6 Tips to Prepare Your Employees to Work From Home

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With most of the world working from home at this point, businesses need to make the necessary steps to adopt software that can support the growing number of remote employees in the workforce.

Can your digital collaboration tools handle team members working from home?

Many companies have already taken steps to review their work from home policies and other related concerns. To help your company transition to a business that can support remote workers, we have six tips that will make sure your collaboration software can support the bulk of communications while teams work away from the office.

  1. List out critical software access for each level of your company

    The first step to shifting your workforce from in-office to remote is to map out what employees already have and what they will need to successfully work from home.

    For example, employees may not need access to the company’s conferencing if they meet in the office regularly. However, a switch to working remotely will require employees to dial in for their weekly stand-up a lot more often.

    At minimum, we recommend that employees have access to team chat, the company directory, email, shared calendars and a conferencing software.

  2. Give everyone access to collaboration tools from anywhere

    It’s common for businesses to limit collaboration tools to a company’s internal network. However, as businesses move to a remote workforce, they’ll need tools to become available from employees working from home. If these tools aren’t made available to a business’s at-home workforce, accessibility can slow down performance.

    In a situation where employees work remotely, it’s important that all team members can reach each other just as easily as if they were in the same place. Not only are communication tools critical to managing the regular pace of work, but they also allow colleagues to maintain social relationships within the office, which are key to engagement.

    We recommend performing a system access audit to allow your admin to give access to the employees that need it and to schedule out account creations and updates conveniently.

  3. Verify employee access to the company directory

    You may speak to three or four people in your office on any given day and branch out to other departments for specialty topics on occasion.

    If your company has an updated employee directory, then maintaining communication is as easy as granting access to any employee who does not already have it. Without a company directory, it becomes difficult for employees to keep in contact.

    We recommend making sure the company’s directory is up to date with relevant contact information so teams can stay in touch.

  4. Make sure your communications stack collaborates well

    One of the benefits of integrated collaboration software—and one reason why so many businesses use the same chat, calendar, and email providers—is that each platform communicates with the others.

    It’s convenient to send meeting invitations around the office when your calendar app is synchronized with your video conferencing software. These integrations can also provide a handy way for employees to stay on top of meetings, due dates and more from their homes or a different location.

  5. Facilitate remote equipment updates

    Your operating systems and apps may require updates. If your company’s IT department handles software updates, then in-person or remote-access updates will need to be scheduled.

  6. Designate a back-up plan for critical technologies

    If your team’s video conferencing or team chat software does not work properly, they’ll need a plan b.

    It can be tempting for remote teams to throw up their hands and give up rather than commit time to troubleshooting. Having an agreed-on alternative can help save the meeting and allow everyone to continue with their day with a minimum amount of fuss.

Developing a plan can make the difference between a smooth transition and frequent interruptions to daily workflow. Use these six tips to adopt a better work-from-home policy for your company and support a workforce that operates remotely.

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By Cynthia Kazanis May 11, 2020.