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By Alberto Jessurun / September 9, 2020 / Blog

5 Tips to Stay Connected in a Remote Work Environment

Your telecommunications plan, workflows, and office culture may look a bit different these days with a remote workforce. Here are 5 steps to keep teams connected.

Managing a remote workforce brings a new set of challenges to any company. When employees all have different setups, devices, and service providers, it becomes even more difficult to ensure that everyone is as productive as possible.

But remote work is here to stay, so businesses have to start adapting. One estimate found that, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, 25 to 30% of the workforce will be working from home by the end of 2021. 

One reason that telecommuting may continue is that when equipment and workflows are adapted to remote work environments properly, employees can be even more productive, and companies can end up saving more money by making the shift permanent.

If you’re managing a remote workforce, ensure that workers are staying connected with these strategies.

 1. Get the right equipment

To ensure connectivity, employees need updated equipment and the resources to be as productive at home as they were at the office. This could mean moving items in the budget to accommodate new tools and services. Remember that remote work means you can save thousands on office space, so use those savings to help employees build complete home offices. 

In addition to work computers, make sure workers have functioning, up-to-date equipment and work tools, such as:

  • Headsets with working microphones
  • A strong internet connection, which may require updated modems, routers, or subsidized Internet speed and data packages
  • Webcams
  • Work cell phones
  • Computer monitors
  • Printers

Check-in with each individual on your team to make sure they have everything they need to succeed. They also need a desk and workspace where they can separate their business and private lives. Do what you can to support them in creating such a space.

 2. Communication is key

As long as everyone has the right equipment, keeping in regular communication should be simple. Make sure to schedule meetings each day so employees still feel connected to the company and their team. Ask workers to always have their cameras turned on for more successful video meetings.

Even though an issue could be resolved with an email, take the extra time to talk to people face to face. This is especially crucial when working remotely, as workers can quickly start to feel isolated or become unmotivated and unproductive.

In addition to holding regular video and phone meetings, incorporate a chat platform where workers can communicate anytime throughout the day. This encourages collaboration and socialization, and it keeps everyone connected. Common platforms used in remote offices include Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Skype for Business.  

 3. Software and training

Making the shift to remote work means you’ll most likely be using new platforms and software, including tools that are completely cloud-based so everyone can access and upload files from anywhere. There may be a big learning curve with these tools for each team or worker. 

When you’re rolling out something new, hold training and webinars, and allow plenty of time for employees to get to know the new platform or software. One important training topic is security, which can be a lot different for cloud-based platforms and applications. Make sure to hold data privacy and security training so employees know the right ways to use your tools from their home or personal devices. 

 4. Be creative with remote events

Aside from work meetings, schedule plenty of socializing opportunities for workers, whether a Friday afternoon cocktail hour or after-work Zoom birthday party. Even though employees may communicate with one another every day, there’s something very different about a social hangout versus a work meeting. They can talk about their personal lives and the biggest challenges they’re facing working remotely.

Schedule regular happy hours, social lunches, and even workday check-ins where you can get real with employees about how they’re doing and what they need to feel supported. You can even use what would have been commuting time in the morning to have friendly coffee meetings with other employees.   

Let workers bring their children or pets into the room for special video meetups. Hold fun contests, trivia, or game nights to encourage friendly competition and keep spirits high.

 5. Remote culture is still office culture

Even though the workplace has moved remote, office culture should still be a high priority. It will just look a bit different. Think of new ways to reward employees for successes and accomplishments. Update your recruiting and interviewing strategy so the company’s ideals and priorities are still clear.

Make sure you don’t lose the core values and positive culture that your company had while in the office. Reiterate big-picture goals and where each individual fits into the vision. Encourage team managers to set and measure goals each week and month.

Remote work is becoming the new normal for companies across industries. Embrace the change and support employees as much as possible. Update equipment, make video meetings a priority, and focus on continuing your positive office culture. 

When you need to update tools and devices like cameras, networking equipment, or storage systems, work with Unisol International. We specialize in turnkey deployments of IP networking solutions and can help you improve your telecommunications setup. Contact Unisol International to learn more about our products and solutions today.

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