The COVID-19 pandemic has put businesses under tremendous stress. From adjusting manufacturing targets to resetting productivity goals, every business process is undergoing rapid changes that might be here to stay. Employees are unable to attend office regularly because of the local restrictions and lockdowns. Work from home, a concept that existed on paper, is being realized because of the pandemic as offices are shifting to remote work.
Communication and productivity among colleagues are critical for the successful execution of any project. If you’re juggling with multiple business activities and maintaining productivity and smooth communications among colleagues seem to be a challenge, then you must try the following tools. These tools are really effective even when all the employees are working from their homes. Let us look at some of the popular productivity and communications tools that have emerged as savior during the pandemic.
Communication struggles during the pandemic
Before the pandemic, your teammates might have had weekly or daily meetings to discuss plans, results, or issues. 1-on-1 meetups might have also been a standard procedure whenever colleagues needed to assess their progress. Plain in-person communications were easy to achieve back in the office. During the pandemic, it might be fairly difficult to lose touch with teammates and get stuck in a heavily loaded work routine. Hence, teams should clearly set daily or weekly meetings to catch up on their tasks.
Another clear disadvantage of the pandemic was the effect on the onboarding process. The COVID-19 hit us like a hurricane and quickly forced industries to take a step back. However, new specialists still needed to join the team, and the first days in a new position are always about figuring stuff out. First, you find your workspace and begin all the preparation necessary to start working.
While this might seem fairly simple in some positions, others require help from your teammates. To ease the remote onboarding process, companies should make clear-cut instructions to help new colleagues. List all the necessary preparation tasks and mention the person they should contact if they run into some issues. A popular practice is to assign new employees a buddy that will help them find their way and consult them on all problems. It can help your business come back stronger after the pandemic.
Flexible communication channels
Collaboration tools and internal communications apps were created with the sole aim of making workplace communications smarter. Once your team starts using a reliable tool, you’ll be able to establish productive conversations and communications. The biggest advantage is that you can establish private channels for communication among different teams where they can discuss and share files. Discussion threads in emails can get lost among other conversations, but this simple yet effective inline thread for messaging is easier to track, and even users can check the progress from time to time.
Task management systems
With all your employees working remotely, the chances are that they will not always have the opportunity to keep track of their progress. There are tons of task management systems that will help teams collaborate and stay productive. Via such tools, you can easily make to-do lists, assign tasks, plan meetings, or produce impressive charts to keep everyone engaged with your work. Some systems also have features to provide feedback directly on teammates’ tasks. So, they the flexible and intuitive tools that every team should consider managing their workflow.
Online training tools
In case your company is involved in online training, then the Vevox tool can help you engage with your audience in real-time. It actually facilitates online training helpful for both the audience as well as the presenter. Every participant gets an equal opportunity to say as well as be heard. You can use the tool for honest feedback, which is conducted with live polling, mobile surveys, and text Q&A.
You can use this for internal meetings and training sessions for your team. You can engage your employees and let them share their feedback and ideas live, which would help the senior management, gauge the mood of their teammates. The best thing about the online feedback and Q&A sessions is that they’re anonymous, so employees can hide their identities while submitting their feedback. The Q&A sessions can be moderated so you can total control over what appears on the screen during the meeting.
Protection for all activities
If you want to secure all online communications, then it’s important to ask all your team members to install a VPN on their devices. Remote work significantly increases the use of instant messaging applications. Instead of in-person meetings, people need to rely on technology to get their message out to their teammates. As a result, most of the communications travel through employees’ home networks. The company might use sophisticated tools to protect their staff while they are at the office. However, once employees return home, the stability of their work depends on their approaches to cybersecurity.
Hence, recommend that your employees install a VPN and protect their online communications. This improvement will also mean great things for your company: encrypted and encapsulated web traffic might prevent corporate data leaks. So, if you want to protect confidential information, encourage your employees to always keep a VPN enabled, especially when performing highly private tasks.