Coronavirus has changed lives around the world. Suddenly, countries have come to a halt with people forced to work from home, many for the first time. Businesses, large and small, are having to adapt to a new way of working where colleagues are not present in the office, cannot be readily available for a chat at their desk or coffee machine and where communication, prioritisation and staff welfare all provide new challenges. So how can you manage your team to ensure that they remain productive whilst being happy and healthy? 
 
Provide the right tools to make remote working easy 
If you have people working at home, it is essential that you all use the same tools and platforms so you can communicate easily, keep check on work progress and make working together as seamless as possible. 
 
You need a chat tool. Consider – 
Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or Flock. Check the features and see which one works best for your business. The key is to ensure everybody knows how to use the same one. 
 
Video meetings 
It’s never been easier to have a face to face meeting online! Zoom has become a name on everybody’s lips as more people resort to virtual meetings. 
Also worth considering Go to Meetings or Skype both have been around for a long time. Microsoft Teams allows up to 10,000 people at any one time so you shouldn’t reach capacity too quickly! 
 
File sharing 
If you’ve never set up file sharing and cloud storage then now is the time to consider Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive to provide secure storage of your data and to make collaboration amongst your team easy. 
 
Project Management tools 
If you’re not using a project management tool, Trello, Asana or Monday.com make collaboration much easier and clearer and open for all relevant colleagues to keep track and take accountability. 
 
Are your staff equipped? 
Make sure everyone has the necessary webcams, headsets with microphones and any other hardware they need to carry out their daily work whilst being able to stay in touch with you, your customers and the team. 
 
Telecoms review 
You may need to review how your telecoms are working for your business.  
 
Be safe and secure! 
Ensure your team are using a virtual private network to access all cloud-based applications. Ask your IT Manager or service provider to ensure every worker is set up securely to work from home. Remember you also need to make sure that customer data stays secure during this difficult time. 
 
And check regularly that your team are coping with the tools at their disposal. If you need to look at other solutions, don’t hesitate. Your people will thank you for it and it may be an important addition to your operational efficiency. 
 
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