Remote work has become the “new normal,” at least for now. Without a physical office, remote employees need a centralized location of project information and business data that they can easily access from anywhere. Some organizations use two separate systems for contact data and project data. Others have an integrated approach and use an all-in-one system. Either way, employees must feel confident in their virtual workspace, be trained adequately, and have the manager’s full support.
Doing work in a system that managers rarely check can result in fatigue and burnout. Both managers and employees should completely buy into their system(s) of record to achieve operational alignment.
Messy data can cause confusion, and confusion can lead to less productivity—especially when employees are at home with so many distractions. Spend time defining what each data type means for your organization. Then, you need to implement processes to make sure staff are actually using the system as intended.
Empower the Sales Team
When working from home, your sales staff can’t go to the IT department and ask them for support. With so many new challenges that need to be solved (like ensuring security in a virtual setting and providing new laptops), your IT team will probably be more busy than usual. This is why empowering your sales staff is absolutely essential. Out-of-the-box integration between your CRM and email, for example, is one way you can help sales get more work done, collect more contact data, and engage more people.
If you are thinking about a virtual office environment, developing a data security strategy is also vital when factoring in the needs of a remote team.
A secure network is absolutely necessary, whether your team is working remotely or not. Consider having your remote staff use a virtual private network (VPN). With a VPN, you don’t need to worry about telecommuters accessing corporate data on their computers using an unsecured connection. You should also consider adding a multi-factor identification.
Having a data security strategy ready for your remote team gives you the peace of mind that your company contact data is always protected, no matter where it’s accessed. It also promotes accountability among your remote workers as they become more aware of how, when, and where to access the data.
It seems like organizations have turned to the new work-at-home reality overnight, and many experts predict that more and more companies will continue to rely on remote workforce after the pandemic has passed.
Remote work settings are not something new. Organizations around the world were already embracing remote working to give workers a better work/life balance and to improve corporate efficiencies.
However, everyone needs a remote work security policy. Organizations must develop a remote worker security policy to inform and remind employees of what’s expected of them. Even workers with good intentions might not know what they should do to protect themselves and the sensitive corporate assets and data.