One of the legacies of the pandemic is a dramatic shift in the work culture to work-from-home. Companies that had no choice as the COVID lockdowns were happening, realized once they started remote working that it wasn’t so bad.
Some of the benefits include increased productivity, cost savings for employers and employees, less stress, and fewer sick/personal days taken.
94% of surveyed employers said that productivity was either the same or higher after moving to remote teams.
Many companies plan to continue allowing employees to work from home either part-time or full-time, and this means planning well to ensure employees are set up for success.
If you don’t set up your WFH team with the right technology or software tools, things can go wrong. For example:
- 55% of surveyed managers said lack of communication is a top challenge for remote teams.
- 52% of employees say their company needs to provide better technology.
- Employees who feel they have to prove they’re working just as hard are working an average of 28 additional hours per month which can cause burnout.
Here is a helpful checklist for setting up a new WFH employee for success.
An alarming number of employees are asked to use their personal computer when they work from home. This can leave company data mingled with personal data (security problem!) and mean that employees are working on lower-performance devices.
Most companies would consider it strange to ask an employee to bring their own computer to work in an office. Remote working is no different. Companies need to set their employees up with the same type of business computer they would be using if working at the company office.
For employees that work both in a home office and part-time at the company office, a business laptop can easily move between both offices.
Cloud Communication Software
It’s important for remote employees to have the communication tools they need to stay in touch effectively with colleagues, managers, and customers.
One of the best investments a company can make is a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) tool. One such tool is Microsoft Teams with the Business Voice VoIP add on.
A UCaaS tool can give employees one place to use as a virtual work hub where they know they can message or video call anyone in their company. It’s also important for business phone systems to be just as easy to access for incoming and outgoing calls, no matter where someone is working from.
Peripherals (Headset, Printer, etc.)
Depending upon a person’s daily duties, they may need a high-quality headset, printer, or other peripherals.
A good rule of thumb is to think about what you would supply them with in the office to get their job done and provide those tools for them to use at their home office so they can be just as productive.
Cybercrime has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Remote teams are a big reason for this. Hackers know that many home networks are much easier to hack into and they’ll have access to the same rich business data due to the WFH phenomenon.
One of the best ways to secure internet connections on less secure home Wi-Fi is to use a business virtual private network (VPN). This will automatically encrypt connections and help prevent data being breached through a home router.
Device Security and Monitoring
Another of the “if we did it at the office, we need to do it remotely” rules of thumb is for device security.
It’s important to keep work devices for remote teams secure through all the same types of cybersecurity best practices companies practice in their office. This includes things like:
- Managed antivirus/anti-malware
- Threat monitoring
- DNS filtering to block malicious websites
- Automatic patch and update management
- Cloud backup
- Email spam/phishing filtering
You can keep employee devices both secure and operating efficiently by including them on a managed services plan. Computers are remotely managed and monitored by IT professionals, giving you and your employees peace of mind.
Remote Working Policy Manual
A big mistake some business owners make is to tell employees they can work remotely, but not give them any specific instructions. Not everything is going to be the same when work moves from office to home.
Employees may wonder:
- How do I let everyone know I’m “on duty”?
- Do I still take breaks and lunch at the same time?
- Can I work different hours as long as I still get in 8 per day?
- What do I do if I have a computer problem?
- Can I use any cloud apps I want for my work?
It’s important to put together a comprehensive remote working policy so employees aren’t left wondering, and miscommunications don’t happen that tarnish the benefits of a WFH arrangement.
Get Your Remote Teams Set Up Securely With Help from Unbound Digital
Unbound Digital can help your Johnson City, Tennessee business with the security and tech support needed to power an effective remote team.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 423-335-2461 or reach us online.