Remote collaboration tools such as Slack, Zoom, and Asana are undoubtedly having their time as companies continue to embrace the work-from-home trend.
Working Remotely: The new trend!
While working remotely might seem convenient and comfortable, it increases each employee’s responsibility to become more disciplined. Moreover, learn a new working routine and etiquette.
Many remote teams struggle to work effectively, as they indulge in sloppy work habits, slacking off, and even workers going dark with no communication.
For non-techie workers, these issues often get compounded. From dealing with a slow internet connection, outdated software to cyber security hurdles on, say a Zoom conference setup, there are a lot of mistakes that can hinder the productivity of a non-tech savvy remote team.
With this in mind, we have prepared a list of 5 common mistakes that non-techies make when they work-from-home.
Not using a secure internet connection when working remotely!
When working remotely, employees can fall prey to viruses and hackers. If they are using an unsecured network, they can easily get hacked, which can leak confidential messages and documents you are exchanging over the web.
Recommend and provide your team with a VPN service, especially if they handle highly sensitive documents.
Saving official documents on personal emails or Google Drive
Saving official work on your personal email is a bad idea. It can result in significant security loopholes, accidental data leaks, and insider threats, which are dangerous for you and your organization.
Always encourage your team to save their official documents separately, preferably on their work email and not on their personal email accounts and drives.
Leaving the laptops unattended and unlocked
It’s common for most people working from home to leave their devices unlocked. However, even if their homes are not accessible to outsiders, family members or kids can accidentally tamper their work documents or communication channels.
To avoid this, your team must lock their laptops when not working. It also goes without saying that all their work devices should have a password.
Physical documents, too, shouldn’t be left lying around on ‘home office’ desks. They should be kept locked and shred before disposal.
Remote teams likely to reveal details about their work on social media
Your employees should refrain from discussing or posting work-related posts or comments on social media.
Be it sticky notes, diaries, or their screen, employees should avoid sharing pictures and leaving relevant documents and passwords in plain sight. These pictures can leak valuable information to the public.
Not socializing with remote teammates
Like any other office worker, members of remote teams encounter different stressors while working at home -from having an ailing family member and death of a friend to divorce and separation.
Encourage your team to socialize, get to know each other better, and offer the required support that they wish for. This also helps them build rapport with each other and improve collaboration.
As a team leader, you can encourage interaction by talking directly to your remote team members, create platforms/ channels for informal chats, virtual happy hours, or an annual get-together where they can interact in person and have fun. With this, you will encourage team members to build a social support network to share their personal issues and support each other emotionally.
Not tracking their productivity and work hours
When working from home, it can be challenging to stay away from both offline and online distractions.
Unlike when working in an office setting, remote workers can easily browse their phones, use social media, or watch YouTube videos. Without proper management of their time, workers can spend more time on activities that are not productive, leading to delayed projects and missed deadlines.
To avoid this, ensure that workers know the number of hours they need to focus on work and track their billable working hours. Having a policy that outlines the number of hours an employee works, their work schedule, and an overtime work policy helps, especially if your team is new to remote working.
For legal compliance, also ensure that your employees adhere to your state’s laws on rest breaks, meal breaks, and the number of the consecutive work hours they can work.
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Regardless of how good an office manager you are, if you have a remote team working under you, you need to develop new skills to get things done successfully in the virtual world.
The biggest challenge you’ll face is to keep the team productive and prevent any toxic habits from rooting. When working with a remote team, it’s necessary to anticipate and address all these challenges ahead of time, to build a productive and successful team.