The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people working from home. In fact, according to Gartner’s recent survey, 74% of CFOs say they expect to move previously on-site employees to work remotely post-COVID-19. This means you’ll need to learn how to manage your remote workforce efficiently so they can remain productive.
Here are some useful tips to ensure that:
- Encourage your employees to set a daily work routine
Set work hours for your employees. Working from home (WFH) allows for flexibility, but the start and end of their workday should be as routine as possible. Enforce a hard stop at the end of the day so they can plan for personal errands after that. Setting a target end time will dictate expectations on the results you want your staff to achieve.Allow their routine to include short exercise breaks, as moving and stretching energizes the brain. It’s also important to encourage your team to have a space or an environment with minimal distractions. This could be a guest room, basement, attic, or walk-in closet where they can mentally separate work from home life.
- Ensure the necessary equipment
While some of your remote staff will have their own devices, not all of them may have the proper equipment to work efficiently. If this is the case, you need to ensure that each of them has the required tools. Provide specifications for the following:
- Desktop computer or laptop
- Telephone headset
- Collaboration software and applications such as Microsoft Teams, Google Docs, Slack, etc.
- Security software for personal devices
- Implement proper infrastructure
Each remote staff member must have an internet connection that meets your standards. This should include:
- Adequate bandwidth for letting staff work on tasks efficiently and communicate with one another smoothly
- Cloud computing applications (preferably provided by your company) that don’t need to connect to the company network
- Backup and recovery software that secures data and operations during downtime
Since not all of your employees will have the same types of resources, you may need to modify this list accordingly. For example, consider the employees who live in areas that might have poor or subpar network service coverage.
- Ensure open communication lines
With domestic, personal, or health obligations on their minds, your employees may feel their work-life boundaries blur. They could be anxious about expectations, revenue goals, and other work deliverables, so it’s important to make them feel heard. Be available to everyone and communicate what’s happening at the organizational level. Make sure that your staff can talk to you about concerns both regarding work and home.
- Equip your remote staff with robust email security
Most business communications are done via email. From client updates to the latest financial reports, it’s imperative that email data remains confidential. While your remote staff can take advantage of the mobility, reliability, and economy of their inboxes, one wrong click on a phishing email can lead to the exposure of delicate company information, private negotiations, among others. That’s why email security should be the cornerstone of your business’s security plan. Here are a few tips to mitigate email risks:
- Teach your staff to use strong and unique passwords. Passwords should be a minimum of 16 characters that include symbols, numbers, and a mix of upper- and lowercase letters. Password managers are also great tools for generating and storing complex passwords so your staff members never forget them.
- Use encryption. The principal function of encryption is to prevent hackers from intercepting communications in transit and gleaning critical information from these. For small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), end-to-end encryption is fundamental for preventing data breaches and for some businesses, decreasing liabilities for penalties under industry-specific data protection regulations.
- Implement multifactor authentication (MFA). This is an additional security measure where users must provide other verification methods like finger or face scans on top of a password or passcode. It also helps by enhancing compliance and mitigating legal risks, as certain organizations are mandated to enable MFA.
As more companies shift to remote working during the coronavirus outbreak, your business will undergo big adjustments and changes. Apart from the necessary communication tools, a key component in ensuring your remote workforce’s productivity is providing them with proper security. This can be done with our help. Give us a call today and let’s talk about protecting your business.