How we work has changed profoundly over the last few years. Remote working offers a multitude of benefits to managers and employees alike; for the former, it can mean a drastic reduction in overheads and the ability to recruit from all over the country – and even further afield. For employees, remote working can equal a better home-life balance, getting rid of the daily commute, enhanced productivity, and significantly higher levels of morale and motivation.
If you’re thinking of switching to a remote working model or, as a manager, are considering working and overseeing your team remotely from your Smartphone, then keep reading to find out how this can be done and tips and hacks to make it as effective as possible.
First, you will need to have first-class communication processes to manage your team via your Smartphone effectively. Lines of communication and collaboration should be reliable and easy to use, and you’ll need to have access to the features you need to keep the flow of information running smoothly.
Look for an email chat app that promotes and facilitates great team communication. An app like Spike merges the best bits of instant messaging and email so that messages are easier to read, and threads can be followed without needing to scroll to find the most recent relevant addition. The built-in team chat feature is great for remote communication, and group chats can be quickly created for new people, teams, clients, and even projects. The smart inbox, too, makes for more productive working and fewer frustrating distractions.
Get the Tech Right
To manage your team remotely, the tech and connections you and your team will be using must be reliable and not subject to frequent network interruptions. Assess these things, paying attention to things like any bandwidth limitations that may be present or older devices that may not support, for example, virtual meeting platforms or cloud-based ways of working.
Connectivity issues don’t just negatively affect your staff members but can also be detrimental to your business’s reputation, so getting this right should be one of your highest priorities.
Another thing you’re going to need to put in place to manage your team remotely via your Smartphone is the ability to edit a variety of documents collectively. Your best option is likely to be a cloud-based platform such as Google Docs, which allows users to create and work on documents and spreadsheets collaboratively, and in real-time.
This means that you’ll be able to see the most recent changes made to a document, oversee the creation of a document, and make edits alongside other staff members. When choosing a platform, look for an option that supports multiple file types, lets users work on or off-line, and has useful features such as voice typing, spell and grammar checking, and a range of different fonts.
With a cloud-based word processor, there are no worries about storage space limitations either; you’ll have the peace of mind that all your business’s documents and spreadsheets are stored safely and can be easily accessed whenever they’re required.
The Importance of Visual Collaboration
Sometimes, nothing can beat meeting face-to-face, so it’s important to have the ability to conduct virtual meetings when working remotely. A great benefit of virtual meetings is that attendance is likely to be high in comparison to in-person sessions. They tend to boost productivity, too: having more virtual meetings of shorter duration and having only the necessary colleagues attending can be a more efficient and concise way to get things done.
Virtual meetings also mean that there’s no need for minute taking, as the entire session can be recorded; plus, screen sharing and the ability to share files during the meeting are extremely useful features.
When choosing a platform for virtual meetings, make sure it has the tools and features you need: screen sharing capabilities; you may also want to choose a platform that includes digital whiteboards, text chat functions, and high-quality analytical tools.
Finally – yes, as we’ve seen, it’s entirely possible to run your team effectively remotely and using your Smartphone…but you’ll need to ensure the safety and security of your business’s, client’s, and employee’s information.
Using a VPN connection is one of the best ways to keep data safe when working remotely. A VPN connection offers enhanced traffic encryption, and information exchanged over such a connection is almost impossible to hack. It also serves to preserve privacy by masking the IP addresses of any devices used to connect to the internet. A VPN is a relatively cheap, effective way of ensuring security when working remotely and can usually be set up simply and quickly.
It’s also important to put in place basic protocols to uphold data security and ensure that every staff member knows the importance of following these. This could include policies on which client data should be saved and which should be destroyed and guidance on creating strong passwords to ensure that they can’t be easily cracked.