How to Make a Workforce of Any Size Remote-Ready in the Face of COVID-19
Employers of all sizes are preparing for the implications of coronavirus on their businesses. Remote working expert Aaron McArdle says savvy organizations are making moves now in anticipation of shifting to a remote working environment on a moment’s notice.
“While Coronavirus is currently disrupting a lot of the globe, video conferencing is providing a much-needed solution for businesses that previously felt handcuffed,” according to McArdle, CEO of RoomReady. “Being able to take the physical workplace to the digital environment is opening new operational doors while keeping employee health and safety the priority – for businesses who are prepared.”
However, moving to a virtual work environment, especially for organizations that have never done so in the past, can be challenging, according to McArdle. “Now is the time to start planning to go remote – regardless if you have three employees or 300,000.”
To make this as easy as possible McArdle offers up three tips to remain productive and engage in a virtual work world.
Tip #1: Clarity on Telecommuting
Ensure all team members know that work is still work. From keeping normal working hours to interacting with colleagues and clients, set expectations that ensure employees know what’s expected. “Popping in a co-worker’s office to get a quick answer is not as easy when remote. At the same time, constant texts, calls and IMs can be a true drain on productivity. Think through items like the ideal internal response time and ‘offline’ time and then communicate those expectations clearly throughout your organization.”
Tip #2 Face Forward
Consider a “Video-first” company culture. This puts a priority on video conferencing over audio-only conference calls for all interactions. “Meaningful relationships, trust and enjoyment at work often stem from personal interactions. We are naturally social, and you cannot let a remote working environment suppress that. A ‘video-first’ culture maintains the richness of non-verbal communications, reminds us to fully participate in meetings and keeps teams connected. Don’t be afraid to encourage teams to have a 15-minute online meeting to replace ‘water cooler conversations’ and other social time. This provides for inclusivity and camaraderie regardless of physical location.”
Tip #3 Tackle Tech Today
Don’t wait one more minute to get your technology in place to aid in remote working. This is critical for maintaining productivity. “Remote working tech tools are feeling the rush today as organizations are prepping for a virtual environment. Industry giants like WebEx, Microsoft, Zoom and Google are offering versions of their software for free. Know now what tech you are going to use and how you are going to use it and then communicate that decision. And remember to test the technology with all of your employees before they need to use it. Most organizations already have access to tech tools that aid in remote working, but they just might not know it. For example, Microsoft Office Suite and Google G Suite have embedded tools like videoconferencing.”
McArdle contends, “Any organization can be ready for what might be around the corona corner by simply getting ready today.”
At RoomReady, our goal is to help you check meeting tech complexity at the door. Our innovations allow you to launch a meeting and connect colleagues across the room or around the world with a single touch. And our rapid-install teams ensure you get all of this in days, not weeks. The end result? Greater productivity, reduced costs, and a consistent user experience. If your rooms cause more frustration than collaboration, go with the team that’s committed to continually improving the meeting experience – one room at a time. RoomReady: We innovate. You collaborate. For more information, visit https://roomready.com/.