While most companies operate using cloud-based systems, the majority still run day to day in physical offices. However, the quick rise of the new coronavirus, COVID-19 means that many offices and universities are suddenly faced with a remote-first reality.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID is through limiting contact with others, as it is extremely communicable. This may be a difficult transition for your team (read our tips for newly remote employees), but you can make it easier while maintaining productivity. The key is to have a plan.

Here are 4 ways companies can successfully become a mobile-friendly workplace and empower remote workers:

1. Remove the Stigma

Often, the biggest barrier to remote work is at the top of an organization’s hierarchy. The C-suite believes that remote work will decrease productivity, increase costs, and disconnect their employees. However, the myths just don’t hold up! One article by Trello shares the truth behind common misconceptions about working remotely.

It’s worth finding out who your remote work naysayers are and finding out what they dislike about the idea in order to address it head-on. By removing the stigma, you’ll make employees more comfortable taking remote days when they may be contagious.

man sitting on couch in front of laptop and notebook drawing on tablet

2. Set Expectations

No one likes to be micromanaged, but if you’re used to having ongoing check-ins throughout the day or week, decide how you’ll manage them from afar. Will you hold a daily cafe meeting for the team? Check in via Slack? Ask for a roundup email at the end of the week?

When choosing how to spread information and delegate work, keep in mind that not much needs to change between how you were doing things in the office and now. Setting up a project management tool that everyone works out of can help to-do lists feel more collaborative and less like you’re being watched.

3. Invest in the Tools You Need

For companies that thrive on quick chats and sticky notes, think of how you’ll digitize these interactions. Consider task managers like Trello and Monday which let you keep track of the progress of project, assign them to users, and add notes and updates to those tasks.

Before everyone leaves for home, make sure that laptops are loaded with the programs they need and have their security systems updated. And, set your team up with a remote calling solution. This should be integrated into your VoIP system so that you can make and track calls from your business number through a mobile device. There’s no reason to lose out on the valuable connections and tracking available to you from your desk phone even when you’re home.

woman sitting with laptop on living room floor on red shag rug leaning on beige sofa

4. Be Flexible to the Situation

In most companies that allow full-time remote work, there are certain rules in place. For instance, the employee working remotely cannot be the only caretaker for a child, or you must be online for certain core hours. While these are good rules to maintain productivity and normalcy, when there’s a global outbreak, normalcy isn’t always an option.

While you may usually require that remote workers take calls in a quiet environment, with schools closing and more people working from home, that just might not always be a possibility for your team. Ask everyone to do their best to build a productive working environment, but be lenient and bend some rules when you need to.

woman with surface laptop sitting in window bench with potted plants

For companies going mobile for the first time, we hope it’s an insightful experience to learn how you can better enable remote working for your team. After all, your team may prefer to continue adding remote days to their schedule when all is back to normal. And you may find that it works even better than you anticipated.

Don’t have a phone system that makes remote work easy? Find out if it’s time for your business to make the switch to modern telephone solutions.