As the threat of the Corona Virus continues to expand, more and more companies have adopted a work from home (WFH) policy. While many large corporations have the resources and financial capital to support a venture such as remote work, many small businesses are left with a pile of questions; is it feasible, will efficiency drop and what software/hardware can help businesses succeed during this new climate. Below is a list of the top 5 things SMBs must consider with a WFM policy.
- Learn to over communicate. While WFH might give you less transparency than you would otherwise be used to, over-communicating will help drastically. Check in with your supervisor and managers regularly and keep them updated with ongoing tasks. If anything, WFH very well could end up giving managers more transparency in comparison to the traditional work environment.
- Set your team up for success. Granted, not all companies are created equally and there was not an abundance of time to prepare for these new working conditions. Make sure your team has the necessary access to software and equipment. Whether it is a video conferencing solution like Zoom or Blue Jeans or whether it’s an instant messaging platform like Microsoft Teams or Slack; make sure your team has what they need to ensure there is no drop off in productivity.
- Did you find yourself going to a lot of in person meetings, many of which never resulted in anything tangible? While I do agree that face to face interaction is the best form of communication for developing a relationship, it is not the only way. Since FenceCore has implemented our WFH policy, we have been using our Microsoft Teams significantly more than usual. You can have multiple people on one video conference, you can share your screen with other members of the meetings, and also send a meeting invite link to non-Microsoft Teams member. It’s an all in one solution that has solved many organizational problems. So although you might lose some of the personal touch with video conferencing meetings, you will definitely make up for it in terms of efficiency and time gained.
- Be sure to learn – it goes without saying that this is a period of adjustment. Due to the uncertainty of how long companies will be forced to WFH, it is important to continue to evaluate. We’ve just finished up on our first WFH week and it is now time to re-evaluate. What did employees struggle with? How can those things be fixed? What worked well? Is it worth keeping certain procedures in place after the WFH period ends? It is crucial that companies evaluate and improve on a daily and weekly basis.
- Be willing to adapt – the odds that your company perfects the WFH strategy on its first try, with no adjustments, is low. Whether you go with Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype or another instant messaging solution, be sure to keep open lines of communication and get continuous feedback. Maybe Slack works for you as a manager but doesn’t work for some of the lower level employees that need to share PowerPoint documents frequently. Whatever the case may be, get feedback from your team. What are employees having trouble with and what are they liking about the remote work? Ultimately, this is not a time to panic, it is a time to learn.
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