How do you plan for disturbances to your business that can show up at a moments notice? COVID-19 has rocked our world in a matter of weeks. Now we are all living in a remote world, planning for re-entry, and trying to positively impact our community all at once. It can be overwhelming to try to carry on business as usual, in this unusual time. The Schaumburg Business Association is dedicated to getting you as many resources as we can to help ease the turbulence. This new blog series will include member inspired information in three categories…
· Working from Home – Etiquette and Hacks
· Building a new Blueprint – Navigating COVID-19 and Planning for Re-Entry
· When Community is Business – Stories Using Business for Community
There are unlimited resources, perspective and expertise in the SBA membership, so if you or your business have something to share with the membership, please reach out to Marketing & Communications Manager, Christina Cox at CCox@Schaumburgbusiness.com to share!
There is a daily change to how we are adapting to the new way of doing business, but one thing is for sure, we are going to be utilizing being online for a while. Some businesses both need to be remote, while still gearing up to re-open. That means that we may need to hire and bring those new employees on virtually, event train them that way.
LaSalle Network has some tips to offer on how to make that process productive. View that article, here.
This new way, could also make it difficult to maintain the company culture you worked so hard to build. Lasalle Network offers some help on this too. Check out that article, here.
Many companies are operating on site and as usual. But, for most of us we find ourselves doing business in a whole new way. If you have found yourself being a part of or managing a completely remote team, you may be focused on logistics and placing company culture on the back burner. This could be a mistake, so SBA member Rieke Office Interiors has laid out a few great ways to keep company culture on point till we get back to the office.
Company culture isn't a place, it is a mindset.
If a recent change in your company has your employees working remotely, now is the most important time to focus on company culture. A study by Glassdoor revealed that most people believe a good company culture will make them happier at work than a higher salary. Thanks to modern technology, there are very successful companies that have no office at all, with an entirely remote workforce. By finding creative ways to carry on company culture, your company can thrive too.
Here are some tips for how to continue to grow a positive company culture with a remote team. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
Maybe you have logistics and culture down, now your thinking about what to do with your current work space to help keep your staff safe. ROI has got you there too!
Check out these great sheets on how to control the spread of viruses like COVID-19, using just your office furniture!
As the weather warms up and we spend more and more time inside, it is easy to slip into less productive ways as the days go by. It can be difficult to even frame out how to make the most of our time working remotely, for those of us who have the ability, so hear from a few Schaumburg Business Association members who seem to have cracked the code.
Lauren Klaus, TTSG
Let’s Face it. Business was not prepared for COVID-19. I mean really, no one generally was ready. Yet, here we are. As toiletries, canned goods, and sanitizer disappear we wait in anticipation. We read, watch and listen to news directing us on what to do. As a desperate attempt to try to contain the uncontainable, we do our best to isolate ourselves. No more restaurants and bars. No more concerts and sporting events. The recommended number of humans allowed to gather has now dwindled down to 10, we watch in shock as more business’s close offices to comply. Employees are asked to work from home only to realize they can’t effectively work at all. Companies putting off technology upgrades are now face to face with their worst nightmares. IT staff are spread thin trying to get everyone connected.
Let’s take a deep breath and clear our minds of the sensationalism that causes people to panic buy toilet paper. Instead, let’s talk solutions. What is needed for business to continue, not tread water, but effectively operate.
When workers are forced to work from home like with what we see now with the COVID-19 virus, the key to efficient business operations centers around connectivity. Does everyone have access to the information and resources needed to get the job done? Also, do employees have open lines of communication with the office or current management system?
This may seem like a, “duh” moment, but internet and e-mail access while working remotely is step one to successfully working from home. Fast and reliable internet access allows your employees to access company e-mail and, in many cases, Virtual Private Network (VPN) remote access connects employees to company resources. Are you currently set up and prepared to provide your employees with the tools needed?
Another vital business resource for remote employees is Voice over internet protocol. With VoIP anyone can access their office phone from anywhere and using an app, calls to the office can be forwarded directly to mobile phones. Employees should also have teleconferencing options for connecting with coworkers and clients. The question here being, do you have an updated phone system that has this ability? If the answer is no, I suggest looking into options. You would be surprised by how you may not only gain resources by making a switch, but you may be able to lower associated expenses at the same time.
