Transitioning to a Remote Workforce
Transitioning to a Remote Workforce (Including Video Call Dos and Don’ts)
Social distancing efforts continue to press on as our country fights the Coronavirus. For many non-profit organizations, these efforts include the formation of remote workforces. For those who are new to this setup, working remotely on a full-time basis can certainly have its challenges. However, this type of workforce can also work very well with the right structure in place. In fact, a recent article published by Business 2 Business Community says that remote workers can be 20 to 25 percent more productive than those who work on site.
If this is the first time your organization is venturing into the world of remote work, don’t panic. We here at AmFund are very experienced in this kind of work structure. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips that can help ease you and your staff into remote work life.
If you are reading this blog, you are probably already dealing with a transition to remote work. You may even be encountering some issues at this very moment. And that’s okay. There are solutions to ease your stress. If you are finding it difficult to create a productive remote workforce within your organization, this article will help get things on the right track. Many of these tips and insights can be implemented right into your current approach.
Keep EVERYONE Informed
Remote work can cause people to feel isolated or disconnected. To keep your staff feeling connected, the best thing that you can do is share all relevant information with EVERYONE on a regular basis.For example, let’s say you are transitioning all of your live fundraising events for the next month into virtual fundraising events. Make sure you share this message with all remote employees at your organization. Don’t make the mistake of only sharing updates with certain managers. If the information that you need to share is relevant to all, then send out updates to everyone in your organization. You can send daily e-mails or conduct daily video or conference phone calls to review all of the necessary updates and changes that are taking place.
With so much happening on a daily basis in relation to the Coronavirus Pandemic, it’s fair to say that there are many moving pieces to the way that we conduct business in today’s world. Providing regular, open communication with all remote employees will ensure that everyone remains invested in the everyday work that your organization is conducting.
Tips to Transition to A Temporary Remote Workforce
1. Put Together a Remote Leadership Team. If you have people within your organization who excel with remote work setups, utilize their expertise. Assign these people as leaders to handle this transition period.
2. Establish a Communication Plan. We touched on this earlier, but it’s important to mention this again. Set up daily phone calls, video calls and email message updates. Employees will come to rely on these meetings and messages to unify efforts. These communication efforts will also create opportunities for your organization to grow and move forward during these challenging times.
3. Decide on your Communication Tools. Make a swift decision to use certain communication tools. It’s also a good idea to minimize the amount of tools that you use as you get started. For example, you can start by using Google Docs and Skype to start things off easy. Do some quick training tutorials if these are new tools within your organization. It’s best not to assume that everybody knows how to use these software applications. You may want to add other applications down the road once all of your employees feel comfortable with their situations.
Dos and Don’ts of Video Calls
Video calls are essential for your remote workplace. It allows your employees to stay connected in a way that a phone call or an email can’t achieve. Keep in mind, many of your co-workers are new to this communication tool. A quick outline of the dos and don’ts associated with video calls will go a long way.
To make life easy, share some of these dos and don’ts with your staff for your next call:
· Always be on mute if you are not speaking. If you are not muted, background noise will easily bleed into the conversation. This can cause some serious chaos on these calls.
· Act like the camera is always on. Even if you think you turned your camera off, always act like it’s on when the meeting is going on. You would be surprised at how many people do some of the strangest things on these calls when they think the camera is off.
· Try to find a quiet, enclosed area in your home to conduct the call. Definitely don’t go outside. You never know what kinds of noises can occur. Find a quiet a spot in your home where you can be comfortable for long periods of time.
· Stay away from windows.
If you live in a city area, there’s a good chance for lots of noise to come through your windows. Once again, it’s all about finding a quiet spot. Also, make sure your window or light source is not directly behind you. This will overexpose you on video and blind your viewers.
· Headphones are your friend. Some of these calls don’t have the best sound quality. Using headphones will allow you to hear much better than if you use your laptop or tablet speakers.
Bonus Tip: When scheduling video calls, schedule your calls just off the hour for a better connection. Think about it, thousands of businesses are utilizing the same platforms for their virtual meetings which traditionally take place on the hour or half past. For Example: instead of a 9:00am meeting, try 9:10am. More than likely, your connection will be better.
We understand that this is a tough time for non-profit organizations all across the country. We hope these tips will help ease some of your stress during these unprecedented times. If you continue to run into remote workforce challenges, reach out to us at AmFund. Our staff is ready to help you in any way that we can. We will ALL get through this TOGETHER!