How to create efficient and repeatable processes, cultivate a winning culture, and be prepared for future disasters.
These past two years have been exhausting; emotionally, physically, financially, and professionally…you name it. While it’s only natural for our lives to pivot gradually, for many of us our professional lives were changed forever during the pandemic. However, if there is one experience we can take away from this, is remote working environments are here to stay. Prior to 2020, various industries were already considering or adapting to remote work demands. COVID-19 just accelerated this trend.
According to Owl Lab’s State of remote work 2021 report, 32% of all employees worldwide were projected to work remotely by the end of 2021. This doubled since 2019 remote worker totals. While these are significant numbers, remote or hybrid work conditions aren’t new. The past 15-20 years have seen an increase in these flexible work possibilities.
Additionally, nearly 1 in 2 people (48%) said that if they were no longer able to work remotely, they would start looking for another job that that gave them the option.
Though, it’s impressive what can be accomplished remotely from the comfort of your own home, there are 3 key processes that will make working from home more successful for everyone.
- Use Mobile device management (MDM) software
This software should be installed on every employee’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) devices. BYODs are essentially personal devices that are being used for work purposes.
Once MDM software is installed on BYOD mobile devices, it ensures that minimum security and patching requirements are met. If, and only if, the BYOD meets the requirements, the employee will receive permission to access company resources. This helps reduce cybersecurity risks.
- Team communication and connection is a must
Communication and connection while working remotely is essential to inspire optimal productivity and accountability. Since remote work requires, in general, more self-management, employers should make sure that all staff are kept in the know and are familiar with your decision-making process, especially where it concerns their job functions. This helps cultivate a collaborative culture and a strong sense of teamwork. They should also know who the primary IT support contact is so that any issues can be reported and resolved quickly.
- Security awareness training
Working from home has its pros and its cons. A major con is the increased cybersecurity risk in the remote work environment. The primary reason is that there are more factors in the mix that could make your IT systems and data vulnerable to a breach. Most bad actors target workers via email. It’s simple and cheap for them. Therefore, it’s crucial to train your team on the latest phishing and social engineering scams. Also, it’s vital to regularly remind them to practice good cyber hygiene, for example, avoid using public Wi-Fi on a device that has permissions to confidential data or to ensure that they’re using complex, unique passwords, and changing them regularly. These small actions can make a huge difference to your risk levels.
Cybersecurity and company-wide processes are vital to the success of your business. However, taking care of your employees and instilling a positive and team-focused company culture is just as vital. Your company’s culture will help support your employees through the ups and downs while working remotely. Here are ways to cultivate this type of culture.
How can you cultivate company culture through a remote workplace?
There are many challenges when managing a large remote workforce.
Here are some helpful tips for creating company culture remotely.
- Increase relevant group and one-to-one conversations. Keep consistent meetings weekly and provide an environment that your employee’s have a clear line for support and resources to efficiently do their job.
- Create special virtual meetup times for company connection. Connecting with others is important, and while working remotely provides autonomy, you still need to connect with your co-workers to maintain cohesiveness and culture. Whether it’s scheduling a once/week virtual coffee chat, or a Monday morning football hour to poke fun at your losing football teams, it’s important to provide a positive environment for connecting with one another.
- Respect your employees’ individual differences. You may be excited about virtually connecting on a regular basis, but someone else may not feel the same way if it isn’t job-related interactions. We all have different home lives, responsibilities, and needs for social time. It’s important that employees can choose for themselves when they’d like to connect outside of work if at all.
- Provide timely, accessible and reliable communication for your employees. This is critical for remote workers. All employees should be receiving the same information, at the same time, in a timely manner. Whether you are working in the office or remotely, your employees won’t appreciate being the last one to know.
- Provide productive employee feedback. It’s easy to be laser-focused on tasks and priorities when there is no one checking up on you. Creating a daily or weekly 15-min check-ins is important to assess individual progress and the well-being of your team as a whole.
If we’ve learned anything during the pandemic, it’s this: the world is unpredictable.
So how can we use technology and operational planning to remain resilient in the face of future adverse events? Ask yourself the following questions.
Future global health emergencies
If you’re an in-person company, do you have the work processes in place to transition smoothly to an entirely remote work environment, should a future pandemic occur? You want to learn from what’s happened in the past 2 years and implement new practices or processes to allow for a smooth transition, if needed.
While COVID-19 has been a terrible experience for us all, it could’ve been worse. If this pandemic had Ebola-like symptoms that were even more severe, what would you do? It’s hard to prepare for these types of worst-case scenarios because they haven’t happened to this degree yet in the US. Though COVID-19 has taught most of us how to adapt and be resilient, we’ve also seen the flip side where many businesses went bankrupt due to lack of preparedness and prudent financial reserve.
Automating processes with AI technology
Are you using your time as efficiently as possible while growing your business? It’s easier to spread yourself thin in the beginning stages of any business venture. However, this is not sustainable over the long-term, so it’s important to again, plan ahead. This is where technology can be a real ally.
While you may not be financially ready to automate processes with software or apps just yet, it’s important to prepare in advance so you can make the transition smoothly when the time comes.
Many companies are shifting their focus to automation and AI because it helps to:
- Automate repetitive tasks and reduce customer support costs.
- Reduce errors caused by manual processes.
- Improve the customer experience using actionable insights.
- Use data intelligently during customer interactions.
If you’d like to learn more about creating a secure, efficient remote working environment, click here.