Businesses have rapidly adjusted to COVID-19, finding ad hoc solutions to remain productive and profitable. But now that many companies are growing accustomed to the “new normal,” it’s time to start planning for the future.
While the pandemic may be temporary, there is no doubt that it will permanently change the American workforce, making it more flexible and open to technologies that foster collaboration and communication across distributed workers. In order to embrace these changes and prepare for the next phase, businesses must do two things: make remote work more efficient and secure and restructure physical offices for safer on-site work.
We’ll look at both aspects of the transition and what your top priorities should be moving forward.
Making Remote Work More Efficient and Secure
Many businesses have devised temporary remote work solutions that have helped them survive the crisis but won’t support a scattered workforce in the long term. Perhaps your employees are using their own devices and personal networks, resulting in varying degrees of efficacy and cyber safety. Maybe there are no clear, written remote work policies to get employees on the same page with regard to time management.
No matter the issue, a permanent remote work situation requires addressing issues with solutions such as:
- Move infrastructure to the cloud. Migrating to the cloud gives you greater flexibility and advanced security management options. It may also come with the added benefits of reduced costs and a streamlined workflow. A cloud-based phone system will allow your employees to make business calls from their own devices. Common features include instant messaging, video conferencing, and integration with other applications, all of which can be vital to the success of a remote workforce.
- Create a physical setup that’s comfortable and conducive to productivity. Your employees may have found ways to make their home setups work temporarily, but when it comes to long-term remote work, you may need to outfit them with equipment, and you may need room in the budget to help make their home offices more comfortable and viable. You might have to invest in ergonomic setups and the technologies that make daily tasks like scanning and printing easy to do from home.
- Modify your human resources procedures and company policies. Establish clear work-from-home policies and acceptable use policies so employees don’t feel left in the dark while they are at home. Lay out time management and tracking procedures, expectations from employee behavior, cyber security best practices and methods for reporting any issues that arise in this new situation.
Restructuring Physical Offices
If your business is not ready to completely transition to remote work, you may foresee going to a hybrid model that allows employees to come in and out of the office according to their schedules. If this makes sense for your company, consider the following advice.
- Make design changes. The “open office” has risen to popularity, but in the interest of allowing employees to maintain a healthy distance from one another, some offices may need to go back to the cubicle format, space out desks or make other design changes that create more personal space.
- Consider downsizing your office. If you have a revolving door of employees who are in and out of the office at different times, a large office space may not be necessary. Weigh your options and decide if your company would be better served by investing in your employees’ remote work setups vs. a large office that can no longer function as a coworking space for everyone at once.
- Use technology to collaborate in the physical office. The casual water cooler conversations have already migrated to instant messages and emails in many offices, but it might be time to start seriously leveraging modern platforms to replace some face-to-face conversations with safer options.
How an MSP Can Help
CoreTech can help your company transition to a workable situation by implementing a variety of technological solutions, like cloud-based phone systems and security management, as well as company policies, such as acceptable use policies and remote work expectations.
Contact us today to discuss your company’s unique needs and find solutions that will work best for you.