Today, the world has, and is still experiencing some distinct challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for business leaders and everyday employees. Whilst many businesses have been fortunate enough to weather the worst economic effects, one key issue remains the successful transition from an in-person workplace to remote operations.
Businesses that have only functioned within traditional offices may well have effective working practices in place, but this doesn’t always necessarily translate to keeping your team tight and productive when forced to move outside of the working environment your practices have been designed for. As a result, some previously successful businesses have found themselves on the back foot with a little struggle.
Let us examine the importance of structure to remote work and its positive impact. We will also look at some of the tech tools that can prove vital to supporting your structure in an increasingly digital-reliant workspace.
Why is structure important?
Any business leader knows that organization can mean the difference between success and failure. As the structures within the office are unlikely to be easily duplicated outside of it, the change to remote practices without a new structure in place can very quickly lead to chaos. In many ways, your staff rely on the structure of your business. Structure helps set the expectations for task completion, operational stability, and the culture of the business itself. Interrupt essential components of that structure, and there can be domino effects across all areas which is why creating a business continuity plan is so vital.
When an issue such as the current pandemic occurs, forcing a shift in operations, a continuity plan provides a road map to ensure the smooth transition to a remote working structure. Your plan minimizes unnecessary disruption for both customers and staff.
How can you create a remote structure?
We know that structure is important, but how can we go about creating it? Obviously, there will be nuances for each business, but there are some core areas on which you should be focusing.
These should include:
Create a formal structure for how employees’ day-to-day workflow should look in remote circumstances. Clarify how this differs from usual processes, and why. Produce a step-by-step documented approach that makes it clear who is responsible for each aspect of a project, and set out a clear chain of production.
Away from the office, communication can be one of the elements that very quickly fall by the wayside. This can be disastrous. Clear remote communications policies should therefore be implemented. Adopt secure video conferencing solutions that are easily compatible with calendars and scheduling applications and ensure regular team meetings with staff. This structure should include adherence to a single, secure communications platform — this not only helps to keep important business data safe, but it also promotes consistency.
The structure for remote operations certainly needs to include robust and consistent elements. However, micromanaging can be destructive. Leave room in your structure for staff to have some flexibility — perhaps in their working hours or setting priorities. Being constantly monitored is not practical for management, and it gives employees the impression they’re not trusted. Provide them with the remote tools they need and let them work. However, part of your structure should also include regular reviews to assess how successful this is for each employee.
4. What tools can help?
The key is to choose tools that best suit your workflow, the assets you will be producing, and the needs of your staff. Part of your remote structure should include clarity on whom these tasks should be delegated to, and what tools to deploy to ease staff workload. For example, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, M365 etcetera.
Structure is a vital component of any business, but an unexpected shift to remote operations can make traditional office organization impractical. That’s where Descasio comes in. We are your plug to help with the heavy lifting – understand potential challenges your staff could face working from home, and then equip you with tools that automate tasks while building you a structure to meet the business and employee needs in the middle. Contact us today.