Even before the world was overtaken by the coronavirus pandemic, remote staffing was gaining traction among both companies and workers. From your company's point of view, remote workers reduce your office's square footage. From a worker's point of view, remote work allows more schedule flexibility. Early risers can start at four in the morning, while night owls can end their day at that time. The only question is whether or not your company is prepared.
For companies with sensitive information, one key consideration is whether or not the VPN (virtual private network) can handle remote work. A VPN works well in an office setting where all of the employees connect directly to the necessary servers.
Working remotely, companies large and small might not be able to handle the strain of most of their workforce accessing the VPN at the same time.
At the other end of the VPN, your company has no control over the connections your employees use to access sensitive data. With some businesses remaining open, your employees could try to catch up on invoicing while getting a car repaired, accessing secure company information over an unsecure network at the same time.
Even if your VPN can handle the traffic, can your meeting software accommodate your needs? What documents do your remote workers need? What are their hardware and software requirements? Does your cloud-based HCM platform support remote work?
Ideally, your company would have time to practice remote work like you would a fire drill. All your employees would know exactly what equipment, software and supplies they would need. Sadly, these are not ideal conditions.
A strong IT department can help. Even after your workforce has left for the week or the month, your IT personnel can recommend teleconferencing software that fits your company's needs and your employees' abilities.
It's hard enough to coordinate meetings when everyone is in the office. Your demeanor and your ability to keep schedules as close to normal as possible will communicate volumes to your employees. Whether your meeting software is a simple phone call or a video conference call, the way you communicate is as important as the tools you use to communicate.
Train Remote Workers Remotely
Most importantly, are your workers trained for long-term work from home? Even the best networks and software are useless if your employees don't know how to use them efficiently.
Your HR department and your IT department can join hands virtually to provide training. IT personnel can design simple programs to gamify training for the new software. Each unit should cover a few basic program steps, followed by a short quiz. HR personnel can keep a sense of normalcy in the workday with easy-to-use online timekeeping, expense reporting and leave utilization software.
Turn to trusted partners like Inflection HR to solve your technical and HR issues. Not only does Inflection HR work with you to create company efficiencies during normal business, we provide useful information during stressful times.
Take a few minutes to check out our COVID-19 resource page with both federal- and state-specific information.
Contact us to see how we can help your small- to medium-sized business now and as your employee begin to return to the office.