Planning to Pivot to Remote Working Permanently? Here's a Practical Guide

Business Insight

Remote working is quickly becoming the norm around the world as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down offices and businesses and forces people to get things done from home. Whether your business was already considering a shift to remote working or has had to quickly adapt to this new reality, you might have already realised that remote working can actually have a lot of benefits. Companies that offer remote working opportunities often enjoy better employee wellbeing, improved recruitment campaigns and cheaper overheads, which can speed up business growth and expansion. If you are among the many businesses that have decided to pivot to remote working permanently even when it’s safe for employees to return to the office, here are some practical tips that you might find useful.

Tighten Up Cyber Security

One of the downsides of remote working is that it can pose a bigger threat to your organisation’s cybersecurity if the right measures are not in place. Employees will be using their personal networks at home and perhaps even public Wi-Fi networks to get work done, so it’s imperative that they are provided with sufficient training to ensure that they can do this without compromising any business data or information. Ensure that employees are provided with antivirus security to install and keep updated on any personal devices that they use for work and provide a virtual private network (VPN) that they should always use when accessing a public or unsecured Wi-Fi network. It might be worth working with a specialised IT support Kent company such as Impreza IT who can help with carrying out a risk assessment and identify any vulnerabilities. This company provide IT support in Kent which can be invaluable while your employees switch to working from home.

Find Out More About Your Employees

Remote working can be different for everybody so as an employer, one of the best things that you can do is find out more about your employees in order to better understand what works for them and whether or not remote working will be a suitable option. You might want to offer employees the choice to work from home or work from the office on any given day in order to ensure that everybody is in an environment where they are comfortable and can be as productive as possible. Get to know how your employees work and what is going to help them more effectively with a remote, flexible approach. This will help you put the unique arrangements in place to determine how tasks are going to be carried out effectively from home.

Plan Physical Changes

You will need to determine how much office space you will need for employees who might choose to work from the office, along with any technology that you are going to need to invest in so that employees can successfully work from home. Spend some time researching and speaking to your employees about the type of equipment, hardware and software that they will find useful in a home-working situation. Bear in mind that some employees might not have suitable working environments set up at home; it might be worth providing them with equipment such as an office desk and chair or a stipend that they can use to purchase these essentials.

Set Clear Expectations and Build Trust

When working from home, employees need to have clear instructions when it comes to what is expected of them, particularly when it comes to communication and performance. Otherwise, this can be very open to interpretation which can lead to frustration all-round. Before you start on any remote working policy, speak to your employees and agree on what they are expected to do on a daily basis when working remotely, such as being online for a certain time, meeting daily deadlines, or checking in for a video call at certain times of the day.

Transition Gradually

Wherever you can, try to make the transition gradually as there will be many changes for everybody to get used to as they adapt to the new work situation. If your workforce has already been working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, this is a great opportunity to make that gradual transition and learn more about what is working and what is not. If you’ve all been working from home during the lockdown, chances are, your employees are going to have a lot to say about what might have made the experience easier for them and anything that has been stopping them from working as efficiently as possible. You might find it useful to conduct an employee survey on remote working where you can find out about the most common issues that employees have been facing and come up with a strategy to resolve them.

For the most part, remote working has plenty of benefits for both employees and employers. But in order to successfully pivot to remote working permanently, your company should be willing to make some practical changes.