The main focus for every business owner during this pandemic has been to keep their head above water. With so many, if not all staff working from home they have had to find new ways to ensure their staff remain productive in difficult circumstances. This often meant putting together new processes to help move their business forward. By taking the time to implement remote working tools, for example, it is much easier for staff to transition to this new way of working. It is also important to ensure the relevant policies and procedures are put in place. This has to be done as early as possible so everyone knows where they stand.
There are lots of different file-sharing tools available, and often it just comes down to personal preference. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that files are not stored on any local machines within the business. They need to be on a cloud storage system. This means that anyone in the organisation can access them at any time. They are also synchronised automatically meaning several people can edit the same file at once.
SharePoint and Google Drive are the most popular file storage tools. Both of these systems are fairly easy to use. Even if some of your team aren’t fully IT literate they should get the hang of things quickly.
The transition to remote working has left many people feeling isolated and detached from their colleagues. Many meetings are now being carried out on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which are the two best ways of communicating with large numbers of people.
There are also other communication tools out there which allow employees to chat informally throughout the day. Slack is a great example of this, and is used by many organisations to keep general office chat going for remote teams. This helps to make up for those chats which often happen in the office kitchen to ensure staff don’t feel so isolated.
Task Management & Emails
Organising a team that is working remotely is extremely challenging. Task management is essential in making sure that projects are still delivered on time. With so many different tools out there you may need to try a few before you settle for one that works for you and your team. Trello is a great one to start with, particularly if you have lots of projects on the go at one time. Asana is perfect for a ‘To-Do’ list type project. You can assign tasks to different members of staff, set due dates and then tick the task off when it is completed.
Don’t forget to look at automated CRM systems too. These are great if several people are working on a project and communicating with the client. Any emails that are sent can be automatically copied to the CRM. At a glance, all employees can then see recent communication that has taken place between the client. This prevents duplicate emails from being sent. Duplicate emails highlight a lack of internal communication within an organisation.
One last tool that we would really encourage businesses to use is a password management vault, such as LastPass. All passwords are safely stored within a cloud-based system, which is only accessible using a Master Password. Each member of staff should have their own individual login for added security.
These password vaults also provide a password suggestion tool to make sure that all of your logins have unique, strong passwords. Any duplicate passwords will be flagged up for you to change, which helps to keep your business even more secure.
It is definitely possible to remain productive in difficult circumstances all you need are the right tools.
We hope you have found this blog useful, if you use any other productivity tools that we haven’t mentioned we would love to hear about them – drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.