A blog on the 5 factors that keep remote working safe and productive for both employer and employee.
Remote working is an interesting blurring of responsibility between HR and I.T. HR define the working policy and I.T implement it!
So here are five best practices that work for the remote worker – after all the easier tools and technologies are to use, the more they will be adopted.
1. Addressing the pain-in-the-neck factor
The first unseen factor in data security is the simplest: complex policies – like specifically-formatted passwords that need to change each month – just create too much work for people to feel good about them. We all understand the need for security and encryption, but over complicating this might lead to people practising “unsafe secs”. (How many passphrases have you seen written openly on a Post-It?)
So turn things around. How can you make complying with policies safe and easy?
This is where unified communications solutions (UC) could be the saviour for both employee and employer. Single-sign-on and verified identities can wall off your company data and keep it safe in its own space – irrespective of whose child has sneakily installed Steam on Mum’s laptop. All while allowing full access to the applications remote workers need. Win-win.
2. Avoiding the end-run around I.T
A second issue involves “rat runs” – all those unapproved apps that let users dodge the I.T department’s policies and “go dark” like a wannabe Jason Bourne. (Of course, they’ll still come running to you when something breaks.)
Instead of shutting them down, why not listen to them… and provide those same apps within the security walled garden? A VPN can enclose many apps in a UC framework – and your UC partner may well support a broader range than you think.
3. Managing without the metrics
Data and stats are useful in any function – HR is no different. Having information on where people and what they are using might seem logical on the face of it.
But assessing employees on location or time should be long gone – micro manage your employees and they they won’t be collaborators but collabor-haters. So, If HR are looking for reports – work with them to find out the really useful metrics.
Softer stuff like contribution to team or respect of peers may be a great idea… and today’s communication and collaboration tools can enable them. The knowledge economy isn’t driven by time, but focus. 31% of managers suggest improving management skills as a means of improving productivity and 24% suggested investing in technology.
4. Cheerleading for video
When remote working it’s easy to feel disconnected from the team which can lead to disengagement. Try mandating video for all meetings (where practical) so people get used to using the tools and tech – they will enjoy it!
Making every conference a video conference, and every call a face-to-face chat, is a great way to build those subtle bonds of friendship and respect all high-functioning teams depend on; and when starting a video conference can be done in one click your teams will immediately engage.
5. And celebrating the small talk!
With a remote workforce companies need to make sure regular face to face touchpoints are in place. Whether that”s a weekly meeting, regular socials or 1-2-1s – don’t lose the human touch,
So don’t restrict – empower. Everyone is different but showing your teams they are valued through the management style and their access to the right tech will go along way to creating a high performing team.
These are just five… but you can already see the I.T Manager can contribute a great deal more to remote working than “just the tech”. As always, I.T is the enabler. Now enable some of that for yourself.
- For smarter remote working, let people collaborate as people
- Best practice I.T policies make compliance easy for remote workers
- VPNs increase I.T security among remote workers… because there’s no reason not to