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How to prepare for emergency remote work

remote work

Remote work is a fast-growing trend that is proving to be very effective in various fields of work. There are many different reasons why a company might require remote working from the employees. Unfortunately, at the moment we are going through a difficult time with the pandemic of the Covid 19 virus right outside our doors and remote work is a true solution to many.

Of course, just because this virus has now appeared that does not mean it is the reason why remote working is something companies might need. However, because of this bad situation, we have come to realize that nowadays companies are not a hundred percent ready to establish a remote work protocol in case of an emergency.

In particular, according to studies over the past few weeks, only 30% of business leaders believe that their organization is ready to rise in remote work. At the same time, less than 10% of the business leaders agree that the organization or business they worked for has the right foundations needed to manage and have a sustainable growth development in a digital economy. After all, remote working is the definition of a digital economy.

Last but not least, a stunning 38% of workers appear not to have any training on how they can remotely work from home. Training that needs to be provided by the business they work for. This is a great concern for businesses worldwide seeing as now with the threat of the virus, many businesses have no alternative for their employees other than working remotely.

Pulse surveys are a great tool for emergency remote work. They allow you the opportunity of gathering feedback from your team members quickly, which can be used in real time during stressful situations.

In this article, we are going to attempt to give you a few guidelines on exactly how you can prepare your business and how you can train your employees for remote work. We are going to highlight the most important tasks that will need to be taken care of, starting from the most important ones and moving forward.

Remote work checklist

Probably the very first thing you’re going to need to do, while you are starting to apply a remote work policy for your business. You cannot just let your employees choose the way they are going to work. Within the business space, there was a very specific way for employees to work every single day. They would have to show up on time, do specific tasks during the day and follow specific rules.

These obligations have not changed. What you will need to do would be to create a list of different information that your team will need for them to be able to work correctly from home. In that list, you will need to answer important questions like for example timeframes. Help your team members understand the process they will need to go through during remote working days.

It is important to create an equally sufficient guide and a checklist for your managers as well. The work of the managers is going to become a bit harder during remote work. Especially if they are not used to this particular working. Make sure that all details are going to be as clear as possible for the process to continue without a lot of problems.

Make sure that your employees understand the system worked.

You need to be able to trust your employees. You need to know that, when they are working remotely they are not going to waste their time on other things and not do their job. However, if this is the very first time you and your employees are working remotely you will need to establish some ground rules aiming at laying the foundation of trust and empathy

Indeed, remote working is not a model that suits everyone but your employees must need to understand that this, is still work and that, they are still supposed to complete their daily tasks as if nothing has changed.

Use all of your current resources

When it comes to remote working, you will find yourselves in need of purchasing your resources like for example some remote working software and some tools that are going to make the entire process a lot easier. However, you already have some of those tools, you simply do not know that you do.

Simple things like Google Docs or Dropbox can be of great assistance when it comes to remote working. Especially before you set up your virtual private network and provide access to it to all of your employees. In case of an emergency, make sure that your employees are already aware of how they can work using Google Docs and dropbox as well as any other conferencing platform you might have or tool but will give them access to the files they need.

Make sure that you will set your priorities straight

This is quite a common mistake that a lot of business owners make. They are trying to make everything work. Eventually, they are not going to be able to manage anything. When it comes to remote working, you will need to prioritize all of your goals and make sure that you will assign them accordingly.

An easy way for you to do that would be to set weekly meetings with the employees of each department, take some time to break down the tasks and assign them accordingly. The timeframe is also going to play an important role here so make sure that you will assign proper tasks to the proper employees. That way, at the end of the week your tasks are going to be completed based on the priority gave.

Remember to prepare your employees for remote work.

Every business needs to remember that emergencies happen. Even if you do not have to work remotely, you need to make sure that your employees will know how to do it. As the business owner, it would be a good idea for you to establish a policy for remote working even before you need it.