In 2020 video takes center stage in how we communicate. Global web conferencing is projected to be a 20-billion-dollar market by 2024 via Global Market Insights. Access to video conferencing is critical now more than ever. Inadequate work conferencing practices causing low productivity and lost time can result in up to 34 billion dollars in losses annually. Besides being more engaging, video and web conferencing solutions can enhance the benefits of an organization’s current CRM platform. Zoom is a great tool that allows an organization to hold online meetings. Other collaborative tech tools to consider are SharePoint and Microsoft Linc. What tools do your employees have access to? What tools do you already have and are paying for, but are not using?
Data & Security
Do remote employees have access to data backup/recovery options? It is crucial that this challenge is addressed. Up to date policies and having a secondary backup system is critical to keeping data safe. Along with data backup/recovery comes network security and malware protection. Unfortunately, there are people out there who take advantage of crisis situations. Targeted Coronavirus themed spam and phishing attacks have spiked this month. Employees working from home need to be using work devices, let me say it again…work devices, that have up to date security in place to decrease the risk of malware leaking both work and personal information.
Digital Document Management:
Digital document management hosted in the cloud provides easy access to documents outside the office. More importantly, the paper workflows that are behind the day to day operations of an organization become digital workflows that are accessible on the go. Decentralizing decision-making to mobile apps allows any organization to continue with standardized processes even while working from home. AI-technology learns from actions taken and begins to automate processes independently giving one the ability to spend time on more important tasks. Management can easily track status and even set approvals to make sure all details are in order enhancing business agility. Storing and retrieving documents becomes as easy as a single search. Plus, the integration capability allows information to pull from or push into current management systems making working from home easier than ever before.
A great place for all types of resources is your Human Capital Management company. iSolved offers some great ways for you to make the most of your time right now.
iSolved Human Capital Management
As a result of the COVID-19 situation, millions of U.S.-based workers are now remote and may not know how to best manage their time and resources. Whether you’re afirst-time remote worker or you’ve been working from home for years, you can always improve your processes. Follow these tips to make working from home feelmore like your routine.
Stay in Communication
Communication is key to success in any role, but it’s especially important when you’re not physically with your coworkers or manager. Stay in touch with email check-ins, video conference calls, and instant messages. You may also want to provide daily or weekly wrap-up emails that outline what you’ve been working on and highlight any milestones or stalls in progress.
Use the Right Tools
No matter your role, you need the right tools to be able to work from home sufficiently and effectively as you do in the office. The main tools needed include a reliable Wi-Fi connection, a computer, and a work space. A secondary screen, a set of noise-cancelling headphones, and a wireless keyboard or mouse can further improve your setup, but these items aren’t as critical to your success in most cases.
Determine Your Style
Your style of working impacts your ability to succeed as a newly remote employee. If you are in the habit of using your daily commute to prep for the workday, you may need to spend a few minutes doing so at home before you log into your computer. If the pre-work time is when you decompress and destress,start your day by watching your favorite TV show, savoring a cup of coffee, or taking in the view from your patio before you clock in.
The amount of noise around you may also factor into your work style. If your office is typically humming with background noise, a silent work space could feel stifling. Try different setups to see how you like to work when you’re in your home.
When you’re surrounded by coworkers, breaks often come in the form of conversations. However, if you’re solo at home, you may find yourself working for hours at a time without giving yourself a minute to step away. Figure out whether you like a longer mid-day break or multiple quick breaks throughout your workday. It’s important to give yourself time away from your work space to prevent becoming overloaded or burned out.
Care for Yourself
Between the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and the change to your normal life,you may be feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. Don’t forget to practice self-care, an important aspect for every person, regardless of their work situation or position. Self-care may involve a regular fitness routine,preparing healthy meals and snacks, staying hydrated, or relaxing in a bubble bath at the end of a workday. No matter what helps you, make time to care for yourself and your well-being.
Use these tips to maximize your remote work setup and continue to take care of yourself and your needs. Remember – we’re all in this together and we will do what we can to get through the situation as best as possible.
Working productively at home looks different for every person, industry and setting.These great ideas for framing out a day in the life of social distancing, can help keep us on track till we are ready to reunite in person.