Breakdown of what to do for setting up your business to work from home/flexi-working for the long term.

For many of us, homeworking was driven by COVID-19, with little preparation. Now, organisations can reflect on how to make homeworking the most effective for the future. With restrictions easing and people easing back into ‘normality’, the public has been contemplating the future of home working. Whether pro-homeworking or pro-flexi-working, the best move for many businesses is to embrace this change. We at ComputerWorld have written a few points that organisations should reflect on so that homeworking is ready for your organisation’s future.  

Structure

It may seem like common sense, but when establishing what form of work structure is going forward (i.e., fully remote, flexi), speak to those members of staff about expectations and structure from working remotely.

Ask your staff to map out their weekly plans/objectives/breaks etc., on applications like Microsoft Teams Calendar; it will assist with the overall coordination of remote working. In addition, a virtual assistant like Cortana helps with this organisation, helps users set reminders, and follow-ups to emails. This personal productivity assistant in Microsoft 365 aids your staff in instructing their week and setting priorities for what to focus on.

Technology

Providing both hardware and software is essential for your employees to work effectively while remote working. Ensuring you have the correct and tailored equipment in place for each staff will help with productivity. For example, co-workers that create creative content may need three monitor screens compared to others. Some may need an account for Adobe, while everyone else needs a 365 subscription. Although this upfront cost of getting your staff prepared for homeworking may seem a lot, think of it as an investment. Office space can be reduced if more people are home-based, utility bills in the office will be reduced, complimentary items like coffees, snacks, etc. are no longer needed, commuting time can be invested into work-related projects, and overall, workers and organisations will both save money from home working.

Security

There has been a growing fear regarding businesses’ IT security. Businesses are rightly thinking about how homeworking could affect their IT security, from high-profile cases published in the media to more minor breaches.

Investing in good IT security is just good business practice. Speaking to a cyber security specialist will highlight your business’s priorities when it comes to IT. For example, The Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) may be more important than the Recovery Point Objective after a significant incident.

Understanding the different forms of IT Security that your business could need will help create layers of protection for your data. From Two-factor authentication to Back Up and Disaster Recovery, there is a range of different services which will protect your business.

However, with more remote work, there is an interest in the security of the Cloud. Whether we want it or not, our data is heading for the Cloud. The best way forward is to embrace the different functionalities within the Cloud to help maintain control and security over your data. Speak to a Cloud specialist here.

Communication

Modern technology and applications have advanced the workspace. People can connect from different locations, countries, and even time zones. Having such communication technology is easier than ever to have access to; employees who have a good internet connection can liaise with both co-workers and clients. Remote communications/cooperation can first seem strange and potentially awkward, but remote communications lead to more efficient communication within your company. Communicating through apps means that people are speaking to who they need to be (whether it be a one-way communication or a group one), rather than distracting others around them. Understanding the different uses of different communication apps also will create a clear space for various forms of communication. Such as wanting to ask a non-business question or update your co-workers on an achievement, Microsoft 365 has a professional social media platform called Yammer. Or, if you need to message someone specifically about a project, Teams chat would be the best solution. Having a customised communications charter maps out an easy guide to where you should communicate for different reasons. Simple measures like this act as a catalyst for better cooperation and organisation.

Overview

Change can be challenging to embrace, but once we do, it can make life easier. For example, like online banking, many were sceptical over being able to access your bank account via a device. But now, we can all see the benefits of online banking, like accessibility, ease, and we are all confident in its security measures.

Embracing the move to home working may be seen as challenging in the short term, but it makes life and business activities easier in the long term.

If you want more guidance or advice in properly implementing homeworking for your business, speak to one of the ComputerWorld experts.

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Define your strategy

If you want more guidance about your home working policy or want to discuss what technology could support your home working strategy, book a meeting with our specialists.