All over the world, including Cyprus, many companies have established a successful and flexible work model that allows their employees to work remotely from home or from different countries and different time zones. Many can argue, that even before Covid-19, some people preferred to work outdoors (coffee shops, libraries or co-working spaces) while many opted to work from home.
Now, fast forward to the current crisis, more and more companies had to close their office doors and continue operations, with their employees working safely from their homes. This is an unprecedented situation for both companies and employees, causing several work management issues that need to be addressed fast and impactfully. Thankfully, there are many solutions and tools that help teams work better, more efficiently and more productively, and when put into good use, will be the way forward even when everyone is back at the office.
Below, there are 5 different occasions that online tools can be used by teams while working from home, which can help companies thrive:
Managing various projects that involve different people from various departments can be very challenging. Especially when you are not well prepared or when you don’t have the necessary tools to do so. Keeping your team on track and maintaining everyone’s regular workflow while you’re all working remotely will require a top-notch project management tool.
This will allow you to know the progress of each project, the people that are responsible for each stage of work and also what the next steps are. There is a variety of project management tools out there, so do your research and choose wisely according to your tasks at hand.
Communication must remain constant and easy between you and your team but also with your clients. It is crucial that no one loses an important conversation or meeting and stays behind schedule. Different chat “channels” allow entire groups to exchange messages, brainstorm ideas, have video calls and stay connected to each other throughout the workday.
Many companies already use these instant messaging tools, to avoid any delays in correspondence, to replace important meetings with clients, but also as a fun method to always stay connected. This method can build stronger connections between you and your employees, but also with your clients because communication is becoming more fluently and free, instead of the strict business tone email.
Search for top communication tools and choose the one that best fits your team needs.
Cooperation / File Sharing
One of the biggest challenges of working remotely is the lack of access to your company’s internal servers and the need for exchanging information. This can be very stressful to deal with because it can cause unnecessary delays and confusion. An easy method to overcome this is to invest in cloud storage applications. By transferring all your files to a cloud, you ensure that your team has uninterrupted access to important documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos and more. Plus, it’s easier to collaborate in real-time avoiding confusion on which files are the latest versions. Whatever the case, security should be a top priority.
Group supervision and management
Another big challenge of working remotely, that many leaders face, is how to monitor their team. Even if you have managed to build a relationship of trust and honesty between you and your employees, you need to have the correct tools to monitor their efficiency and give tips or advice when necessary in order to maximize their productivity. You need to ensure that everyone in your team is dedicated and working according to plan.
There are tools that allow you to supervise your team in terms of their commitment and help you keep them constantly motivated without letting anyone behind.
Secure your devices and data
Last but not least, moving at short notice from a trusted office environment to working remotely can create security risks. The real issue — at least for cybersecurity, if not productivity — is that in an office environment, companies thoroughly protect networks and devices. In order to secure the safety of your devices but also your data from potential threats, you need to install software with which you can set password requirements for devices, blacklist any possible harmful applications, and separate work and private data. Also, in case of a device getting lost, you can lock and wipe it remotely.
The use of collaboration tools is a must in today’s workplace, allowing teams to stay connected and work effectively in a remote environment. Identify your needs and adopt those tools that will help your company achieve the desired and expected results.