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  • Mary Windham

Changing to a Remote Business

From the Desk of Mary

Event Manager - Entrepreneur - Adventurer

Due to the coronavirus, organizations across the globe are turning to remote working options to keep their businesses afloat. Just last year, I wrote a GCG Event Partners guest blog post about the importance of managing remote teams in today’s modern world. Many businesses, including my own, have incorporated at least a few remote working methods to stay effective, but what about those companies who’ve never had to deal with this and are forced to change everything about their operations?

Below are 4 steps on how to quickly and effectively reposition teams to work remotely.

Step 1: Pick a Platform for Online Collaboration

There are numerous online collaboration tools for organizations of all sizes. It's important to research the latest technology to ensure you get the best platform for your business and team. Each company’s needs are different, but the software you choose should provide effective asset management and offer cohesive online working environments. At Occasions, Inc., we use Microsoft 365 which has SharePoint TeamSites, document storage, collaborative online sharing and editing, video conferencing, and task management tools.

Besides content and task management, you’ll want to connect with your team frequently. Video calls are common in most workplaces and companies like Microsoft, Zoom, and Google offer an array of tools for you to conduct status meetings.

Step 2: Establish Ground Rules and Expectations

Managing a remote team means keeping them engaged through consistent and clear communication. Establish policies about deadlines, availability, response times, cybersecurity, issue resolutions, and end results.

As a part of that, determine the best methods for communicating on a daily basis. Should the team stay logged into the Microsoft Teams app to coordinate throughout the day, but have to track their progress in Google Sheets at the end of the week? Maybe there’s a group text for emergencies, but email is sufficient for everything else. Identify one or two channels that work for your flow and keep your team organized.

Cybersecurity is equally important when team members are working from their own homes. Each employee should only have access to what they need and permissions can be set up accordingly. If everything is left open, then vulnerabilities arise - from hackers accessing an unsecured wifi network to an errant toddler pushing the wrong button on the wrong screen. If you don’t have them already, consider using logins, encryption software, and other cybersecurity measures to protect your assets.

Step 3: Arrange the Infrastructure

Setting up the proper environment for remote work goes hand-in-hand with effective cybersecurity - as well as productivity! Look into software that protects your devices and online assets.

In addition, think through what each employee will need to do their job. It goes without saying that most remote work positions will require reliable internet connectivity and a webcam setup. But what devices will they need? What software? Will they use a work computer or their home computer? What about additional equipment?

Budgets and resources may be tight, but whenever possible, the team should separate their personal use items from their work devices. Having the right setup from the beginning means the employee can step out of their personal world into the work mindset to get things done effectively.

Step 4: Provide Digital Training and Support

Not all employees are technologically savvy, and even those who are more adept may not know all the ins and outs of the platform you’re using. As soon as you can, set up group or individual remote work training that reviews all the new software, processes, and expectations.

Last but certainly not least, your employees should have a clear understanding of where to go with questions. Check in regularly to see how each one is doing. If you notice a change in attitude or productivity, touch base with that employee sooner rather than later to provide the support they need. Be open to feedback and adjust your policies when needed.

By following these 4 steps, you’ll put your team in a position to succeed by working from home!

Are you working from home? Tell us how it’s going for you in a comment below. And don’t forget to follow Occasions, Inc. on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter!


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