Seemingly overnight, the pandemic has forced organizations to stretch the flexible workplace policies as far as they could ever imagine. Even the ones with more traditional cultures have no option but to work remotely to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees. And those which already depended substantially on the work-from-home system have to realign the remote work program according to the new normal. For both kinds of companies, workplace disruption is the biggest challenge. To make things worse, you are likely to experience it more often than not, whether you are new to remote work or already used to this model. Still, there are ways you can keep going and manage them effectively or even prevent them in the first place. Here are some measures you can implement to keep your business disruption-free through the pandemic.
Provide proper infrastructure for the virtual workplace
The effort required to go fully virtual can be a Herculean one because you need to make sure that every employee has access to the right technology. Basically, you will need to invest in proper infrastructure for the virtual workplace to keep things running smoothly. This includes hardware devices like laptops and cell phones, a VPN, high speed WiFi, file sharing systems and access to essential tools and software. Unless you have a complete suite with all these elements, you can expect disruptions in work and low productivity for the employees. At the same time, the workforce needs adequate training on how to use them too.
Combat productivity pitfalls with virtual cultural initiatives
The right virtual workplace infrastructure is just half the work done when it comes to making your business pandemic-ready. You need to go the extra mile with your cultural initiatives as well. In a new reality, working from home can feel isolating for most people, which can have an adverse impact on their productivity and engagement. This is the last thing you would want to happen as a business owner; so strengthening your virtual culture with strategies such as gamification, virtual coffee talks and fun meetings is a good idea. Not only will it bring people closer together but also enable better collaboration for seamless working.
Be extra careful about IT support
Despite having the best infrastructure, providing proper training and strengthening your workplace culture, issues may still happen when people work remotely. The only way to prevent small issues from becoming major disruptions is by being extra careful with the provision of IT support. Outsourcing the services of a provider offering revolutionary IT support services is the best way to go. It can save you dollars in comparison to hiring an in-house IT team to address support issues. Moreover, you can trust them to resolve issues on the fly, which is vital for keeping things running smoothly and maintaining the confidence of people working remotely. Outsourcing would be feasible as a long-term decision for any business when remote work is apparently going to be around for the months to come.
Explore alternative work sites apart from office and home
While operating from your corporate office as usual may not be possible, working from home is not viable for some employees. This is a case with people working in highly sensitive roles, the ones who cannot be allowed to operate through unsecured locations or when they have to access or programs that are inaccessible remotely. Avoiding disruptions in such instances requires you to explore alternative work sites like sterilized coworking centers. When you consider such a work location, you must verify the measures they take for sanitation as you wouldn’t want to compromise with the safety of your people.
Prioritize employee health and wellness
Although employee and wellness may appear to have nothing to do with the prevention of workplace disruption, it can actually be of great value. Right now, you need to be most concerned about protecting the health of your talent, customers, stakeholders and vendors. Deploying a remote working plan, therefore, should not be a choice, no matter how much it costs. Getting your workplace ready for social distancing once it reopens is a good measure in this direction. After all, you need to be prepared for reopening safely because it is eventually going to happen.
Running your virtual workplace without disruptions can be a challenge but it is still something doable, provided that you have the right approach and attitude. Making any extra efforts is worthwhile because it will ultimately boost the productivity of your employees and drive growth for your business in the long run.
Photos courtesy of gettyimages.com