. Sometimes it can feel like you live inside your computer. Take regular breaks, go for a walk, eat lunch away from your desk. Take a call outside – and focus on the call and not on the ten emails that just flooded your inbox and distract you while you are talking.
Adjusting to a new work reality at home can be challenging, especially for those with children who are balanced their full-time job with at-home schooling. Konica Minolta is here to help with anything from assistance with collaboration and communication tools, IT security, hardware and more.