When you first started your business, chances are you didn’t see 2020 coming. Internet connectivity and appropriate computer support for your workforce were probably at the top of a long list of equipment that you knew you needed to keep your office up and run.
Still, not many would have predicted the need to rely entirely on these resources for all business support and communication. Phillip Baumann, who provides IT support in Fort Lauderdale with BoomTech shares his insights into running a business with a remote workforce.
The reality is that working with a remote workforce opens up an entire slew of different issues that many business leaders would have never predicted they’d have to deal with. When everyone is separated and working from home, your business needs to ensure that the company’s needs are met, that the employees are adequately supported and that there isn’t any damage to the product delivered to clients by the sudden change in your business model. There are critical steps that a business needs to take to ensure that working remotely works for everyone.
Managing IT Support for your Remote Workforce
The number one thing that a company can do wrong during these digital times is to assume that working from home means that employees can fend for themselves when it comes to internet accessibility and technical support. While many employees likely have reliable internet at home, the fact that their internet service will suffice for your corporate needs is not something you can take for granted.
The absolute most crucial thing that you need to do to ensure that your company can stay up and running during this time is to provide managed IT support to your employees, regardless of where they are working. This means providing your employees with access to hardware and software support as needed and doing the research to find what other aspects of technical support your employees will need to do their jobs productively and effectively.
This includes ensuring that your team has all of the following:
- A secure internet connection that is protected. This is especially important if your employees log into secure sites on their computers or use corporate computers. You need to make sure that they are not letting potential attackers when they are logging in to do their job in the morning.
- A straightforward way to communicate and collaborate. Merely relying on email and telephone calls isn’t good enough anymore. 2020 quickly became the video call age, but there is an even greater need for quicker communication that video calls can’t always offer. Chat features that allow employees to have ongoing conversations for collaboration are helpful.
- Cloud platforms for continuous collaboration. There is a need for employees to work together as effectively as if they were still sitting next to one another in the conference room. Platforms like Microsoft Teams can help make this happen by giving employees the option to collaborate seamlessly on a single document.
- Remote IT services and security. With people connecting from every which way, all trying to collaborate to complete a project for a client or manage business affairs correctly, there will be user issues. You need to make sure that your employees can get back online quickly, whether it is a lost password or a broken device, so that you don’t have any corporate downtime. Remote IT management can help you by ensuring that IT support is always just a phone call away.
Of course, technical support isn’t going to be able to fix every issue that you are likely to encounter in shifting to a remote workforce. When you are all working together in one office, it is easy for managers to keep an eye on everything happening on the entire floor. People can communicate with each other seamlessly and without taking up too much time. This goes away with a remote workforce, and so to ensure that everyone can still get their jobs done, it is essential to make sure there are clear expectations regarding who reports to who and how information should be handed in.
When your business shifts to a remote workforce, an essential thing that you can do is trust your employees to do their jobs. Work together, trust each other, and support one another. Going fully digital is a challenge, and while it has been done out of necessity a lot in the past year, moving forward, this may become a preferred way of working for individuals. Take the steps needed to ensure that your business stays safe and functional during your transition to remote working, and you may find that a digital workforce is exactly what your business needed to thrive.