This massive global campaign to stay home brought us to this challenging situation. How do we keep our economy running while most of us are cooped up at home?
Let’s all set up a fancy home office, forever ditch the trip to the office and bring work collaborations online, but not really. While we are potentially giving the environment it’s much-needed restoration; companies will also be facing some risks. However, our current situation isn’t giving businesses and companies the options but to thrive in the remote work setup.
Recently, tech companies have allowed its employees to work-from-home until the end of 2020, while others like Twitter, Square and even Facebook have considered letting the majority of their workforce work remotely.
These companies are preparing for potentially chaotic security issues, culture building gaps, managing virtual teams and so on. To make things more complicated, individual employees will also be dealing with their new working conditions in the long run.
Here are some tips that could give your remote work setup a fighting chance to succeed for the long run.
Evaluate the teams based on function, purpose and tasks
Facebook announced its strategy in implementing their new work setup in the company. The teams that require stringent security and collaboration support must be in a physical office. So, hardware engineers, data scientists, content reviewers, to name a few, will continue working in the office while other employees like lawyers, sales and marketing will be working remote permanently. This move suggests how the company is adjusting its work setup based on the responsibilities and needs of its teams to function well.
Set qualifications for remote work
Based on Facebook’s employee survey, working-from-home isn’t for everyone. 50% of its employees want to return to the office. For those nearly 50% who appears to like the idea of remote work, they must be eligible to do so. The company provided criteria for those who are interested in working remotely like opening it for the more experienced workers with strong recent performance. They also have to get a nod from their team leader to qualify. It only goes to show that the company is looking to have a strong virtual workforce to make the remote work, well work!
Implement work-from-home policies
For us, freelancers and online gigsters, working at home meant working in our terms and schedules. But for remote workers of a company, it could be a little different because they are fully committed to a single company. So, while remote workers could enjoy the perks of working-from-home, they must follow protocols when it comes to extending their office into their homes. The most apparent protocol would be to have a dedicated area for work duties far from distraction, a fixed schedule for daily virtual team huddles and a reliable Internet connection!
Invest in a video conferencing app that works well with your team
Most video conferencing apps like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet are free. But others like GoToMeeting, Slack and also Zoom requires a monthly subscription to access its full features, ideal for big companies in need of specific features. For those tight-knit groups and lean teams, Skype, Zoom and Google Meet might do the job for them. And if you are looking for other options, Facebook also launched Messenger Rooms to quickly connect with people within your connections and even those outside your Friends list. It goes to show how these tech companies are anticipating the massive shift to video conferencing.
Check out some video conferencing call guides to save you from the anxiety of going viral for all the wrong reasons!
Have epic pocket team buildings
As soon as things are settled, and everyone’s getting the hang of their new work setup, your lean virtual team might be ready to have an onsite team building. In the Philippines, we are used to having occasional out-of-town activities or workshops to build that team camaraderie. But with the uncertainty brought by COVID19, more significant team meetups may not be the wisest decision. How about hosting a pocket team building by state, city or town? The pocket team building doesn’t have to be elaborate for as long the core reason behind the gathering uplifts everyone.
Ultimately, the learning curve in managing a team of remote workers is going to be steep, and only those who are committed to the whole transition will stand a chance. The key is to welcome feedback from your everyone and keep improving as you go.
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