Because of the Coronovirus pandemic, many companies have been forced to send their employees home to work. The good news is that many companies that provide online tools have stepped up to help.
One great example is cloud communications platform provider Intermedia®. As part of its newly introduced Remote Work Success Kit, Intermedia is offering businesses and organizations that need to support remote workers with effective communications and productivity tools their AnyMeeting® Pro video conferencing and webinar service at no cost through December 31, 2020. The video conferencing tool enables remote workers to hold global online meetings using high-definition video and audio conferencing, screen sharing, call recording, chats, note-taking, and more, with no restriction on meeting length. In addition, the offer includes one license per company to its Webinar Pro application. Anymeeting Webinar Pro allows companies to hold larger live broadcast events for up to 200 people, such as corporate all-hands meetings, webinars, lectures, religious services, and other virtual events.
These are great tools for keeping employees productive and connected to each other, and customers, even while working remotely.
But what happens when your employees are allowed to return to the office? Although many people are longing to get back to the way things were, there are likely just as many, if not more, that will no doubt miss the flexibility they’ve suddenly discovered in working from home.
If you’re thinking about implementing a WFH option once the disruption caused by COVID-19 passes, here are a few points to consider:
Your policy should have clear “rules,” be in writing, and require an employee signature.
If an employee wants to work from home on a regular basis, they should have a clear understanding of what comes with this new work structure. While in this new home office, they should make best efforts to ensure that they are free from distraction and excessive noise. Your WFH employee needs to confirm that he or she will be available and just as responsive as if they were in the office. Professional dress should be expected and a professional space created so, for example, video calls with customers represent your organization in the best figurative and literal light. Whatever policies you choose to enact, they should be in writing and signed by the WFH employee so there is no confusion in what’s expected and the responsibility understood.
You will need to commit to providing technology that enables remote work success.
As an employer, a key component to ensuring your remote working employees stand the best chance for success is to provide them with the highly-secure and reliable, versatile, and feature-rich technology solutions to get their jobs done well. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank in order to set your teams up for success. Cloud-based platforms can deliver everything your employees need to thrive, from voice, video, chat, and file collaboration, to contact center, customer relationship management, billing, and financial software, and much more. And with the right cloud solution provider, you can pay a low monthly fee with no contracts to get the technology your team needs, all while not having to worry about expensive capital investments. Your company should also have the right security protocols established, which may include installing remote management software, virus protection and monitoring software, as well as ongoing security training to protect both their systems and your network from malware and data breaches.
You should both agree on a temporary arrangement before going all-in.
A solid WFH practice is to start with a 60 or 90-day trial period to see if WFH makes sense for both the employee and your organization. If all goes well, you can then extend the arrangement to 6 months or more.