With the festive period almost over, many people will be getting ready to go back to work. However, with the Coronavirus pandemic still at large, going back to work for many means clearing the kitchen table of all the leftover food and setting up their laptop to work from home again. While working from home is something that a lot of people are used to now, as a manager it’s important not to get complacent and to think that everyone is working well or happy doing it. The novelty of working from home has now worn off and certainly, after Christmas, people may find it hard to motivate themselves to get back to work. This is no surprise and is normally the case, the difference is though, in other years, they have had to get dressed in their work clothes and actually travel to work which puts them in a different mindset. Right now, you might find your staff sat munching on Christmas treats all day while still in their Christmas pajamas. While for many it’s a quiet time of year anyway, it’s still important to get your team back into work mode and to get them feeling motivated. There are loads of ways you can do this, but this list, in particular, will give you some ideas of how you can use tech to motivate your remote team:
Set up a VPN.
One thing that’s going to frustrate people quickly when going back to work after having a few nice days of fun is their connection. If people are working from home and sharing the internet with the kids who are still off school and playing on their ipads and phones all day then your staff may struggle with their home internet connection. Set up a VPN for your staff which they can connect to at home to ensure a more secure and efficient data access. Take a look at these VPN chrome extension recommendations to see which ones may work for you. A VPN is also a good idea for the security of your business as it means that everyone using it will have all their data encrypted regardless of the network settings.
Ensure your employees have secure, stable Internet connections.
Following on from that, while you can’t control the internet connections and providers that your employees have, you could help them to make sure that their internet connections are as good as they can be. It makes life easier for your employees and things like Zoom calls run far more smoothly. Advise your employees to test their internet speed to make sure their connection is fast enough for their needs. Also, tell them to bookmark Downdetector to keep up with website and online services outages. This website is a great resource to see if others are experiencing issues with the same site or app, which can be more prevalent during specific periods. Make sure that everyone is using a VPN too and has the proper cybersecurity protection on their devices.
Keep on Top of Cybersecurity
Again, you can’t have full control of what everyone has at home, however, Cybersecurity is vital, especially when people aren’t in the office and aren’t protected by 24/7 system monitoring and file encryption. Cybersecurity can be adapted to remote working though, and if you have a managed service provider they can sort this out for you. Being on top of cybersecurity means that your information will not only be safer but there will be a reduced risk of downtime caused by security incidents and less chance of your systems being compromised which can result in lost data that takes time and money to recover.
Invest in New Tech
It is understandable if you’re struggling for money at the moment, Coronavirus has had many businesses hard. However, if you do have some spare or you have a technology budget then one thing that will keep people motivated and excited is new tech. It’s also an investment for your business because working from home requires new ways of working together and you will benefit from new technology designed to do this. VoIP technology can not only keep calls secure but will also give you access to more features that ease conference calling and voicemail. It also means that you can bring home your IP phone from your office and work remotely so that you will keep the same number, it will function as if it is at your office location. You will be able to page coworkers, dial extensions, transfer calls, and receive calls –all using your business telephone number.
Treat Yourself To Some New Project Management Tools.
When remote working, it can be a real challenge to manage projects effectively and keep track of what everyone is up to and when their deadlines. However, there is an answer because now there is an array of great software available which is built to handle tasks and track progress. Project management tools help to ensure that deadlines are set in advance and agreed upon, and many businesses find that using a project management approach empowers your team to get more done. Have a look at tools such as Jira or Trello which can be great for teams to communicate, discuss the tasks, follow up, and share feedback. There are a few free ones or free trials for project management tools, so be sure to have a look around and find one which works for you and your team.
It’s a difficult time right now and no one is disputing that or expecting you to find it easy, so therefore you shouldn’t expect your employees to find it easy either. Encourage them as best you can and try to make life easy for them where you can. With all the technology available now, there is usually a solution for everything, so it’s always worth looking into as it could make a huge difference to the running of your business.