I am sure that I am not alone in my desire for life to get back to some semblance of normal. Watching the news, it seems like there is a dim light starting to break the darkness we have been enduring. As that light grows brighter, we are going to get busier and busier as our lives move beyond our four walls. While there is still some downtime and this experience is still fresh in my mind, I am reviewing my business and how it fared working solely at my remote office. Regardless of the reason for remote work, I want to be sure that I put lessons learned during this lockdown into practice.
The following is a list of some things that worked and what could be better.
- Internet Bandwidth – This was a unique event in that a greater number of people were at home and using internet for work, school and entertainment for a greater period of time during the day than ever before. Not to mention, all of your neighbors were in the same situation sharing the neighborhood cable. How did your internet connection hold up? Check with any remote working employees to see how theirs faired. If productivity was hampered, it might be wise to look into higher bandwidth options or backup internet solutions like SD-WAN
- Data Access – Were you and your teams able to remotely access the data and applications needed to perform job functions. Cloud services and storage make remote access as easy and secure as if you were working at your office desk. If using VPN to connect to your office, how did it perform?
- Turnup Time – For many people, working from home was a new thing. Getting phones and computers logged into the company network took up a lot of employee and help desk time. It is critical that remote offices are brought up and functionally tested before its needed. How well did your IT support your remote staff?
- Connectivity – Without face to face contact, were you and your employees able to interact with each other. Additionally, were you able to interact with your customers? Zoom became the go to conferencing tool for many. Are you ready to explore other option compared to Zoom? How did your remote staff communicate with customers, using their cell phones or your business VoIP phone system? Was it easy to forward an employees office number to their cell number?
- Productivity – Overall, were you and your employees productive? The business models swing back and forth as to whether employees are more productive at home or in the more structured environment of an office. With the right data access and communication tools in place to support a goal oriented workflow, targeted productivity levels can be tracked.
In closing, although this lockdown has been a burden, it has also focused a magnifying glass on our businesses’ workflows and quite possibly revealed a few areas for improvement. Is allowing more workers the option to work from home something your business should consider?
Don Miller – Program Manager has 30 years of experience implementing IT projects for Telecom, Financial Software and Insurance companies in the US and abroad. Most recently, his management has focused on network infrastructure procurement and installation. Don recently moved from Seattle to be closer to family and friends and change his career focus. Hoping to bring his Fortune 500 experience to small and medium-sized companies. Don holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from Ohio University.
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