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Each day we’re seeing developments regarding the rise in Covid-19 cases and as a result, a rise in comments and news bulletins filled with critique, referencing the government’s decision to delay the ‘Delay’ phase.
This is somewhat expected as, on the forefront, it appears as though the situation isn’t being correctly escalated to truly prevent further spread of the Coronavirus and protect our health.
There’s merit to both sides of this unknown height fence and so we believe the extension of actions taken within the workplace to keep employees safe, should be down to the individual stakeholders on their own timeframes, and not necessarily subject to a 4-stage, reactive timeline.
We’re aware that many organisations are already implementing such measures and have asked large numbers of staff to work from home, reducing travel and group gatherings in a bid to lessen the spread of the virus. For some of these organisations, working from home is nothing new and they’re (more than likely) already equipped with the knowledge and tools to do so. The vast majority of businesses, however, won’t be very equipped as they’ve simply never had to be, but irrespective of choice, there’s a likelihood that this could soon change and so time is of the essence to prepare.
We understand there’s a certain stigma attached when it comes to remote or home working, particularly when it comes to having the majority (if not the entirety) of a workforce working from home. However, we’re here to tell you that it can be done and it can be done well.
Although this isn’t exactly a Mad Max or Walking Dead apocalyptic type scenario (regardless of the look of the shelves in ASDA), it shouldn’t really take a large-scale event to urge organisations to entertain remote working capabilities and facilities.
To inject a little trust into the process for you, we’ve listed some of our top collaborative CMS / CRM software for you to consider when equipping your army of virus-fighting employee’s with the necessary tools to keep productivity and performance emerging as the victor.
Slack is an all-encompassing, collaborative communication software across desktop and mobile devices that promotes its use of ‘Channels’ to help organise everything from departmental team conversations to file sharing with clients and third parties. They break their channels down into public, private and shared.
Public: Channels open to everybody with access to Slack at your organisation to offer true transparency on chosen subject matters.
Private: Invitation only channels designed for the security of sensitive information or projects that may not be public knowledge within your organisation.
Shared: Channels with the intention to increase collaborative productivity between two separate organisations. Allowing you to work with external agencies, clients and vendors in real-time.
Slack positions itself to replace your current internal email system with its much more instant-message like features which, for some, could be a very welcomed change regarding response times, since a few people’s emails are as though they’re delivered by way of carrier pigeon. The encouraged use of emoji’s and GIF’s also brings a more relaxed feel to the software, though it should always be communicated to keep things above-board and business-related.
Monday.com is a cloud-based work operating system, designed specifically for instant, collaborative workflows to manage projects and teams with relative ease.
The main benefit of Monday.com is the transparency it offers when it comes to project management. We’ve all had both good and bad project managers (who’s successful or unsuccessful trait is typically communication) and so, with a little initial input, allocating tasks to the right personnel with a required deadline is a breeze. This gives each individual notified visibility on exactly which tasks in a project are complete and which require a push. Tasks can then be prioritised or re-assigned where necessary, making the needle of productivity move that little bit further.
This level of collaboration makes it easy to see what work is getting done and by who, without the need for numerous in-person meetings about meetings for meetings-sake.
Monday.com also offers a good level of process automation for day-to-day routine work, allowing you to set personalised triggered responses to chosen actions; for example: ’When an email is received create a new lead in Sales pipeline’. Pretty handy.
Wrike is another popular and powerful platform when it comes to project management, allowing users to create numerous project dashboards and assign thorough tasks to any individual with access.
A very handy feature of Wrike is the ability to add real-time notes to all uploaded documents and media, leaving little room for confusion. Say you upload a video for approval, but at 27 seconds in, your auto-correct removed the letter ‘f’ from the sentence “we keep your child educated and entertained during your shift”. Your eagle-eyed colleague spots this and highlights the change required at the exact time on the video with a written or drawn note. Project saved. Now you can send that nursery client their brand new, profanity-free company video.
Wrike also offers detailed, analytical and interactive reporting, making it simple for all on the platform to see live performance updates on any and all required data. Again, reducing the need for numerous in-person meetings.
Teams is one of those rather incredible collaboration facilities that most people don’t even know they have. Back in 2016, Microsoft added Teams to their already robust and popular Office 365 suite. So if your organisation uses Office 365...you have Microsoft Teams. Now there’s no excuses.
Teams embodies a plethora of great features including private chat, group chat, voice and video chat (due to its deep integration with Skype), file-sharing and real-time amends, reporting and even bot assistance. All of this is available across both desktop and mobile devices.
One of the biggest conveniences of Teams is simply that it’s Microsoft, meaning that true collaborative workflows across the rest of the Office 365 suite is readily available, without the need for further integration software or API’s (depending on your need for third party application requirements).
So if you and your team are regular users of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Power BI, Outlook and many more (just look at the image below) then you’re missing out on an all-in-one hub experience if you’re not already utilising Teams, regardless of remote working or not.
One thing we love about Teams is the simplicity and integration of your calendar. Providing you use Outlook, all of your meetings and events will be pre-populated into teams on the ‘Calendar’ tab, where you can (rather expectedly) create new meetings and events. Very handy for the remote worker.
By utilising one (or more) of the above applications, you’re future-proofing your organisation and arming yourselves with the relevant tools to overcome various obstacles, such as the recently declared pandemic we face now.
Having the ability to connect and collaborate with your teams from anywhere in the world, without losing any productivity, will prove extremely fruitful. Many sources will even tell you that remote working increases productivity and welfare amongst employees.
Having such capabilities and the offer of remote working on the table will dramatically increase the attractiveness of your recruitment drive, satisfying the needs and wants of many prospective job seekers in the current market.
If you feel like your current recruitment drive has been affected by the recent surge of Coronavirus, then check our previous blog on how to conduct a remote interview - through the use of various video chat and conferencing tools.