As the internet becomes a larger and larger part of our lives, working from home is easier than ever. Of course, the Coronavirus problem has caused this issue to be a lot more widely regarded. However, we are not here to discuss the Covid-19 problem, as most of you are probably sick of hearing about it by now. Instead, let’s focus on dealing with its consequences and learning to manage this new reality. Here are a few strategies for enhancing the productivity of your remote workers.
1. Create A Universal Security Policy
Because people will use a wide variety of devices to access the internet, it is difficult to make standards that everyone can follow. However, security is one of those instances where you need to have everyone working from the same rulebook. The consequences of a breach can be very high, so you cannot afford to be as flexible here.
Of course, you cannot always be sure that people will follow the rules. That’s where CASB technology comes into play. CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) technology allows you to act as the middleman between the cloud provider and the cloud users. Since work-from-home applications often make use of the cloud, this solves many problems at once.
2. Make Sure The System Is Reliable
While a lot of people prefer to work from home, it can present certain problems. One of these is the lack of proper instructions, which some people find quite problematic. Without a nearby supervisor to ask, some people will invariably be confused as to what is expected of them. If the system experiences a problem, that only makes things worse.
One of the best ways to deal with this problem is to make reliability one of your top priorities. You need to make sure that your employees will never find themselves in a position where they are unable to work. Most people are willing to work with a few limitations, but system downtimes lead to a lot of lost productivity and a lot of frustration. For starters, you should have a dedicated server for your employees, and it would be good to have at least one backup server as well. Of course, a proprietary server is also great from a security standpoint.
3. Learn To Be Flexible About Deadlines
When your employees transition from a standard on-site job to a remote job, there will naturally be an adjustment period. Without someone to direct them, many people will have trouble finding the time to get all of their work done. That being said, you should not tolerate those who are lazy. The key is to find a workable middle ground.
We would recommend that you give every assignment a deadline, but be prepared to extend those deadlines when necessary. There is obviously a limit to how flexible you can be, but try to have a little bit more forgiveness until your remote employees have had time to adjust. Naturally, the amount of tolerance that an employee gets in this department should be determined by the quality of their work. An employee who consistently brings great results will deserve a little more forgiveness than a punctual employee who gives only mediocre results.
4. Schedule Frequent Video Conferences
When people are working from home, there is a danger that they will begin to feel isolated from their fellow employees. Social interaction is a vital part of a healthy workplace, and you don’t want to throw that away. When people genuinely like/respect one another, it is far easier for them to work together.
There are a lot of video conferencing apps that can help you in this regard. Zoom is probably the most popular, but it has been shown to have some serious security vulnerabilities. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives. You can use these apps to maintain good communication between team members and make sure that everyone stays updated.
When you choose your video conferencing app, you should keep security in mind as your top priority. Make sure that the app uses strong encryptions, and make sure there aren’t any obvious security flaws. For instance, Zoom uses administrator privileges during installation to access the camera and microphone. While the people at Zoom probably won’t abuse this access, others certainly will. Do your research and find a program without any obvious security holes.
5. Be Careful About Third-Party Applications
When your employees are working remotely, they will most likely be using proprietary software. If you aren’t doing things this way, you should know that it’s the most secure method. However, you can bet that your employees will use other apps when doing their work.
For instance, many people use grammar-checking and spell-checking software to improve the quality of your writing. You can’t necessarily expect all of your employees to be professional-quality authors, so this is a reasonable thing to allow. However, you need to exercise some control over which apps and programs your employees use on their work devices.
The inadvertent installation of malware is probably the biggest security threat out there. Many people imagine that hackers and other bad actors will “hack” their way into a closed system. In fact, it is far easier for them to trick you into hacking yourself. They do this by creating a seemingly useful and benign software program. It will probably be offered at no cost, but there will be a heavy price in the end. When the end-user gives the program permission to install, they are basically opening the door for a malware threat.
If your business has seen a large upsurge in remote workers recently, there is no reason to be alarmed. Even before the recent crisis, as much as 25% of the U.S. workforce was already working from home. Thus, the economy was already moving in this direction anyway. While some will resist this change, the smart move is to embrace it fully. If you have found our article to be helpful and refreshing, we hope that you will fill out the contact form.