Some employers have truly embraced remote work, some not as much. But either way, the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, might force us all to work from home soon. In fact, while the coronavirus threat is expected to curtail IT spending, there is also an expected mass migration to the cloud that should help to counter that. If remote work is a way of life for your MSP, you know all this, but if you’re new to remote work, here’s a few pointers.
Communication is Key
The biggest difference between working remotely and working on site is communication within your team. In most cases, your sales team and service desk work with systems that they can take home with them. If not, well that’s the first thing to think about changing.
Inter-team communication can’t just be over email. Teams or Slack or anything else in that style are the most effective ways to keep communication flowing in real time. These tools have become popular specifically because they help keep your inbox less cluttered. Replace shoulder-tapping with virtual shoulder-tapping.
How does your team manage its work? Again, something like sales is normally very well-instrumented so you know if your sales folks are making their calls. But a SaaS task manager – we favor Asana at IT Glue but there’s a lot of them out there – can help to keep everybody else on point, and provide managers with the needed visibility into the day-to-day activities of their teams.
No doubt we were going to talk about documentation here. Using a SaaS solution allows your team to do its thing from anywhere, with full access to all of the documentation, just as easily as if they were in the office. If you’re relying on an on-prem solution, it’s time to reconsider that, because honestly, you’re going to put your team’s health at risk, for no good reason. IT Glue is the only proven documentation solution that allows your team to be awesome no matter where they are.
The same tools you use for internal comms – Teams, Slack, etc. – can be used for internal calls and meetings. Zoom, GoToMeeting are others that allow you to host meetings with clients, too, so there’s no excuse not to do QBRs.
Right now, there’s not that many companies doing a full-on remote work program, but that could change pretty quickly. So it’s worth taking a look at your systems today in order to get with any learning curves you might encounter. That way, when you need to implement remote work, you’re ready.
What you’ll probably find is that it’s pretty efficient. If you think about your stack, you probably have some old fashioned stuff in there. It makes sense that a big shift towards remote work will be baked into normal business practice once people see these advantages.