On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled COVID-19 (coronavirus) as a pandemic. As of March 30, 2020, there are over 730,000 cases around the world. The situation is rapidly evolving – leaving the majority of countries and territories under a state of emergency – meaning individuals must stay home as much as possible, practice social distancing, and only leave the house for essentials.
You and your team have likely felt the impact of the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Right now, non-essential businesses of all types around the world are forced to close their doors or work remotely during this difficult time. Unfortunately, remote work is a relatively unfamiliar concept for many individuals. This means that navigating cybersecurity threats, collaboration concerns, and a lack of physical interaction while working can be difficult for teams.
If you don’t already have a remote work strategy in place, it’s time to put one together to avoid work disruptions during this difficult time. Here’s a few of the most common challenges associated with embracing a remote workforce and how to address them:
1. Your Team Lacks the Right Technology Foundation
If your employees haven’t worked from home before, they may lack the technology foundation necessary to stay productive. This includes:
Our recommendation is to issue company-owned devices whenever possible. This ensures that all devices in use will be up-to-date, reliable, and secure. If this isn’t possible, consider the following options:
If internet connectivity is a problem, consider offering your employees an upgraded internet plan or data plans so they’re able to tether their desktops or laptops to their mobile devices.
2. Your Team Lacks Adequate Collaboration Tools
Sure, email and mobile devices work when an employee is working out of the office for a day or two, but in the long-term, collaboration tools will be necessary to allow your team to share files, video chat, edit documents together in real-time, and much more. Microsoft Teams is a great choice as it enables you to:
Microsoft Teams is available within any Microsoft Office 365 plan. If you’re not already signed up, Microsoft is offering a FREE 6-month trial of Microsoft Office 365 E1 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A few other great options for video conferencing and chat in particular include:
3. Your Team is Struggling with the Lack of Oversight
For those who aren’t used to working from home, it’s a difficult transition, especially due to the lack of oversight from management. You can assist employees who are struggling with the following:
Keep in mind, it’s important to provide opportunities for socialization as well. Although we’re limited in terms of face-to-face contact, Microsoft Teams or a similar solution can be used to encourage employees to eat lunch together, stay in touch with one another, and hold regular “coffee meet-ups” virtually to keep morale up.
If you need a hand transitioning to a remote workforce, get in touch with us at (828) 695-9440 now.
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