The coronavirus outbreak that turns into a pandemic is perhaps the most ideal time to test and polish the work-from-home set-up of many companies. A lot of business owners used to be hesitant to implement it but considering the safety and welfare of everybody versus COVID-19, going home is perhaps the best solution to avoid work disruption.
As you proceed with such scenario, have this in mind: trust your staff that they will deliver the required output and discipline yourself to focus on the work even when at home. Secure a good spot for you and your laptop (and it should not be near an inviting, cozy bed).
I have been working as a home-based consultant for a couple of years and I can so relate with the challenges (and the perks) of running remote teams and conducting meetings with clients other than their boardrooms. There are online platforms that can help you maintain quality results.
- Consider voice calls and video chats like Messenger, Viber, Skype, GoToMeeting, and Google Hangouts. I mostly use Skype especially its share-a-screen features when presenting to small groups of attendees; Hangouts is good for some countries like in Dubai. Zoom is currently the most reliable video conferencing I have tried and very simple to use. These tools are very useful as it guarantees that you are within reach and clients can get in touch with you anytime—it would still be good to set a window hour at work to avoid being sent a job order late night or on weekends.
- Explore project/team management tool like Basecamp (30-day free trial), Asana (15-day free trial), Monday (optional trial period), or Trello (free option). These aim to organize, track, and manage teams to every detail. You get a clear view from the dashboard of who’s doing what and its status. Explore the free options first before you decide which one to pay for the subscription. This requires some learning time so stick with either one.
- Some organizations especially the outsourcing industry are using screen monitoring system like Timer to make sure their employees are onscreen but I am not very keen to do this; the use of it still depends on the nature of work. For digital marketing, what matters is submitting the right material on time and being promptly there when needed.
There are still so many other tools to use that can help in communicating and monitoring deliverables but these are futile if we don’t redirect our attitude and commit to have a strong drive of building a productive experience while working at home… and staying safe.