With the recent Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, many companies are looking into remote working options for their employees. This transition will be difficult for many organizations that are accustomed to working together in an office setting. With everybody being encouraged to self-quarantine and limit interaction with others, how are we supposed to get any work done that requires team effort and collaboration?
The great thing about present-day technology is it allows people to communicate with each other in many different forms no matter where they are. In terms of connectivity, mobility and collaboration technology has advanced in leaps and bounds and many jobs that once required in-person interactions can be performed remotely. The trick is to find the right software that will meet the needs of your team.
At ProSky, we have teams that work remotely from all over the world. We have been using many different types of software to keep the lines of communication going ever since our humble HR tech startup beginnings. In our experience, the following types of software are absolutely essential for small to mid-size companies if you want your employees to have a successful remote work experience:
File Storage/Sharing Software
Regardless of what industry your company is in, having a place to store and share your files brings a lot of flexibility to the workplace. It's great to be able to upload pictures, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, etc. online and be able to access it from any device. Being able to share a link to the files with your coworkers is absolutely necessary for successful remote work.
For good file storage and sharing software, we recommend either DropBox or Google Drive. Both have free versions to get you started, but you may want to look into paying to increase the storage amount.
Although these types of software bring increased convenience and flexibility, be sure to take the privacy settings into account! While opening up access to everyone in your organization is easy, allowing anyone to edit or access the information can lead to some security concerns. Access rights and ownership transferring of files need to be considered if employees change roles or leave the organization. Having a well-documented succession plan in place will help make these types of transitions smooth and easy.
Audio/Video Conferencing Software
Working from home sounds great, but remote employees are still humans who desire human interaction! Being able to talk and see other teammates during meetings goes a long way toward providing connectedness and preventing miscommunication. Consider implementing a meeting at least every week so that remote employees can communicate with management and coworkers about different tasks.
You can choose from Microsoft Teams (Skype), Google Hangouts or Zoom to provide quality audio and video conferencing for all your business meeting needs. All are cost-effective and efficient, but each has different strengths and pricing depending on your team size.
Keep remote employees connected and engaged by providing some fun questions or discussion topics for them to participate in during the conferencing. You can even have online competitions that award creativity or hard work from team members or allow you to spotlight someone for outstanding achievement.
At ProSky, we have weekly meetings with our remote teams to go over progress and assign new tasks/goals in person. It's a great time for us to go over questions and concerns we may have as well as share ideas or opinions on how to approach different challenges. While these meetings are about business-related topics, we take some time in the meeting to ask each other about our lives and learn about one another which helps us connect on a more personal level too.
A few problems that come with working remotely (and admittedly anywhere) are keeping organized, staying on task, and being able to collaborate with teammates remotely. With Project/Task Management Software, employees are able to keep on track of tasks they need to do and communicate with co-workers and leadership about project details.
Asana is an innovative HR service that allows you to manage team projects and tasks. With its interface, you are given all the tools you need to work with others whether they might be across the world or at the desk right next to yours. Asana has many integrations that essentially provide you with everything you will need to stay on task with your deadlines and goals. This user-friendly product allows you to see what others are working on, view everything you are working on in an easy to read way, share progress reports with others, tie in emails, files, etc into one place, and organize your tasks. It's a great organizational tool!
With task management software, you can keep everyone’s tasks organized and know exactly what is going on at all times. It's helpful to not only keep track of the tasks we create for ourselves but also being able to see what coworkers are doing by creating various groups and inviting different members of the team to be included in those groups. By using task management software, employees also have the ability to track company goals and milestones so that everyone understands where they fit into the big picture.
We have to add our innovative software to this article! With the Prosky platform teams can work together using our "Desk" feature. It's kind of an all-in-one combination of all the other types of software we've gone over so far!
With the ProSky platform's desk feature, everybody can log in, see who else is online, and communicate directly using audio or video chat to work together on various projects. This handy feature also gives teams real-time interaction abilities such as drawing/writing things on the online whiteboard, take notes, assign tasks, set due dates and upload files. People can even write code together if the project requires it. If you are an executive, you may be overseeing multiple groups at the same time. You can have separate groups for your tech, sales, or your marketing team.
On the ProSky platform, Companies can set up checkpoints and subtasks to visualize completion rates for certain projects and challenges. Tracking this progress is crucial to managing your remote employees. Having clearly defined milestones will help all employees, including your in-house ones, be more productive and efficient in team tasks.
Besides the great collaborative Desk tool, ProSky also has a pathway feature you are able to hire more effectively while increasing employee retention and quality. Through pathways, you can let your employees know they can develop and advance in your company. Pathways combine features of succession planning to evaluate your employees for training and development to make them eligible for growth opportunities. Through Pathways, you can ensure that you are prepared for all unplanned incidents, lower your expenses, and see a boost in performance.
We also offer additional features such as; company branding, evaluate real-time, Projects and challenges, communication, scheduling, and onboarding. With all of these features, we are essentially creating a foolproof and efficient way for you to get all the necessary work done.