Businesses around the world were shocked that productivity soared after working from home became the norm. This was a simple benefit from a more focused environment that wasn’t plagued with non-essential meetings and also a more task-oriented workday.
Keeping up that momentum, however, is another story entirely. You cannot just expect people to continue to work productively at home without working to develop a streamlined and social work-from-home environment. Employees work best creatively and collaboratively. Anything less will only lead to your employees becoming disconnected from their goal, their work, and you.
By using this guide, you can keep employees engaged, and as a result productive even during the dark winter months.
It is expensive to manage your own server. They are large, expensive, and despite their size quite fragile. Cloud-based servers are much better for small and medium-sized businesses, as they allow you to not just take advantage of cloud-based solutions, but to also benefit from cloud storage. With cloud storage you can give each one of your employees access to the documents and tools they need, right from home.
In fact, it is fair to say that you cannot manage a remote team without a cloud-computing solution. Not only is it essential, it’s actually better for your business and your firm’s costs. You pay only for the size of storage that you use, and more importantly, data is backed up in multiple locations so there is less risk of mechanical failure destroying your business in an instant.
For now, however, we are going to focus on what cloud computing can do to improve the productivity of your remote employees:
Access to the Data They Need
If you have to manually find files that your employees need to work, and then have to send them by email every day, you are wasting hours upon hours. Not only are they not being as efficient as they can be, your day is being eaten up by menial admin tasks that you shouldn’t even be doing.
By migrating all your data to the cloud, your employees can access the information that they need, when they need it. You can even put user restrictions on the data they can access, so your creative team can’t have a look at your financials.
It is recommended you add these restrictions, not just to keep your teams focused, but to also keep your account secure from outside hacking.
Instantaneous Virtual Collaboration
It isn’t just access, it’s collaboration. When data and projects are available through the cloud they can be edited and worked on virtually on the cloud. This means that two people living across the city from one another can work on the same document simultaneously. They can add to project files, review and add notes, and so on.
The cloud solution you choose for this goal doesn’t have to be complex, either. Google Docs allows you to work collaboratively like this, but if you have more custom data and materials to work on, you will benefit from your own dedicated cloud server.
Use Online Proofing Software
Project management can feel like a nightmare to manage among so many remote team members, but the fact is the solutions that make great on-site project management also work digitally. The solution? A great project management tool, and proofing software. Both are key to managing remote teams.
Project management tools make it easy to assign different tasks to your team, whereas proofing software makes it easy to work with the final results, making it easy to manage and facilitate the creative review and approval process. Together they work to help keep teams up to date on what is happening, as well as ensure everyone stays on task. Together, they are one of the best solutions for any remote project team.
Virtual Company Culture
A great company culture works to keep employees engaged and passionate about their job and about your firm’s mission. How, though, can you possibly work to recreate the workplace culture you developed in the office online? You can use two main methods – one is an intranet solution, the other is a professional messaging solution.
Think of an intranet solution as your company’s very own social channel. Each employee and team can update your whole business on what they have been doing. They can post opportunities or get in touch with other employees they have never met for advice, or perhaps even for learning opportunities.
This is the best way to manage a large team of remote employees, and is ideal for medium, to enterprise-sized businesses. Just remember, as the manager, to post opportunities to learn, grow, and progress professionally so that your employees feel and see a future with you.
Professional Messaging Solutions
This solution can be as simple as the messaging system in your cloud tools, or it could be a custom solution like zoom or its competitors. Either way, make sure that one, the solution you choose is encrypted and protected. Two, that it offers tools that are beneficial to your business.
Be Open to Suggestions
Finally, remember to be open to suggestions. There is absolutely no downside to having an open or even anonymous forum where your employees can suggest improvements to their workflow, to meeting schedules, and even to the benefits that would appeal to them best. Not only will having such a forum help you, help your employees, it is also a key way to keep your employees feel engaged.
Being listened to and heard is one of the most important methods you can use to keep your employees engaged. You cannot and should not be the only one directing your business to the future; your employees all come from different backgrounds and may have some innovative suggestions that push your business and working culture to the next level. Work together, and build together, and use the right tools to get you where you need to go. Only then can you keep your remote teams engaged, productive, and working towards the future success of your company.