How Technology Can Maximize the Efficiency of Virtual Work
Remote work was on the rise long before the age of COVID. But what was an upward trend has suddenly become the standard, forcing companies to make the transition whether they are ready or not. In today's world, the ability to maximize efficiency while working virtually is a key component of success.
In order to facilitate a productive virtual work environment, there are a few basics that are necessary to have. While it can seem like switching to remote work reduces overhead costs, it's important to remember that investments need to be made in a different kind of remote infrastructure. By using technology, these basics can be easily implemented in a virtual work environment, ensuring your team can work together just as well physically apart as they did together.
The Necessary Basics for Successful Remote Work
1. Hardware and Network Connectivity
Without the right hardware and a strong internet connection, your workforce might as well be telegraphing in from the 19th century. It's critical to take care of this basic need right from the start and make certain that your team is all properly equipped with what they need for remote work, from computers with cameras to a strong wi-fi connection.
2. Collaboration and Communication
It is the advancements in collaboration and communication tools that has made possible working from home while allowing for true teamwork. There are numerous tools on the market, but everyone can plan on needing a videoconferencing system such as Zoom or Skype. An app like Slack chat is a great example of technology that creates a virtual space where people can come together, communicate and share ideas. Another important component of collaboration is file sharing. Dropbox and Google Drive are both strong tools for file sharing, and are capable of handling video and large picture files.
3. Project Management
Theoretically it shouldn't be more complex to manage projects remotely than it would be on-site, but without the right tools, things easily become unwieldy and confusing. By adopting the right technology it's easier to stay on top of tasks, and see what needs to get completed when. The best project management tools empower team members to track their own progress and seamlessly update the entire group. Systems worth checking out include Asana, Trello, Basecamp and Microsoft Teams.
4. Customer Support
With so much of the world having gone remote, communication is more important than ever. As you will likely be getting much less face time with clients, it is worthwhile to check in with them through phone and email more regularly, or even to schedule a video call.
Remote business can expose your data to much greater threats, and it is your responsibility to make certain that you have cybersecurity that is up to the task. From a virtual private network (VPN) to multi-factor authentication, it's important to educate yourself about what goes into strong cybersecurity.
Even when current factors have eased and remote work is no longer necessary, it's likely to remain a major part of the overall business environment. By embracing the right technology to manage virtual work, you'll find yourself with a more efficient team now and in the future.