Successful remote working arrangements require the right software solutions to support day-to-day business operations. Though remote work offers benefits to both businesses and their employees, both parties can only realize these benefits if remote work enables the same productivity as a traditional work environment—while also leveraging the efficiencies of remote work arrangements.
Remote work represents a big transition for workers and companies alike, but the right planning and infrastructure can make all the difference. Remote working software offers the package of tools and services you need to transition your workforce to a fully remote setting without missing a beat—but there is still some preparation required to make this switch as seamless as possible.
Before you implement a remote working solution for your business, take these steps to make sure you handle this transition the right way.
1. Identify your essential remote-work software capabilities.
Most businesses require a range of software capabilities to make remote work a feasible option. But some companies may depend on certain services more than others. A financial services company, for example, has a much greater need for best-in-class firewall, VPNs, and other cybersecurity features than a marketing agency might require.
At the same time, project managers can’t oversee tasks and project completion without access to remote project management tools, as well as cloud-based collaboration tools and accessible channels for communicating with team members via chat and video.
Before you scout your software options and identify potential solutions, make a list of essential needs, and ensure that your remote working software solution is up to the task.
2. Compare remote work software solutions to find the best fit.
Ideally, businesses will select a remote working solution that fulfills all of their needs, providing a comprehensive work solution that can serve all of their employees. With your list of needs in hand, find the solutions that can address all of these requirements.
In some cases, organizations may not be able to find a solution that meets all of their specialized needs. Or they may already use existing solutions, such as Slack, that the company plans to maintain when switching to remote work. Although this creates additional software to install and manage—and to integrate into your company software stack—it can help you choose a remote work solution that provides the best supplement to your current needs, while accounting for the remote solutions you already have in place.
3. Create a written company policy governing remote work expectations.
Technology plays a huge role in enabling remote work arrangements for any company. But effective remote work policies are also another side of the coin that businesses have to consider. Even the best remote work software depends on comprehensive, executable policies to properly ensure employees use their software solutions.
This policy needs to cover the expected use of remote work software, including best practices for avoiding security risks and for sharing sensitive data across unsecured connections.
You can also address criteria such as when to grant permission to authorized users so they can access certain company assets, as well as expectations for when and how you should be communicating with managers and keeping them updated on your current workload.
4. Set up onboarding and training to help employees adapt to their new software.
Remote work software likely represents a dramatic change to most, if not all, of your workers’ daily activities. If you throw them into the deep end and ask them to learn this software on their own, you’re certain to experience productivity slowdowns and other disruptions. You also run the risk of employees failing to use this software properly..
Avoid this trouble by having a plan to onboard employees to your new software. Commit time to training, webinars, video conferencing meetings, or whatever methods you believe will help your employees adapt to this new software and make full use of its features. The time commitment of conducting this training may be a tough pill to swallow, but it offers much more long-term value than asking employees to train themselves.
Building a Platform for Business Success
When business leaders take the right steps to implement changes at their business, they can minimize day-to-day disruptions and steer their employees toward success in their new remote environment.
For more help preparing your business to adopt remote work solutions, check out our Remote Work Checklist.