To flatten the curve, organizations and businesses have had to adapt as best they can and minimize the exposure risk to their staff and their customers. Virtual BizNest, for example, pivoted to working remotely even before the local government declared a lockdown. While some places are loosening restrictions, organizations and individuals alike can’t be too careful. Many will have to continue working from home. To stay productive, the workforce must have the right tools. So here are the must-haves for working remotely.
High Speed Internet and VPNs
While this is no problem for offices with high-level connections, home-based workers in the Philippines often have to contend with internet speed. So they must find workarounds. Wireless internet will allow people to work virtually from any room but will most likely require upgrading routers. Likewise, since the home internet is now for business as well as for leisure, people working from home should consider upgrading their internet package.
Virtual Private Networks or VPNs are definitely a must as well. These help secure internet connections and protect information through encryption.
Speaking of which, with sensitive and crucial data being handled out of the office, it behooves organizations to protect their devices and their data. Employees should be trained to recognize the most common phishing methods and other threats. Companies should also mandate and provide cybersecurity and anti-virus software. Passwords need to be changed regularly.
Chat and Teleconferencing Platforms
Many times, company communications, particularly team conversations, should be done in other mediums aside from email. Long and tedious exchanges of emails can be hard to go through. Whereas a chat conversation allows for quicker and more responsive exchanges. So teams need to set up group chats, and there should be a company-wide one as well. Important announcements, status reports and so on should be coursed through these channels. But this doesn’t mean email is obsolete, those will remain handy especially for bigger announcements. So leverage Slack, Google Chat, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and other platforms.
The same goes for teleconferencing systems. Sometimes face-to-face meetings are the way to go. So these platforms that we have been using to meet with friends and families can also be used for business meetings.
Just remember to orient everyone on chat room and teleconference etiquette. Such as turning off mics, or setting them to “push to talk,” to reduce background noise.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Speaking of which, no one wants a customer or caller to ask “is that a rooster?” on their call. Likewise, if you are near an electric fan, the wind and the thrum might also interfere with conversations. So get those noise cancelling headphones and tune out those acoustic distractions that come with working remotely.
Project Management Tools
WIPs, deadlines, collaborative works, and such have to be tracked properly. Long and tedious exchanges of emails with followups and updates won’t cut it. Even vast spreadsheets filled with endless numbers. Organizations need project management platforms like Trello, Asana, Clockify and the like. Remote teams and independent contractors have been relying on these for a while now. Organizations that are shifting to working remotely will have to adapt to these, the sooner the better. With these platforms, teams can assign tasks, make notes and track progress on each project easily, as though everyone was still in the office.
Organizations have to adjust to the new normal and doing this will be easier with the right technology and platforms. These will make the process more convenient for teams and individuals. At the very least it will help them minimize the challenges of working from home during these challenging times. It can even enhance their capabilities in various ways, and maximize the benefits that working remotely offers.