It has been more than a year already that
1. Electronic document management
Even if you are moving an existing team from offices to work from home, you can still encounter a situation when certain employees will want to change their domicile or work from other localities on a temporary basis. Under the law, the employer may record the place where the employee is supposed to perform his/her job function in the employment agreement, but may not control it or obstruct relocation unless it disrupts the work processes. Therefore, it is crucial that the company has a rapid document management system. For instance, when you need an employee to sign an addendum to the employment agreement or sign transfer and acceptance certificates with a supplier promptly.
Obviously, a considerable portion of paperwork may be sent by courier in town or by mail, but the best way to rule out the risk of losing documents and to speed up the signing process is to use electronic HR document management. Solutions of this sort allow to make employees aware of the company’s new by-laws, notify the employer of changes in personal data, and create requests for statements and vacations expediently. For instance, our
2. New-generation task managers
One of the managers’ concerns when working with a remote team is the risk of losing control over processes, being unable to monitor the workflow chain or identify the task status correctly. The decline in networking opportunities and involvement in joint projects that arise spontaneously in the office thanks to the physical presence of all employees in a single room may be made up for by training the team to work with electronic planning tools. Task managers guarantee that the task will not get lost somewhere during correspondence, the file will be saved in an electronic storage, the employee will get a reminder about the deadline, and the manager will be able to monitor the work load and performance of all specialists under his/her supervision at all times. However, popular planners have certain problems, in particular:
Oftentimes, they are not used company-wide: each work team may use its own task manager, which will complicate task-setting and communication with adjacent departments.
They hardly synchronise with other software programmes and applications.
This is the reason why our company has developed
3. Empathy as a critical skill for every leader
Time is a valuable resource that is to be managed wisely. A hectic schedule, overload with current tasks or major projects that require special attention may make the employee lose track of time, miss a call, or forget about a scheduled meeting. At times, remote employees have more trouble switching: they disregard the end of their hours, get in touch during their free time, and overwork, which exposes them to the risk of burnout.
Despite commitment to the targets, the manager should not forget about the fact that his/her employees are people before anything else who have their own needs and problems; who may get sick, experience emotional distress, or simply have trouble coping with the work load. It is crucial to demonstrate empathy, monitor the team members’ schedule, ask them about their condition so that the colleagues felt support from the management. Sometimes, extended deadlines are not as bad as the risks that a specialist will stop coping with a high workload, makes a critical error in an important document, or choses to resign at the worst possible time.
4. Integrated tool instead of messengers and email
The communication strategy should be developed minding both the internal interface inside the team and communication with the outside audience. Normally, the list of communication channels includes email, telephone, a group in a popular messenger, and conference call platforms. You should make sure that every single employee is perfectly aware of:
The communication channels used company-wide in a situation when the employee needs to get in touch with the specialists from other departments: for instance, this may be a corporate phone number, email, or video call.
The communication algorithms established inside the work team: for instance, the messengers used by the team, the frequency of general meetings, procedures for setting a task for a colleague.
The tools that may be used to communicate with outside customers or contractors based on the information security regulations adopted by the company.
Oftentimes, there are situations when the employee has to use a multitude of diverse tools at the same time: he/she would use a certain messenger to communicate with the team, a different messenger – to communicate with customers, email – to get documents from suppliers, and online conferences – to discuss problems with colleagues. In the end, documents gets lost or duplicated, and the response time rises. Our company has tried to unify the communication channels by using a portal: thus, the customer, production teams, and customer managers may share information, ask questions, and set tasks in a single application instead of using isolated chats.
5. Teamwork solutions
Should several employees of your company be working on a single project or document, you can set up teamwork in order not to get lost in the interim versions or lose the up-to-date file. To that end, you can use either popular Google tools or personalised solutions customised for a specific organisation subject to confidentiality requirements. In addition to the standard Microsoft Office package, creative teams may choose to use online dashboards for collective efforts, brainstorming, or online training.