Working from home adds quite a few additional wrinkles into the workday, including a few that pertain to your team’s communicative capabilities. With many different people operating at their best through different forms of communication, establishing which of these forms best suits your needs is crucial. Let us consider some of the options you have, whether you’re fully investing in a future of remote operations, or simply planning a more hybrid approach as time passes.
For simplicity, we have limited ourselves to the most crucial solutions we think everyone should have.
While nothing we have right now can fully replace the capabilities of in-person communications, video conferencing may just be the next best thing available. A lot of software developers have picked up on this, which may explain why so many other kinds of software integrate well with today’s video conferencing solutions.
In the business sense, video conferencing gives your team an outlet to assemble most like they would in the office—along with giving sales teams a much more convenient way to meet with prospects. Wonderfully lightweight and accepted by the business world, most of today’s workstations are likely already set up to support conferencing. If they are not, there is a practically negligible investment to make there in exchange for greater flexibility and sustained communications and collaboration.
While infamously a way for coworkers to spend their hours chattering amongst themselves about practically anything but work, a properly utilized instant messaging platform can be an essential piece of your remote workers’ toolset. When used appropriately, a study has shown that instant messaging and other non-email collaborative solutions can increase productivity by anywhere from 20-to-25 percent.
That is not nothing, and just helps to demonstrate how unhindered communications—like those the convenience of instant messaging supports—can help liberate your team members to accomplish more on your business’ behalf. This is particularly the case where a remote workforce is involved.
Customer Relationship Management
The most important relationships a business forms are those that are formed with their customer base. As such, there needs to be a reliable means of tracking and cultivating these relationships, as well as to simplify any requirements imposed on the customer’s end. A Customer Relationship Management tool, commonly abbreviated to a CRM, has been the solution that many businesses rely on for just that purpose.
The typical CRM solution will usually feature some kind of ticketing system for customer support purposes, a scheduling module to keep everyone on task and able to access the resources they need, and various automation capabilities to help make sure everyone is spending their time on revenue-generating endeavors. As such, a CRM provides the channels for a company to reach out to its base while also maintaining its own internal productivity. Any small business—particularly one with a decentralized workforce—that intends to grow should be utilizing a CRM for all it is worth.
Access is crucial to a remote worker, and access is something that the cloud can help provide in a way that is both simple and cost-effective. Whether your business needs the storage to securely keep its shared documents or needs collaborative tools to enable your team to work with the data you possess, the cloud can facilitate that need. Business continuity is also much simpler to secure during a disaster if you’ve maintained a cloud-based backup of your data.
Of course, the cloud is also capable of more, like delivering the solutions that your team members need to them directly. Whether you need a server at scale, or enterprise-grade security, and/or robust communication tools, there is a cloud-based option waiting for you.
Onboarding any new employee is a process in and of itself, and this is only exacerbated when that employee is to operate remotely. In order to get them acquainted with your policies and familiar with your solution set, there is going to be some training involved.
Nowadays, Learning Management Systems (or LMS) take care of that training for you, more expeditiously. Many business software solutions have them built into the program at this point, but you can also customize your own to ensure that your new hire is prepared for their new responsibilities. On your end, you get a better-prepared team member for a decreased financial investment.
Whether you’re embracing the remote workforce moving forward or striving for a return to your base of operations, Dresner Group can help equip you for success. To talk strategy with one of our experts, call us at (410) 531-6727 today.