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Transition Your Team to a Remote Workforce

Tips for Success Working Remotely Blog

Who would have thought a week ago that business, supply chain and livelihoods would be impacted as severely as they have the last 7 days? People are scrambling to find a way to manage their lives, let alone find a way to work in a self-quarantined home environment.

Our company, just like yours, is adjusting to the rapid change in how to do business during an extraordinary time. One thing in our company’s favor – we already use technology to connect our workforce. About 85% of our team works remotely, which has made it easier for us to adapt to the pandemic of COVID-19.

Many businesses aren’t that lucky, unfortunately.

As a technology company, we manage and monitor networks for all types of organizations with security-minded systems. Because of the way we are structured, we’ve been able to react quickly to the escalation of requests coming in to spin up remote workstations. This has been critical for our ability to transition some or all of our clients’ employees to a work-from-home environment.

If you are considering options on remote working, we have a few tips for both your management team and your individual contributors:

  1. Take advantage of free collaboration tools. Companies like Google and Microsoft are offering their tools FREE for six months right now. Our company uses Microsoft Teams, which we feel is the most robust, reliable and secure tool available.
  2. Establish a control policy for your collaboration tool. It can be as simple as limiting who can set up different teams/sites, and who has permissions. For us, we have a “governor” of our Teams environment, and she keeps track of each team and makes sure the naming convention is consistent. From there, she assigns owners and contributors.
  3. Create rules of engagement. How will your collaboration tool serve your organization best?  We have a company guideline that all Teams meetings require everyone to turn on their video camera. The reason for this is to connect visually – a critical component when employees are isolated. Plus, it turns the accountability meter up to a healthy level.
  4. Train your team. This can be done very easily. Whatever tool you choose should have a library of videos and documentation that walk you through the features of your new powerful app!
  5. Learn as you go. Don’t be afraid to dive head-first into a remote workforce. It is certainly a major shift in company culture, but it’s OK to make adjustments along the way that work best for your unique business needs.

 

Finally, we’d like to leave you with a friendly reminder that working from home under normal circumstances can be challenging. Add kids, pets, other adults who are also working from home under one roof, and you’ve got a whole next-level “situation”.

Ease your team into working remotely the best you can. Encourage them to play music, take active breaks, and when they can, change their scenery (which might just be near impossible right now). Remind them to connect with coworkers via a virtual water cooler by hosting an online lunch date or posting to an internal social site like Yammer.

If your organization is figuring out your next move on remote working, we invite you to join us for a webinar we are hosting on March 26th at 1pm EDT/9am AKDT: Mobilizing a Remote Workforce. We’ll show you everything you need to know to transition your team to work from home.

In the meantime, if you have any technology questions, please reach out to Arctic IT at connect@arcticit.com. We will do our best to get you the answer you need.

By Mary Gasperlin, Director of Marketing at Arctic IT

 

 

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