1. Ensure Effective Communication
Effective communication is critical when shifting from on-site to remote work. Harvard Business Review recommends managers take the following steps to improve engagement and productivity of telecommuting employees:
- Schedule Structured Daily Check-ins – This can be a series of one-on-one calls or a team call. What’s most important is that these check-ins are regular and predictable.
- Provide More Than One Communication Technology Option – Don’t rely on email alone. Video conferencing has advantages for complex conversations, while mobile-enabled individual messaging is excellent for quick collaboration.
- Establish Communication Norms – Regardless of the technology method, it’s crucial to set expectations for frequency, means and ideal timing of communication. For example, “We use videoconferencing for daily check-in meetings, but we use IM when something is urgent.”[i]
- “WXYZ” Action Items – WXYZ essentially means to provide those last few details of exactly what’s expected, why and when. Be sure to include things such as: I expect the following deliverable, for this reasons by this date. So for example, you might say: “Can you please review the attached document by close of business today so that I have time to print copies for the board to review during their meeting tomorrow. That extra bit of communication will ensure 100% clarity to everyone collaborating on a project.
2. Address Technology Needs and Security Risks
A telecommuting staff creates unique challenges for your IT team members as they take on more responsibilities than ever before with fewer resources. Here are three best practices for transitioning employees to work remotely, while helping them stay secure:
- Conduct a Survey – After you’ve determined who will be working remotely, survey those employees to find out if they have the tools required to work from home. Do they have an available laptop, mobile phone, and access to high-speed internet? Do they need software installed to do their jobs and communicate with other employees?
- Keep Devices Up to Date – Software updates are patches that often fix security holes. If you want to prevent malicious attacks by shutting the door malware uses to exploit loopholes, it’s critical to keep devices and laptops updated with the latest version of operating software, security software and applications.
- Educate staff on cybersecurity – Don’t assume staff members automatically understand how to handle the enormous responsibility of accessing company data. Educate your employees on how to access information responsibly, and instruct them on any “emerging threats tied to the COVID-19 coronavirus, including new phishing attacks and attempts to steal VPN credentials,” recommends Forbes.[ii]
3. Deploy a Zero-Touch Model for Maintaining Mobile Devices
LocknCharge can help facilitate a zero-touch model for deploying and maintaining mobile devices for your staff, ensuring continual access to a ready-to-go device used for employees working from home. The FUYL Tower can help manage devices in these cases:
- Deploying Devices– For employees who do not currently have a device but need access to one, IT teams can provide access to tablets and laptops without any physical interaction via a FUYL Tower 5 or 15.
- Loaner/Break-Fix Devices– If employees currently have a company-owned device at home, but the device breaks or is lost, IT teams can easily swap the broken device or provide a replacement without any physical contact via a FUYL Tower 5 or 15.
Here’s how to maintain a zero-touch model for maintaining mobile devices with the FUYL Tower:
- Choose an accessible location at your facility to place one or more FUYL Tower 5 or 15s.
- Stock the Tower with ready-to-go devices.
- When an employee needs a device, IT teams can digitally provide them with a 4-digit PIN code to access an individual compartment of the FUYL Tower.
- IT teams can then retrieve broken devices and/or restock the Tower with new devices as needed.
- With the robust online management portal, IT admins can manage towers remotely. They can track the activity of the Tower to know when the compartment was accessed, reset PINs, open doors, or quarantine doors—all done remotely without any physical contact.
- Towers can also eliminate many of the manual processes associated with deploying devices, loaner device programs, break/fix programs or individual public charging for years to come.
4. Keep Company Culture Alive
- Check in with your coworkers, even if it’s something as simple as wishing them a good morning. Remote working can be isolating, so keeping up with regular conversation is a great way to stay positive.
- If you hold social activities during or after work hours, keep those activities alive. For example, on a normal Friday, LocknCharge gathers the troops in the office for “Beer Friday” every Friday afternoon. During this time of office closures, we will continue that tradition, but we’ll do it virtually via a video conference call.
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