Check out some organisational tips for going digital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The zeitgeist shows a devastating but needed attention to the latest pandemic bringing the world to its heels—Coronavirus. Many brands are looking for ways to stay ahead during the outbreak and many others are still grappling to ready their workforces for rapid changes in work arrangements, like a shift to digital.
For many who can migrate their work and operations online, this means developing smarter policies and infrastructure surrounding remote work, mitigating operational roadblocks, and adapting work-schemes that minimise sustained contact to halt the spread of the virus.
But how can you assure that “work stays work” when people are working from the comfort of their homes where distractions are plenty? What ideal set-up can make remote employees stay productive? And what “tools of the (digital) trade” must be cascaded in order to make sure that you’re hitting organisational goals and daily deliverables?
In this list, we give you a rundown of tips for going digital during the COVID-19 pandemic. A guide for managers so they can manage their teams better in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Create clear company policies regarding remote work.
This is one of the most important tips for going digital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has sped up the shift to digital and prompted many to expand remote operations post-Coronavirus. Given this, it’s imperative to create clear policies that keep boundaries in check and allow the continuity of operations. A policy for remote work includes a checklist of considerations that involve aspects of the work that needs to be online. This includes agreements, expectations, meetings, use of technology, pay, schedule, and priorities. HR Drive has an easy-to-follow guide to preparing a remote work policy.
Cite official sources of information.
In times of crisis such as this, it’s important that leaders only refer to official sources of information when communicating the pandemic to their organisations. Credible information, no matter how hard and difficult to digest, does well in handling the situation and mitigating the potential risks. Globally, you can use World Health Organisation (WHO) and in Singapore, we have the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Be ready to migrate majority of the workload online.
Not all aspects of work can be migrated online, especially for companies that operate onsite or those in production lines. For those who can adapt telecommuting, think not only about the process of your work but the flow of information as well. What this does is help managers schedule and delegate work better. The goal is to mirror normal operations as closely as possible online, especially for teams who—pre-pandemic—rely heavily on physical meetings and collaboration.
Consistent and constant communication with the team.
Firstly, pool your authoritative figures and decision-makers. These people will make urgent decisions regarding work and operations, as well as handle possible set-backs brought on by COVID-19. Secondly, remember that this is a new, ever-evolving reality, but communicating with employees through chat apps is not new. However, aside from chat apps, make sure your employees and teams know exactly how you plan to deal with the ramifications brought on by the pandemic. Keep them on the loop about policies you’ve created and how best to reach you if they have concerns. Remember, this is an uncertain time of stress and pressure, so make sure that leaders are ready to provide the much-needed reassurance to halt panic among employees.
Use internal communications tools.
Fully operational remote workforces would entail the use of internal communication tools like Zoom, Teams, Slack, Skype, and others. We’d bet that majority (if not all) organisations are utilising such tools even before this viral tragedy struck.
For creative organisations, it’s good to have a reliable tool for overseeing creative projects and pooling together the ideas of a scattered workforce. For this, we suggest looking into tools that allow for unfettered collaboration, like Milanote. Milanote is a cloud-based project management tool that lets users organise and collate ideas into visual boards. It’s packed with usability features that don’t overwhelm users. You can think of it as a creative notebook, one where you and your team could easily ‘pen’ and share ideas, visually plan your work and do a bulk of collaborative creative tasks. Its goal is to help teams work seamlessly by giving each one access to projects and integrating changes and updates in real-time.
These channels enable collaboration virtually and provide great, unhindered employee experience. Interest in online-only events grows for brands who want to reach their audiences and customers. And you can say the same for restricted workforce arrangements, whose immediate, effective, and expert use of these tools can help steer their brands well during this pandemic.
Enable undeterred system access to remote workers.
Naturally, the digital workplaces and set-up would entail employee access to systems, albeit remotely. This move will be easy for employers who already practice remote work even before the pandemic struck. It requires proper planning, and technologies plus security must be put into place by the IT. Adequate tech support makes remote operations run smoothly. The IT could bear the brunt of this sudden shift to at-home workforces. So, make sure to give space for additional support that may be required.
Think about security risks.
When working from home, data security is something that needs to be given enough attention. Data breaches and hacks can erode and compromise your organisation. At home, your employees won’t have the luxury of protective layers of security. Normally at the office, you have that. So, it’s important for companies to communicate properly with their IT department. Make sure that this level of security exists for remote workers, too. Update firewall, tap VPNs, and add security protections.
Keep in mind: “Remote work is work.”
Talking schedules and time management strategy is essential to this point. Many employers are yielding to more flexible work hours considering the changes brought on by this pandemic. But work remains work. It’s trickier to keep track of work in this arrangement, so when laying the ground rules, it’s important that you have a clear policy regarding remote work schedule. Although the rest of the work hours are flexible, organisations can impose “core hours”. Employees must commit to being present—albeit virtually—during these hours in order to help remote work succeed.
…developing smarter policies and infrastructure surrounding remote work, mitigating operational roadblocks, and adapting work-schemes that minimise sustained contact to halt the spread of the virus.
The rapid shift to digital has been in forecast pre-Coronavirus. However, what we are seeing is truly an unprecedented and speedy progression that is crushing those who are not ready.
Forbes laments on this change, but also sees a possibility around it when they said:
Change and venturing into the unknown can be difficult, but the benefits that come from creating a forward-thinking, customer-focused, digital company can be lasting.
Bolster digital strategies and invest in tools that make remote work easy for your team. Still need help? See how we can help your digital transition through digital marketing here.