2020 has been a shock to the system. News of a distant virus struck in January, and we watched as it crept closer, only to become the fast-paced and terrifying pandemic that has threatened so many aspects of our lives.

Including our businesses.

Some businesses were remote-ready pre COVID, some were not. But the lessons learnt by both sides of the fence will change how we all operate well past the current pandemic, moving into what we all keep hearing – the ‘new normal.’

Whether in big business, or small to medium business, what this year has shown us all is the need to adapt – and adapt quickly. And it’s also about being flexible, rather than solely reactive to the changes around us.

Whilst we are all indeed adapting to the new normal, we encourage businesses to move forward and to embrace remote working now and into the future, as a permanent part of business.

If you’re not looking to move towards a permanent remote working mode, then here’s some tips on what to have prepared just in case you need to once again act quickly to temporarily move your workforce:

  • Be proactive. Have a nominated task force ready to assess what needs to be done, and where resources need to be allocated.
  • If you don’t have one already, put a Business Continuity Plan in place. If your business does already have a plan, make the time to review it and add in a section for pandemics.
  • Be prepared – develop a work from home survival kit for staff – include simple things like have you got your workspace set up correctly? Do you have everyone else’s phone numbers?
  • Trial your remote systems, test that what you have in place actually works.

Here our clients, Synergy Group and Threesides Marketing, share some tips on creating a sustainable remote workplace:

  • Assess your infrastructure and IT systems – are they cloud based? Should they be? Does your team have the equipment they need to be able to work effectively and sustainably remotely?
  • Don’t underestimate the power of effective communications – communicate regularly with clients, staff and stakeholders.
  • Get to know your staff, what they like about working remotely and what they perhaps don’t enjoy so much. If your business is looking to make the move permanently to a remote work force, engage with staff on their opinions and how things could work to make the most of their productivity.
  • Adapt – realise that in a changing environment you may have to stop planning ahead so much and move into reaction mode. Sometimes that is unavoidable.
  • Be flexible with staff, providing them with the skills they need to work remotely.
  • Have fun where you can – introduce a bit of humour, share a joke or a meme, enjoy virtual drinks and trivia nights together.

COVID has definitely changed all our lives, and you wouldn’t be human if the events of this year haven’t impacted you in some way. Just remember, if you have the right people on deck, using the right tools and staying productive, and you have patience and trust, that’s a great combination.

Recent events have also shown us not to sweat the small stuff, because there are much bigger things happening out there. And no matter what your new normal looks like, we’ll be here to help.

Watch our webinar on The new ‘normal’- remote working pre and post COVID-19 or get in touch with us today to discuss getting your workplace remote-ready to avoid further disruptions.