In previous sections of our new e-book, Managing Remote Teams, we’ve discussed the overall remote work culture and the challenges of hiring an off-site team. Now in Chapter 3, we’re excited to talk about developing the ideal remote work environment for your staff members.
Since our e-book addresses managers directly, what we have in this chapter is a look at internet security, work location, and the structure of the workday. Managers can have a positive impact on their overall workplace environment by understanding how their employees prefer to work and how those preferences mesh with the demands of the job.
The networking expert at VirtualPBX is Len Cacioppo, our VP of Operations. He has decades of experience in securing digital networks and presently uses his knowledge to keep VirtualPBX staff members and customers safe.
Cacioppo, when asked about how remote workers can protect themselves, offered a few key pieces of advice:
- “Avoid simple passwords.”
- “Use your corporate VPN.”
- Trust your home router: “They have good default settings to keep you protected.”
Employees can keep themselves safe by taking a few simple steps, Cacioppo says. It’s up to managers to relay the necessary information so employees know how to best interact with their companies from remote locations.
For instance, managers can instruct employees about how to create strong passwords and how to connect their home computers to the company virtual network. Cacioppo also provides a VoIP Security Checklist in our e-book to show which settings should be noted (or adjusted) on a user’s home router.
What makes your ideal remote work environment special? You might work from your couch or kitchen. Other employees could use the local coffee shop as their primary hub. In any case, it’s important for managers to address how an employee’s location can impact their work.
Say, for instance, that one of your team members regularly works from a noisy coffee shop. This might have worked well in previous months, but it could become a problem if you ask them to adopt more customer-facing responsibilities like handling support calls.
You can have a quick discussion with your employees about their chosen or ideal work environments. Then you can speak together about how that environment works or doesn’t work well with the demands of the job. Our e-book offers several suggestions for how companies can help remote work locations mesh well with daily work tasks.
Structure of the Work Day
Managers have the responsibility of looking at both the hard tasks (responsibilities like answering calls and submitting reports) and soft events (employee culture, like “water cooler” conversation) that occur during a typical workday.
Often, it’s the human connections that drive an employee’s ideal work environment. The VirtualPBX marketing team meets every morning for a check-in that allows its members to banter before talking about their tasks for the coming eight hours. This meeting time works to generate camaraderie alongside the necessary sharing of workplace hard tasks.
How do you handle the “water cooler” conversation at your own business? When moving to a remote work environment, the switch from a literal water cooler to a virtual meeting space can be an odd adjustment to those employees who aren’t familiar with the situation. Managers can help ease the transition by showing employees the ropes and letting them know what’s expected and what’s permitted (such as friendly banter) in your Slack channels or video meetings.
Create the Ideal Work Environment
Our e-book this chapter discusses these topics with even more depth. It gives you tips and tricks for helping employees make the most of their workspaces.
If you haven’t already, you can download our e-book today and gain immediate access to advice from our experts at VirtualPBX. We’re excited to offer this chapter and look forward to presenting you with several more in the coming weeks.