In the past couple of months since COVID-19 turned our lives upside down, remote work has skyrocketed. Although working remotely is critical for us to eventually return to normal, it comes with its own set of challenges. One of the most notable can be summed up in a simple question: How?
Remote work game plan: learning from China’s example
How do you move your entire team from the office to their homes? How do you ensure productivity doesn’t come to a screeching halt? In short, you need a remote work game plan.
According to a recent article by McKinsey, you can follow the example set by multiple companies in China and their response to the remote work push. The lessons they teach us are summarized into the following points.
1. Create a work-from-home structure
Remote work often makes communication and collaboration difficult. That’s why you must create a structure for quick decision-making and communication. This structure should include small, cross-functional teams that understand who they should report to and their responsibilities.
2. Empower your team
Your team will experience unique challenges of remote work including work / life balance. Some members may need to work through feelings of loneliness and isolation. You can help them adjust by upping the levels of interaction to decrease feelings of isolation.
For example, increase one-on-one communication with your team members using video conferences. Or, send them an inspiring text update periodically.
3. Emphasize care within your team
Fast transitions such as going remote can come with other pressures outside of work. You must respect your team members’ individual challenges and show empathy to connect on a personal level. Increasing interactions via work chat and video conferencing tools can give your team an outlet for sharing those challenges and thoughts.
You must show your team that you care to build a culture of inclusivity. As a result, you’ll create a sense of psychological safety during this challenging time.
4. Establish a new workflow
Your old workflow must succumb to a new workflow to keep projects moving forward. Get together with your team to discuss how projects will be completed. Be sure to cover daily work responsibilities and any constraints you might experience.
5. Prevent poor communication
Productivity requires communication now more than ever. To prevent poor communication, implement multiple channels based on your team’s needs. Some examples include video conferencing, real-time chat, email, phone calls and more. Remember to choose tools that won’t distract your team from their work.
6. Use the technology available to you
Technology must be the driving force behind remote work. Start with the basics. Your team will need a stable internet connection, as well as access to the information and data they need to complete their work. The simplest way to make it happen is to enable Cloud tools for document sharing, project management, communication and more.
7. Focus on security
When your team isn’t aware of safe practices or uses unauthorized tools to get work done, security becomes a major concern. Safe and secure tech tools make a difference. Communicate with your team about the importance of confidentiality. Limit your data access to those who need it and implement verification.
8. Remain flexible
Above all, you must remain flexible, recognizing what isn’t working and fixing it quickly. Although you may need to implement a remote work game plan as soon as possible, nothing’s set in stone. Work with your team to find solutions to challenges as they arise.
Technology is the only way to make effective remote work happen
If there’s one common thread throughout these tips, it’s technology. While face-to-face communication and in-person collaboration are put on hold, you don’t have to sacrifice teamwork. Effective remote work depends on tech tools such as those offered through the Cloud.
To learn more about how to create a productive remote workforce, reach out to Pythian by calling us at 1-866-798-4426 or send us a message.