Making digital ways of working, work
Video meeting or phone call? How do you find a work routine, when working remotely? And how do you run workshops and keep your culture going? To help organisations rapidly adjust to a new normal, we’ve established a response that leverages expertise in IT, Human Resources, Internal Communication and Facilities Management so you can empower your employees to work differently.
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How to Make it Work
As long as we’re all aligned on expectations, working remotely can be an effective alternative to the office.
What do we need to consider?
Educate business and team leaders about their role in setting the tone of remote working, as well as highlighting the benefits—working from home can’t be all bad!
Understand that the remote working situation may not be ideal for everyone. Flexibility will also require patience and empathy from all of us.
Map out jobs and tasks that could be impacted by COVID-19 and challenge assumptions about jobs that wouldn’t usually be done remotely.
Adopt a set of guiding principles to support remote working. It’s important to help teams feel that they have the support they need to work—and not work—remotely.
Top 10 Tips for Working Remotely
- Designate a workspace for focus in your home
- Develop a daily routine
- Embrace technology tools for collaboration
- Communicate frequently with your team
- Communicate openly with your clients
- Remain contactable
- Don’t over-rely on email/IM – use the phone
- Block your calendar for “working time”
- Dedicate time for casual social interactions
- Regularly review performance with team leader
How to Be a (Remote) Team Player
- Keep communication going — it’s the best way to facilitate a conversation around what remote working should look like.
- Ensure that staff and team members can access relevant information to help them get the job done.
- Provide necessary mobile technology solutions.
- Ensure your organisation’s IT teams are aware of shifts to remote working and are prepared to support an influx of remote workers.
- Provide training as needed to ensure all practitioners are skilled in relevant organisation and client technology
- Consider whether your remote access function is set up to handle the entire user base coming in at once—it usually isn’t.
- All practitioners should be responsible for maintaining communication within the team. Don’t be shy!
- Teams should set expectations by discussing being reachable, responsive and dependable.
- Team leaders should allocate time during check-ins to discuss what’s going well and what to build on while the team is working remotely.
- Encourage all practitioners to adopt available virtual collaboration technology.
- Make sure you have breaks. A daily schedule of 100% video calls is exhausting!
- Use video conferencing, even if it’s just to say hi—it really helps everyone feel more connected.
- Explain to clients what a remote team will look like in the day-to-day.
- Set (realistic) expectations around availability, when and how teams will stay in contact as well which channels will be used for sharing business critical information.
- Having established there will be no business disruption, your organisation’s leaders should be able to speak to the benefits of remote working, including:
- Time and productivity gains due to reduced travel.
- Streamlined client communication.
- Continuity of team members resulting in consistent service levels.
- Cost savings and positive impact on sustainability.
The Case for Remote Working
It’s true, the challenge that we’re facing today is unprecedented—so, we don’t have a lot of exact historic reference points to draw upon. Luckily, we’re fortunate enough to have a wealth of experience with teams working remotely and flexibly. Here are some key learnings we’ve gathered from the world of software development:
- Think about the outcome, not the input – We already know that we all work differently, and remote working is your chance to drive outcomes and do your work, your way. If you can get the job done in your PJs and slippers, then why not?
- Catch up regularly and often – Find times that work with your team and schedule a daily (or more!) catch up. Keep to them even if there aren’t a lot of updates. Sometimes it’s just good to get the gang together.
- Quick chats – Use instant communication channels, preferably one that you can mute when things get busy. Emails and face-to-face chats will still have their place, but for quick queries and questions, a professional messager will do the trick.
- Offline reviews, except online – Design and code reviews can all be done with online video conferencing. In fact, prepare to be surprised by how much can be done pretty seamlessly online, from presentations to knock-off drinks and board game night.
- Overcommunication is better than undercommunication – Think of all the micro-interactions you have in an office space. *Poof* Gone. This means we have to be a lot more active in our communication, to get the same amount of information.
- Keep track to stay on track - Use development and resourcing tools to have your team track their tasks. This will help everyone keep visibility on what’s happening, trace gaps, issues, and slowdowns so that everyone can help out.
What you should know
What’s a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides an extra layer of security when accessing organisation or client confidential information. Use VPNs when accessing confidential information on a public or unsecure Wi-Fi network.
Secure your personal WiFi connection
If you’re not using a VPN when working remotely, it is good practice to ensure you are using a secure network. We recommend:
- Changing the router’s default password.
- Ensuring that Wi-Fi networks have a strong passwords.
- Check wireless configuration to ensure that WPA2 encryption is selected.
Look for warning signs when browsing the internet
When browsing internet outside of your organisation’s network, you should exercise additional vigilance to identify potentially suspicious or malicious activity and try to avoid unsecure websites.
Beware phishing attempts
Most organisations have implemented security measures to help protect you from email phishing attempts. But you never know—ensure that you remain protected when working outside of your organisation’s network and stay vigilant for phishing attempts and activity.
Lock down your laptop
When working remotely it is important to protect confidential information from being viewed or accessed by unauthorised third parties. Remember to:
- Lock your computer screen when you are away from your laptop.
- Do not use personal email accounts or other non-approved cloud platforms to store confidential information.
- Ensure you keep your laptop secure when unattended.
Secure any hard copy materials
When working remotely be conscious of your physical environment and exercise additional caution, such as:
- Avoid printing materials containing confidential information on home printers wherever possible.
- Do not print documents containing high-risk confidential information on personal or public printers.
- Avoid storing hard copy documentation containing confidential information wherever possible.
- When unattended ensure any hard-copy documentation is locked away securely.
Having confidential conversations
Public places are never private! Ensure that when having conversations involving confidential information, you are in a private space where you cannot be overheard by unauthorised third parties.
What to do if you suspect a confidentiality, privacy or security breach?
If you suspect that the confidentiality of any data may have been compromised, report the incident to the relevant teams within your organisation. And remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution than let a breach slip through the cracks.
The Virtual Meeting Checklist
Include dial-in details on all meeting invites
Get Some Face Time
Turn on your camera
Cone of Silence
Take your call somewhere quiet
The Other Cone of Silence
Use the mute switch
Early Bird Gets the Worm
Be on the call 2-3 minutes prior, or 5 if you are hosting
Keep meetings to 25 and 50 minutes so everyone gets regular breaks
Give everyone an equal opportunity to share their voice
Sharing is Caring
Use digital collaboration tools
What’s Plan B
Include meeting agendas/provide everything needed
Preparation is going to be key to staying secure. So, before you leave the office, here are some steps to take while you’re still connected to your organisation’s network.
- Restart your computer to make sure you have your organisation’s latest updates installed.
- Take your devices and power adaptors home with you each night just in case.
- Reset your password while you are in the office to and while you’re connected to your organisation’s network.
- Read your organisation’s Information Security Acceptable Usage Policy.
- Understand what digital collaboration tools your organisation has available.
- Know how to connect to your organisation’s Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Know how to use any applicable Multi-Factor Authentication set in place by your organisation’s IT department.
We’re in this together
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in this experience. We’re all facing similar challenges and obstacles, and it’s easier when we do that together. So, to discuss how you and your team can make remote working work, don’t hesitate to contact us.Get in touch