An entire employee population suddenly having to shift to full remote work is a drastic change. Your team and culture may not be currently set up to support such a large shift. You’ll want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to help maintain normalcy, encourage productivity and keep your employees happy during a very stressful time. Both your team and your business will thank you.
How to work remotely without sacrificing collaboration or culture.
You are in luck! As remote work has become more commonplace, there has emerged an entire category of tools and solutions for ensuring that collaboration is easy across wide distances and through nothing more than video conferences.
Some great tools to consider at this time to help improve camaraderie, communication, and culture are:
Video Conferencing Solutions: Tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting or Microsoft Teams all allow for group video conferencing that feels as close to the real thing as possible. Having your team use video, rather than audio-only, conferencing solutions will go a long way in making them feel closer, promote better attention and attendance, and keep you connected. It also gives employees a reason to still “get ready” which helps keep them feeling normal.
Lite Communication & Project Management Tools: Slack and Basecamp are favorites for quick communications, with features that feel like chats or recreate the casual conversation experience of “walking by someone’s desk.” It helps keep communication flowing in real-time which allows you to keep work moving at the same pace you did when everyone was physically in the office.
In this trying time, feeling as much as normal as possible will be key for your employees. There are plenty of things they can do to make remote workers feel more comfortable and natural as well. This article does a great job of exploring some of the key things your team can do to enjoy remote work more.
You can also take lessons from organizations that already have a thriving remote culture, or are fully remote companies on how to keep remote work secure:
“HubSpot already has a thriving remote worker culture and we are provided a VPN which takes one click to utilize. We also are required to use two-factor authentication (2fa).”
Carl Ferreira, Account Executive, HubSpot
“I’ve been working from home, both as an agency owner and now as a solopreneur, for a long time. My wife and I are acutely aware of security, so I use encrypt.me for all online connections, and we use two-factor authentication for all account logins. I change our Wi-Fi logins monthly, and while we don’t travel much, we take extra precautions when we do.”
John McTigue, B2B Marketing Advisor, The Customer Journey Maestro
“We already have a remote work culture in place. Most of our work is done directly on sites like HubSpot and social network sites as we're a marketing agency. As it is, little to no work is processed/stored on the machines, all in the cloud.”
David Yahid, Director of Business Development and Innovation, Penguin Strategies
“As a remote-first company, we have opted into most 2FA, especially for email, which is the full Google Suite, as well as our password system (LastPass). Generally, the team works from home or an approved coworking space. We generally don't recommend (though don't disallow either) working from coffee shops or the like as internet connection isn't always reliable and meetings are prevalent.”
Kerry Guard, COO, MKG Marketing
"We have a VPN. Also, we are moving to a secure internal-only email and filing system. We will still use our public-facing email address for external communications but will have a different one for internal and sensitive conversations. We will each literally have two email addresses!"
Anonymous, CMO, Crypto Exchange Company
“We’re a remote-friendly company (small, 15 people) but we have pretty strict security measures in place. We require a single sign-on (SSO) via Okta for all major systems containing sensitive company or customer data. We also require 2FA (I use Google Authenticator) and a password management tool (1Password). We’re an entirely SaaS-based tech stack which makes it a lot easier for our CTO to monitor and manage. Our product also helps us and our clients monitor their SaaS usage, especially with so many SaaS apps being adopted bottom-up. Historically, there’s been no way for security or IT team to know what SaaS is in use and what permissions may have been granted (ie. letting Facebook read and write data within our GSuite or Slack instance.) Intello solves that. I work from home but occasionally work from coffee shops, etc. Most of our team are based in NYC and half of them work remotely 75% of the time or more. Because we’re entirely SaaS-based we just use secure login principles. We have regular training and tech practices (being SOC2 compliant) to regularly manage security beyond what I mentioned.”
Kelsie Skinner, Head of Marketing, Intello
“We have several remote employees on the sales team and I work remotely from time to time. It's always from home because of the nature of sales. We use G-suite and have Okta SSO to log into any systems that we use. You also need a VPN if you are accessing our products.”
Gene Plotkin, VP of Sales, Mimeo
“We are 100% remote. I mix working from home or a coffee shop (just depends if I need a change of scenery!). Our team is spread throughout the US. We use G-suite and secure login principles.”
Simon Tecle, Head of Sales & Customer Success, Citruslabs