For the last decade businesses have been switching between working remotely and working in offices. The reason they keep switching is simple. Working remotely is a great concept, but hard to ensure it is being effectively implemented. This is largely down to each individuals work ethic.

Now I am not questioning your commitment to work, but working at home and working in a office I am sure we can all agree on are two different animals. Home life finds a way of getting to people. The ability to wake up a little later and do more around the house is extremely compelling. Creating the right mindset is fundamental to being productive and I recommend you read my article on how to avoid being busy all the time but achieve nothing to ensure that you are doing some basic things right.

Below we are going to discuss what it takes to work remotely.

Going remote is easy

All you need is three main things:

  • A computer or mobile device
  • Internet
  • Electricity

Sounds simple enough? We can now answer our calls, we can send emails and we can do our work.

So why do so many businesses struggle when they go remote?

Divided and unproductive

The first thing every company believes you need to do when you change to remote working is have lots of meetings and training sessions. Now again, I am not saying that training is a bad thing but there is such a thing as too much training. It is important to balance upskilling yourself and completing work.

Just because you can’t see your employees or colleagues doesn’t mean you have to keep getting in touch with them 24/7 to ensure that they are working. Too many businesses over communicate which in fact keeps employees busy, stressed and distracted. This is why having the right tools in place is crucial which is something we will get to.

In the past we were restricted with the technology we had available. We now have lightning fast internet connections available with most people having access to video cameras for video calls and meetings. Now there is an army of software providers that can provide all the tools and platforms to take your business online and keep your team connected and productive.

Going remote successfully

In order to be successful in remote environment, it comes down to having the right platforms that are able to equip yourself with the right tools for the job. Below are some of the basics to get going:

Having the basics:

  1. Office apps
  2. Team chat and video software
  3. Security and protection
  4. Remote Video

Office apps

There are two main office suites to use:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Google G Suite

Both have evolved over recent years to provide online sharing and collaboration with each having their pros and cons. To be successful in going remote the most crucial aspect to ensure that your whole team is able to use these applications properly with a focus on the cloud functionality.

Team Chat, Screenshare and Video Software

Here is the trick to it all. Keeping in touch with your team but not overwhelming them with communication. Pick a platform and stick to it and set the rules and parameters around team chats so not to distract your team all the time. There are plenty of different applications, but we have a specific favourites and for good reasons too. I recommend downloading our Going Remote Toolkit to get all our recommendations.

It is worth noting the following:

Then you also have your favourites such as:

Other great platforms for meetings and to host webinars on are ClickMeeting and EasyWebinar. These two platforms are my favourite webinar platforms which also have great online meetings functions. I recommend taking the free trials of either or both to see how these two platforms can assist your business rather than the traditional video platforms mentioned above which come with restrictions.

Security and protection

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t need internet security especially if you are working at home. All your employees and colleagues need to be protected as there are too many hackers and viruses out there that can cause catastrophic consequences for you.

Rather protect yourself against all these threats and add a level of privacy to your devices. For this I would have to recommend Avast and for the best value for money ensure that you get the Ultimate Multi-device plan. You might think this is a cost you can’t afford but trust me as I speak from experience here, it is worth every penny when something goes wrong and you have the right tools in place to deal with it. The consequences to go without are just too great in this day and age.

Remote video

Sometimes you need to access other people’s computers to assist with fixing it, setting something up or understanding what the issue is and there is no better platform for this than: TeamViewer

Supercharge your work with premium applications

With so many different platforms out there it can be very overwhelming. I spend countless hours researching and testing new and old applications so that I can recommend the most cost effective and feature rich platforms to my clients.

I also recommend getting Grammarly, which is a proofreading application, in order to appear as professional as possible at all times now that you are bound by having to type most of your communication.

On a final note. When working remotely it all comes down to your mindset. Get the right tools yes. But get the right processes and habits in place for you as an individual, your team and your business. The right application is more important than the, well… application.