Companies are becoming more aware of the advantages a flexible workplace offers. Benefits include greater worker satisfaction, savings on building space and savings on travel. Converting to remote work may seem like a daunting task if you have a traditional office. Here are some tips for effectuating a move to remote work for your public relations team.
Develop a communication plan
If you eliminate the physical office space, employees will no longer share ideas and collaborate in person. Your public relations team will need to have a way to meet and get work done together. Many file-sharing platforms are available to assist your team in developing proposals. In addition, there are many telecommunications options for online meetings with remote participation. These programs allow screen sharing and presentations by meeting attendees.
If you think that some of the team’s work still needs to be done in person, you should consider options as a hybrid workplace. A hybrid operating model can decrease your office footprint and thus reduce costs but still maintain a physical location. Employees can come to work on set days, or you can have some workers who are in the office regularly and others who work remotely. A hybrid model will need the tools for file sharing and virtual meetings to allow your team to communicate on projects.
Make your stored data accessible
Your workforce will need to be able to access customer files and company data to complete their tasks. For a remote workplace, you should invest in cloud storage data solutions so that authorized users from any location can access the required information. In reviewing your options, you need to ensure that any platform is secure from cyber-attacks. You may have some issues with transferring your data to a centralized online location, so you will want to move the information to the new platform prior to the entire office transition. Gradually moving the data will allow you to work out any bugs associated with the new configuration.
Review your workflows
An essential piece of planning for a transition to remote work is to review the processes used by your public relations team to complete their projects. You will need to consider each aspect of the workflow to ensure that you will have all the necessary tools available to remote workers to be successful.
Have a practice week
It would be best to consider having a trial run after you have planned your transition and invested in the necessary computer programs and accessories to convert to remote work. You will want to make sure that everything you set up is working as intended. Likewise, a trial period may reveal some gaps in planning that need to be addressed. One way to do this is to have a remote week where everyone goes remote for one week to try things out. You can also transition out one group at a time before sending everyone to permanent remote work.
Provide guidance to staff
A transition to remote work will involve a different environment for your employees than physically coming to the office. You need to make sure that you define the company’s expectations for employees’ conduct during remote work. You can establish productivity goals or timeframes for work to be completed. You should advise what hours employees are expected to keep and how the managers and supervisors will account for employees’ attendance. One caution is to make sure that your employees take necessary breaks throughout the workday. Workers are more likely to extend their day with time on the computer in a remote work situation than when they have to leave a physical location to go home. Burnout among employees who telework is common, so your company should employ strategies to help workers avoid overworking.
A remote workplace can be advantageous for a variety of reasons. With some effort and planning, your company can convert to a virtual operation with success.