"Now is the time" for businesses to begin their preparation for the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This preparation may need to include offering your workforce the opportunity to work remotely, something that our workforce has experienced success with. Learn from Jay Kozar, World Synergy's Director of Marketing Solutions how to make a remote workforce fit best within your organization. Take a "look behind the curtain" at some programs and strategies that he has found most effective.
Organizing a Successful Remote Workforce for the Coronavirus
By Jay Kozar
From my experience with our remote workers, I have found that getting organized was a big milestone for us. Utilizing a platform that everyone has access to, and is easy to navigate, helped us to "move the needle." While we utilize the NetSuite ERP to unify our data and make better informed business decisions, our teams were looking to work collaboratively on their projects and monthly tasks. Monday.com is the platform that we landed on; it has created transparency with our Marketing and Creative teams and helps with day-to-day task management. Other options would be platforms such as Trello and Asana.
Communication is Key for a Work-From-Home Strategy
Regardless of where the teams are located, communication is an ongoing challenge that we work on constantly. Our morning huddles are a great way to start the day and have a touch point. Anyone who is not in the office utilizes our conference call line to participate. During the course of the day, we utilize Microsoft Teams to group chat and direct message each other for quick updates. Video conferencing helps us all feel included because it is a real human interaction instead of an email or text. Video conferencing has become the preferred means of communication for our Marketing and Creative teams, especially during the current coronavirus pandemic. Slack is another tool that is great for real-time monitoring and collaboration.
Keeping Remote Users Engaged and Productive
We make it a point to make our meetings inclusive. Screen sharing, video conferencing, conference calls for short meetings to longer brainstorming meetings; these methods of communication are a must. At first, there was a technology curve, but Zoom Meetings and Teams have made this as close to seamless as possible for us. And while everyone would love monetary rewards for doing a great job, they also respond to praise. CrewHu has been a great tool for our employees to give each other recognition. During the current coronavirus landscape, recognition and encouragement continues to be important for employees working remotely.
Feedback and Reinforcement are Essential
Finally, I have found that the more feedback I give my team members, the better. Our team members enjoy understanding how they are perceived and how their work is perceived. This is especially true of the remote workers. Being clear with expectations from the beginning makes a world of difference. Expressing how remote workers' daily roles impact the big picture seems to help keep everyone on task with our goals. It also helps to ease the stress associated with working remotely. The coronavirus pandemic may be problematic, but organizing a remote workforce doesn't have to be.