Minimizing Pain Points for Remote WorkersIT Resource
The idea of working from home may seem ideal to some. You can spend the day in comfy clothes, throw a load of laundry in midday, and sit on the couch while responding to emails and taking conference calls. But, now that many of us have unexpectedly found ourselves in this very situation, a lot of people are experiencing first-hand some of the challenges that come with working remotely.
While IT is considered essential, our company is still working full time, supporting our customers and taking care of all their needs. But, a majority of our team is now working remotely, from home. From a technical and security standpoint, the transition was somewhat easy for us, as those pieces were already in place. However, a large portion of the workforce has found themselves dealing with some hurdles as they adjust to a new normal. Here are the top three concerns we’re hearing, and how to overcome those challenges.
Not having the right tools for the job
Making sure remote workers have the right hardware, appropriate licensing, and proper security measures in place is a big one right now. This includes company devices with security standards that meet your organizational requirements.
Remote monitoring and reporting (RMR) tools are one of the best ways to effortlessly manage risk. RMR provides daily monitoring and monthly reports so if an issue arises, our staff is notified immediately and will contact you to work to resolution, should you desire. RMR automatically detects new devices in your environment so you can get peace of mind knowing all devices are protected.
We recently had a client reach out to us because they needed their employees to make and receive phone calls from home, but they couldn’t use their cell phones or bring their work phones home because the phone system didn’t support it. We ordered a Microsoft Teams Calling Plan and set up numbers for each employee and now they can make calls from the Microsoft Teams application on their computer or smart phone without breaking any company policies.
Microsoft Teams is also a great collaboration tool with enterprise-grade security already built-in. Teams is the chat-based workspace in Office 365 so you may already have it. You can co-author documents at the same time, easily share files with coworkers, vendors, or suppliers; and use audio, video or online meetings to connect with anyone inside or outside your company, from any device. If you’re new to Microsoft Teams, use this guide to learn the basics.
Disconnecting from work
The ability to disconnect from work can be a huge challenge, especially because in this day and age we’re always connected. This can be even more difficult if you’re trying to get things done at home and you don’t have a dedicated workspace. Working from the kitchen table has its challenges when you have to clean up your stuff before every meal and the kids want to push the buttons on your laptop. Ideally, you’d have a home office setup where you could focus, close the door, and get work done. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, but there are things you can do to improve your environment.
When you’re working from home it’s tempting to let your work life melt into your home life. This type of multitasking is never productive. Encourage your employees to set specific times where their phones automatically stop sending notifications for work emails. Long work hours may help employees get their work done, but a strong work-life balance allows them to perform their job to the best of their ability. Technology definitely adds a level of convenience to our lives, but learning to disconnect from work is a necessity.
Find a dedicated space – even if you don’t have a door to shut. This could be a spare room, a desk in your bedroom, or a corner in your basement. Avoid high traffic areas like the living room and kitchen, which typically lead to more interruptions.
Isolation concerns and engaging teamwork
Without regular check-ins and communication among teams, employees can quickly become isolated. Dedicating a team or space within your collaboration/messaging platform is a great way to keep employees engaged. It can be as simple as sharing your daily win with everyone. Creating a space where employees can share ideas, challenges, or photos can be very helpful and serve as a nice break. If you don’t have a company-wide collaboration platform, we can help, just ask!
Especially during these unprecedented times, it’s easy to become isolated and unhappy. Keep employees connected by hosting virtual team meetings, offer up daily challenges, or encourage well-being through gratitude journals, daily walks, or friendly challenges.
Technology is essential – whether it’s knowing your remote workers are secure or inspiring team members to collaborate with ease. These days you have enough things to juggle. When you enlist the help of a trusted IT partner you can rest a little easier knowing your employees are secure and connected.
Do you have a pain point you’d like to share with us? Do tell – we can work together to find the best solution. We’re all in this together and helping each other out during times of crisis can have a big impact!