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Coronavirus… pondering remote working – Part 2

01 May 2020 Myra Knoesen

The coronavirus is starting to affect some things in our day-to-day lives.

“What seems likely to me is that human behaviour will change in the wake of Covid-19, with implications for the way we do things. Already we see some reluctance from clients to meet face-to-face. I also anticipate Covid-19 catalysing to change how we consume information and ideas. Multiple large conferences have been cancelled in recent days to avoid the risk of widespread infection among their delegates,” said Martin Bamford, CEO of Bamford Media.

In part 1 of the article we shared tips that could be useful if you, or your team, are working from home. In part 2 we share the ways in which you can help your team to work remotely. 

Helping your team to work remotely 

Richard Allum, Managing Director at The Paraplanners, put in place a number of tools to help his team work successfully. “These tools ensure that distance doesn't get in the way of us working well, and they help us to take care of the wellbeing of all team members.”

According to Allum, the following tips can help:

  • Use video calls. “We use Skype and Zoom as a way to see the people we're talking to. It's more personable and much more effective than phone calls - being able to see how people are reacting is really important.”
  • Schedule a regular team video call to see how everyone is doing, share news, ideas and information. “We see each other every day, at the same time. It's a really important touchpoint for the team.”
  • Part of working together is the opportunity to learn from others. “We carve out time once a week for a video call where we share what we've learnt that week.”
  • “Over the years, we've honed our infrastructure to ensure everyone has access to the information they need to do their job. This helps to limit any frustration or misunderstandings - and ensures we're delivering the best possible client service. Apart from video calls, email and shared calendars, we have three systems that we've built into our process and ways of working. We use Basecamp as a central record for projects and files. It means complete transparency and we value that. We manage workflow with Pipedrive so we can all see what is being worked on and what we have on. Finally, we use Harvest to help us track time on projects. The information it gives us helps us to plan in future work more accurately.”
  • Consider how policies or processes need to change to enable remote working. Do you need to consider your recruitment approach? Think about the physical work conditions of your team members - do they need any special equipment or support? How are you approaching data security and differences caused by remote working? In short, make sure you've walked through your key policies and process and, where necessary, adjusted them to take remote working into account.

“While our business is built around remote working, we still make sure we get together regularly. While the distances mean that that can be at least a day and a half ‘out of the office' for some team members, meeting each other face-to-face at regular intervals really helps with team camaraderie and is the perfect opportunity to explore some topics in detail,” concluded Allum.

There is still a great deal unknown about the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes. If you are thinking of taking extra precautions and incorporating remote working into your business, there are some great resources to help.

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