In the past few months, the world of work has undergone a revolution. Once, employees relied upon their offices as a repository of equipment and facilities; it was one of the primary reasons for having a centralized location. However, following lockdowns and the pandemic, large swathes of employees found themselves working from home. Many have expressed an interest in continuing to work from home, even after the lockdowns are lifted, and economies reopen.
For many companies, this means rapidly equipping their staff with the tools they need to complete their work successfully. What was once barely a consideration is now an urgent and pressing matter.
To help, we’ve created a roadmap to equip your team when working remotely.
What Do People Need?
The most urgent question is: what do people need? For many companies, budgets will already be stretched. Therefore, before investing in any perks, they will need to acquire the absolute essentials.
To begin, compile a list of everyone’s jobs. Who does what? What does each job require? Some basics will stand out for everyone: laptops, mouse, headset. Others will be essentials, but won’t be necessary for everyone, for instance, printers or even desks.
Next, work out what equipment people already own. If multiple employees have printers, then delegate printing-related tasks to them, at least for the foreseeable future. Due to the speed of the transition, some will lack even the basics, having cobbled together a desk from kitchen counters or chests of drawers. As such, it is vital to provide adequate facilities. Furthermore, some people will need a phone, or will need to be reimbursed for the expenses they incur – this applies to printer ink, as well.
After you’ve organized the essentials, consider any less urgent, but still necessary, special requirements. These can include the specifics of people’s jobs: for example, if filling confidential paperwork, a lockable filing cabinet is a must; whereas, for designers or programmers, multiple screens is not just a luxury.
However, other special requirements will revolve around physical needs. People with back problems will need an ergonomic chair with lumbar support. You may think this is not necessary, but back pain can severely impact an employee’s productivity.
The Software Revolution
Alongside the physical equipment, the modern age also demands the software to match. In the past few years, a range of new systems has become available that can revolutionize working from home, eliminating many of the downsides that previously made it unviable.
Every successful business understands the value of communication: allowing ideas to be shared, and enabling collaboration is vital to a team’s success. Therefore, invest in one of the many video conferencing platforms currently available. These software packages will allow team members to send quick chat messages or organize virtual meetings where work is discussed and plans developed. They also come with a range of new features that are unavailable in the real-world: screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, meeting recordings.
One issue people have experienced with video conferencing is their backdrop when working from home. Particularly for those who have set up their office in their kids’ room or the kitchen. However, with virtual background images from hello backgrounds, your backdrop can be transformed into a stylish office or apartment. For team meetings with a client, use the same background throughout to give a sense of continuity.
Up in the Clouds
While video conferencing is a great way to demonstrate work and communicate between team members, it is less adept at sharing files. Even before the pandemic, many businesses had invested in cloud-based storage. However, with such systems forming the spine of a company, it is vital to ensure they are of the highest quality. To make remote work a success, employees will need a range of features: sending files, multiple editors of the same document, secure repository of information.
Adapt and Change
Going forward, the companies that are most likely to succeed are those who embrace the change, making the most of the new situation. As generations before discovered, you cannot fight the tide of progress. Modern technology offers incredible advantages, and many employees are enjoying the benefits of flexible work life. All they need is for their employers to give them the tools for their success.