Another good idea would be for you to secure appropriate knowledge for your employees. Setting up a few seminars and webinars to teach them how they can perfectly manage their time while working remotely is going to be a great addition to your policy for remote work.

Don’t overdo it with meetings

As a business leader, you might get a bit anxious regarding the course of the business during remote work. You might think that arranging videoconferences and meetings over and over again is going to be a great way for you to manage the tasks of your employees. We can guarantee that this is certainly not the right way to go about this.

by forcing your employees to do meetings over and over again you are simply going to be taking the precious time of their work. Constant meetings will not help them concentrate. On the contrary, they are most likely going to disturb them and make them even more anxious to finish their tasks. We can guarantee that this is not the way to go about this.

It is much more preferable for you to set up strategic meetings. One at the beginning of the week to manage tasks. One at the end of the day to make sure that everything went smoothly and then simply keep your time open in case your employees need you for another meeting. Other than that, let them do the work. You can manage about work by following the next step.

Documentation is everything

While using Google Docs or dropbox or pretty much any other kind of tool to work remotely, you will need to make sure that you document everything and that you upload everything on a server accessed by everyone involved. As an employee, you will have a lot of tasks and you will want to make sure that your manager will be able to see those tasks completed.

When working remotely, it is completely reasonable to assume that you might slack off a little bit but that does not mean you will not be able to complete your work. Make sure that you will keep analytical documentation of everything you do and that you will applaud or important files.

That way, it will be easier for your manager to check the work, if that is necessary of course and for you to find all of your important files the moment you need them.

Always remember to check up on your team

There is always the possibility that you as a manager are preoccupied with something else and you forget to check up on your team. Perhaps, you have received messages from them claiming that they need your help. Messages that you did not see on time. You will need to make sure that, your team will always know you are there for them.

Remote work can be quite complicated and yes, it can be quite difficult. Especially if you have never done it before. If your team does not know where you are or that they can reach you when they need you then, your team is going to be headless. If you want the remote process to work make sure that you will always keep an eye out for your team and help them whenever they need you.

Stay healthy

It doesn’t matter if you are working in an office space, you’re working from home or if you are working remotely. During difficult times like the one we are going through right now, you will want to make sure that you will remain as healthy as possible. You need to always wash your hands, make sure that you will not touch your face and remember to keep the room and your desk as clean as possible. At the end of the day, this too shall pass and you will want to be completely healthy when you return to your workplace.

Learn about the remote working culture

All of the above need to be followed to the letter for the teams to be able to perfectly work remotely if necessary. However, remote work has a different kind of culture. It has a different kind of policy and you as the manager or as the employee will need to familiarise yourself with that policy.

Working with valuable tools and software is important. Yes, in the very beginning this might be a bit more difficult for you to get used to but for the good of the business, you will need to do it. Receive as much training as possible. Whether it is through the business or on your own, learn how you can perfectly manage your tasks and work while working remotely. This will make your work a lot easier and it will have a good impact on the business.

Ask questions if necessary. Don’t forget that your managers out there to help you and make sure that the entire process is going to be a lot easier. If remote work is not your choice of work but it is a necessity during a difficult time then, a lot of questions are going to emerge. Do not be afraid to ask those questions. Your managers will be ready to answer them and yes, it is always a good idea to get help by professionals if you want to set up something massive like this.

We are going through a difficult time and it is reasonable that we are quite anxious with the way things are evolving at the moment. Fast and immature actions are not going to work in our favor. We must not let things get out of hand. On the contrary, we need to take a step back, start implementing health policies and make sure that we are going to keep ourselves clean and healthy.

In the field of remote work, we need to remember the importance of also taking a step back. Yes, remote work means that some things might be left behind but we can catch up if we remain focused on what we do. Take your time to build your policies, take your time to see what works and what doesn’t work for you and adjust your schedule and working habits accordingly. Remote work appears to be a new trend so, in the future, this might not be just a necessity. You will need to be for that.

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