In light of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, many companies have either frozen, furloughed employees, laid employees off, or sent their employees home to work remote. If you’re new to managing a remote workforce, here’s some of the software, hardware, and practices you’ll need to deploy to successfully manage your remote workers.
Hardware for Working Remote
If you’re fortunate enough to have employees that have their own dedicated work laptops, then adapting to remote work will be much simpler. However, if your employees don’t have their own computers, you may have to rely on them to have their own. If they don’t, you may need to buy them some computers.
Windows PCs are usually cheaper than Macbooks, so if you need to buy some laptops, you can look for cheaper workstation laptops to be able to let your employees use. Depending on your needs, you can be cheap on storage or the video card to save some cash, and you can let them use it in the cases of family illnesses or extended absences in the future.
Your workforce will need to have access to webcams, microphones, and headphones. You’ll need to be able to see and speak to each other during the time that you’re working remote. If your employees have their own computers at home but don’t have their own headsets and webcams, you may need to pick them out and send them to them. Make sure they’re compatible with their devices before purchasing it for them. Alternatively, you can have them pick their own out.
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Software for Working Remote
The most important thing for remote workers is their software. You’ll likely need to pick out a few, if you don’t already have them. Of course, it could change from industry to industry, but the basic ones will be:
- Conferencing Software
- Task Management / Project Management Software
- Time Tracking Software (optional)
There are some conferencing softwares that are free, there are some conference softwares that are paid. You’ll need to analyze what your company needs, based on company size, conferencing needs, and calendar integrations. If you use Gmail for Companies, you can use Google Chat and Hangouts. Slack has some free 1 on 1 call options. Other popular softwares are join.me, Zoom, and Skype. Research your options, based on company needs. Some are even offering a free or extended trial during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you and your team is getting web conferencing software, you’ll need to make sure that all your devices are up-to-date and that you have the correct drivers for all your devices to make sure you don’t have technical problems while setting up a conference call.
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Task Management Software & Project Management Software
A lot of companies are already using project management software or task management software, but if you aren’t, it’s almost a necessity for remote work. If you need some simple task management software, most people use something like Trello or ClickUp. Much like the web conferencing software, your company’s needs will change what you’ll need out of task management software.
Most of them are cloud-based, and they’ll usually have web apps and mobile apps. Some of them will include many features, some are simpler.
Time Tracking Software
This may be optional, but for employers who want to keep track of what their employees are working on, you may want to use time tracking software. This allows your employees to make their timecards and show what time was spent on what projects. Some project and task management software has time tracking built in, but if you use something that doesn’t, there’s plenty of software that you can use to track time, even something as simple as an end of day email or spreadsheet.
Best Remote Management Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Leading and inspiring your employees during this pandemic can be very difficult. Keeping people focused on their tasks, and helping them achieve their goals during this time is very important for people. Make sure you work together with your team and helping them stay aware of their health, wellbeing, and making sure they feel secure.
Talk with your team to see what they need from software, ask in groups or individually what their concerns are, and pay attention to their wellbeing, as well as productivity.