In today’s work environment, your IT Department is probably tasked with mobilizing employees to working remotely. You need quick, simple solutions to put into place. At Clear Measure – we work effectively and efficiently with a 100% remote team every day. Our setup tips can get your teams off to a great start from the beginning.
Working Remotely: Hardware Tools
When prioritizing the hardware to put in place for your team working remotely, it is critical that video communication is enabled as effectively as possible.
In addition to your computer, you will want to ensure you have a camera to enable video communication.
Ideally, you would have a dedicated webcam that could be utilized for video conferencing. If that isn’t immediately available, you can use a smartphone or a tablet propped up on the side of your computer.
Most all video conferencing tools have an app that can be downloaded and utilized on your smartphone.
If you find yourself having to work in a louder space or have a loud keyboard, you may want to consider getting a headset that can plug directly into your computer, phone, or USB hub. In the beginning, your traditional phone headset will work to minimize the background noise.
An ideal setup will have a docking station for your computer with a keyboard or a USB Hub that will allow you to keep all your ancillary hardware plugged in.
To round out maximizing the video conferencing experience – you will want at least 2 monitors. When you are in your office, it is common for people to talk to an individual and still be able to see and work on their computer screens. Having at least 2 monitors ensures there is a visual channel to view your co-worker(s) and a channel for your work.
Finally, we have also found that we love our JABRA USB Speakers. It has the power of a conference room speaker in the palm of your hand making it easy to complete video calls.
Working Remotely: Software Tools
When it comes to the actual software tools you need to have in place, every company should designate the tool that you will use for Video Conferencing. Any solution out there can work. There are free solutions available and paid ones. At Clear Measure, we currently use Zoom – but there are many alternatives available. For instance, if you are on a Google platform, you can use Google Hangouts.
You’ll want to ensure your team has a digital file management system such as OneDrive, Sharepoint, Google Drive, or some other repository that will allow for ease of file sharing and storage of company-owned documents.
When you work in the office, it is easy to lean over and ask your co-workers a quick question. When you are working remotely – those quick questions don’t go away. You’ll want to decide what kind of platform your team wants to use for “Instant Messaging”. Our team has found multiple channels on Slack allows us to be most productive.
Many managers panic that they won’t have insights into what their team members are working on each day. It is important to ensure that your team members are clear about their objectives and tasks at hand. You can implement an online project management system that can be updated in real-time for everyone to track what they are doing. Azure DevOps, Asana, Zoho Projects, Monday.com, Trello.
If you are needing any additional help or someone to bounce ideas off of, contact us and we can go over your plan. Do not hesitate to ask us for help to EMPOWER your team to work remotely.
Originally published March 16, 2020. Information refreshed August 24, 2022.