We have to adapt to changing times. Home Office and Remote Work are new to a lot of people. We give answers on how to start, what to do and where to improve.
Because I am committed to advising companies on the exchange of knowledge between generations on digital media, as well as on the subject of new work, new skills and new learning, I would like to collect some basics for working in the home office in this article.
Since I myself belong to Generation X, even if I am now max-digitized, I can easily put myself in the positions of the less digitally affine groups.
Explanation of Terms for Home Office and Remote Work
Remote working stands for mobile, flexible and location-independent working.
Mostly it is related to digital nomads who work independently for projects and without their own office in designated coworking spaces. This can also be anywhere in the world, since as the term digital nomads already includes, they are rarely in the same place. In addition to a functioning laptop, the only important thing is access to the Internet.
Home-Office or Office at home is the opportunity to do your work in your own 4 walls. This can be in a room specially equipped for this purpose as an office or in a change or double use of existing rooms.
The Current Situation
The first school closings have been decided and many companies are already unable to avoid releasing their home office.
All tips and advice in the last few years have unfortunately been argued away, but now raising your finger and hanging on the message “we have been preaching to introduce flexible working training for years” is of no use to anyone – ok, point here – it is still annoying and the learnings we move these days, hopefully won’t be forgotten so quickly.
Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!
– Alice in Wonderland
- Access (company network & resources)
- Security guaranteed? (clarify internally)
- Infrastructure & equipment (devices, tools and access)
Coordination in the Team
Lead and administration must be clearly defined and, at best, staffed with people who have already dealt with the chosen collaboration platform.
Select channel / platform:
It is important that a channel for company communication is defined and that different teams or people do not exchange information on different platforms. It must be considered whether interfaces to existing tools are necessary!
The structure of the subject areas is also part of the preparation.
Because: The colleague who definitely has nothing to do with marketing, for example, does not have to be annoyed with unnecessary push messages from there. Of course, this should also be discussed and explained beforehand in the best case.
What is communicated, how is it communicated?
Communicate the least with the involvement of those whose direct response to this information is required!
► No novels!
You can control this in the common “collaboration tools” such as Microsoft Teams or Slack by marking the name, similar to the social media channels by @ + Name_of_the_Person.
All other people in the channel can read the information, but do not have to, i.e, you are informed, but are “responsible” for retrieving them. You can also add links to documentation for all tools.
Private stuff is not appropriate for the company channels!
Everything that happens between the employee teams in an informal exchange can be outsourced in group chats or under a separate channel.
Assign People for Support
There is nothing more unpleasant, especially for older employees with less digital know-how, than having to keep asking questions and thus becoming extremely aware of their “digital construction sites” in this current situation. Accordingly, many people will avoid asking in official channels because of a false sense of shame. By assigning a teammate, you can avoid such information gaps. Even if both team Gspänlis (Swiss German) come into the situation that they cannot solve a current problem, the inhibition threshold to ask another person is much lower. The assignment must of course also be made in consultation.
Provide Knowledge Channels & Tutorials
In the best case, there is already an intranet, company wiki or other internal platforms on which these knowledge sources are stored and also continuously updated.
Set up the Remote Access Program
If it should go quickly, Teamviewer or Teamviewer alternatives.
If there is no one within the company for remote maintenance and security issues, now is the right time to get advice from external experts and take precautions.
In the hope that this scenario will soon end and another one will no longer occur, I wish you a lot of health, good nerves and good cooperation online and offline.
List of Helpful Tools: Collaboration
More Tools for Home Office and Remote work here: 88+ tools for businesses, home office and remote work teams