The first step in having a successful remote work/work from home business practice is understanding that remote work is very different from traditional office business practices. This may seem obvious, but there is often a disconnect as businesses usually try to reproduce how it was done in the office. Even though a face-to-face can be done through video conferencing tools, just like walking into an office or cubicle at work, this is not the best way to run an entire workforce. Your whole day could very well end up being extremely unproductive.
The best way in the new Covid-19 environment is to use a blend of SaaS tools to emulate, in part, but also transcend to an increase in productive communication, collaboration and to move the business forward in this uncertain time. Efficiencies are there for those companies that fully commit to a remote work posture.
To step back for a minute…, every business goal is to perform and produce business results. This was the goal before Covid-19, and it’s certainly the goal now — even more so. For an organization to perform at it’s best, it needs to communicate efficiently, with purpose, and with the bottom line leading to results! As in the office, organization and collaboration are the keys. This does NOT have to be a challenge when working remotely or working from home. Having a game plan, a set of tools and best practices can make this transition easier — with better than expected results. As many businesses have seen these past couple months, we have learned that the new work from home environment is not as bad as we thought it would be, that business can be done on a large scale by not being all in the same office and that there are useful tools and practices and some bad ones. The key is to lay it out simply!
So what to do…, have a road map that works for your business. The road map can be different for each group, each office and/or each region. This is where the “no one size fits all,” saying rings true. Lay out the options, but more importantly, layout what tool should be used for what purpose. Again, one size does not fit all, and it’s also best to start small. Implement just a couple of solutions at a time, starting with your most significant pain point and then finetune from there.
● Phone Calls — Urgent guidance, back and forth needed to decide a go-forward plan in the now.
● Video Conferencing (Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, and Skype) — Great to use in specific ways to collaborate such as sales meetings. However, be careful with overusing thinking it’s a substitute for a traditional in-office meeting.
● Texting — Simple announcement or quick answer.
● Messaging (Slack, MS Teams) — Detailed communication with back and forth in the now. Documents can be swapped back and forth. Messaging can take the pressure off overused email inboxes. Direct Messages and Channels/Categories keep communication very organized for teams.
● Email — Detailed, specific, lengthy communication and still necessary for internal and external communication.
● Schedulers (Arrangr.com) — Removes the pressure of all the back and forth emails, texts, and phone calls to find an available time slot to meet with one or more people. Good ones are fully integrated with office calendars, conf call systems, video conferencing, schedule, CRMs, etc. to make the whole task simple, and easy saving time.
● CRMs (HubSpot, Freshworks, Salesforce) — Important to keep all your information on clients in one place and make your sales process more efficient
● Collaboration tools (Asana) — Can further bring your whole business process into an organized and straightforward arena.