The coronavirus crisis has prompted many companies across industries to adopt new policies for working from home and shift to a remote workforce. Although organizations are now experiencing a high level of productivity and employees are adapting well to the situation, there are new technology challenges that come with working remotely. Especially for small to mid-sized organizations that may not have previously invested heavily in online tools or are moving business processes online for the first time, this new reality of working remotely is an opportunity for your organization to build new capabilities.
With a few strategic improvements to your organization’s technology, training, and operational practices, organizations can create more productive business operations during this crisis and build a stronger, more resilient organization for the future.
Below are a few best practices and key insights to help your business embrace remote work opportunities.
Adopt Online Tools and Processes
One of the challenges of the current COVID-19 crisis is that the very idea of the workplace has changed, and processes and operational functions are now migrating online. Companies are adopting new functions using online IT tools for the first time, for example, using eSignature software for signing employment documents or contracts.
With a variety of business applications in the cloud, it’s easy to go online and find tools for all sorts of business functions. Gaining access to IT tools is often not the challenge for business leaders. Instead, the primary obstacle is discovering how to select and implement the right systems, processes, and training to maximize value.
As you evaluate tools, there are a few questions you should consider, how do you know if the software application will be a good fit for your organization? What criteria are you using to choose one tool over another?
Software tools are intended to enable your organization’s underlying business process. If your company is adapting certain business processes to online tools for the first time, you might need additional support or training to choose the right IT solutions and train your people to optimize your organization’s productivity.
Achieve Better Collaboration
Working remotely doesn’t have to mean that people are isolated from their colleagues. There are excellent collaboration tools available now to help remote teams stay in touch and re-create some of the best aspects of in-person collaboration from Microsoft Teams to Zoom.
Your employees may already have access to software applications, such as Microsoft 365, but need more training on how to get the most out of these tools to work productively. Shifting to a digital workplace is an opportunity to explore the full potential of these collaboration tools.
Pay Attention to Cybersecurity
If you have employees who are working remotely for the first time, it’s important to enhance and adapt your cybersecurity efforts. A recent survey from the Cyber Readiness Institute found that:
- Only 40% of small businesses have implemented a remote work policy that is specifically focused on cybersecurity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
- 59% of small business owners expected that some of their employees would use personal devices while working from home
- Only 51% of small businesses are providing employees with technology tools to enhance cybersecurity while working remotely
- Only 46% of small businesses are providing cybersecurity training focused on working from home
There are a variety of ways to improve and support remote employee productivity while maintaining a secure environment. Addressing trainings, processes, and strategic frameworks for information security are a few keys ways your organization can strengthen cybersecurity even while employees are working from home or using personal devices.
Aldrich is Here to Support You
Now is the time to consider bringing in professionals who can help your business achieve these goals. We help educate companies on how to use their technology to improve employee productivity and enable business operations.
If your organization has questions about helping maximize productivity, implementing new tools or platforms, or getting strategic help to enhance your business continuity and resilience, the Aldrich Technology team of networking and infrastructure professionals is available as a resource.
Meet the Author
Aldrich Technology LLC
Throughout her career, Peggy Kitzmiller has been a builder and coach of teams exceeding organizational objectives. In her role with Aldrich Technology, she leads the business and works closely with clients on their IT strategy, governance, and regulatory compliance. She is a skilled collaborator, enabling cross-functional success throughout organizations. She has built divisions of publicly…
- Business Operations
- Strategic Planning
- Operational Excellence
- Information Management
- Client Experience