Five tips when creating your WFH strategy

During the pandemic, many businesses were forced to make dramatic changes to their work environment, with the most notable adjustment being the transition from working in an office space to working from home [WFH].

While it was universally accepted there were initial teething problems; a lot of companies were able to adapt quickly. As we ease out of lockdown many businesses are now considering to adopt the WFH or hybrid model of working for the foreseeable future.

Despite many companies now battle-hardened to remote working it is important factor in potential risks that could exploit you and your colleagues. To help mitigate this businesses should look to create a business continuity plan which can be distributed to all members of staff.

Not having a WFH strategy could put a strain on productivity and operations during the integration process. Whether it is WFH, coming back to the office, or hybrid between the two, such dramatic changes may not be easy for many, and having a set of strategic steps to implement can help businesses adopt the best model for its team.

Here are our five tips for businesses to consider when creating their WFH strategy:

1. Information Security

One of the most important steps during a WFH transition is to secure the company’s data. It used to be as easy as storing details locally in the office, but now many are opting in for a secure cloud storage database, making sure all information is accessible remotely.

It is important to have a contingency plan in place in case of a data breach. Nowadays there are a number of business software manager options, which provide the security level needed for any staff member to be productive outside the workplace.

Each member of staff who is working outside the office should have an appropriate work-provided device (such as laptop, PC or tablet), with a VPN access securing all sensitive data if attainable. Firewalls should be set in place for WFH devices prevent data leaks or virus breach.

2. Raising Awareness

A WFH business continuity plan can have a positive impact on productivity if business practices for outside the office are firmly established and adhered to.

In order to build stable working habits at home, it is important to educate your team on business strategies and courses of action.

Implementing “work from home” guides, comprehensive training and employee-time meetings can be effective ways to help team members understand the remote systems in place and help them function efficiently, while reducing the strain on senior members of staff to provide additional support.

3. User Behaviour

Once the WFH base principles are established, there are a few simple “housekeeping” rules for staff to follow when working outside the office.

For example, it is imperative employees are aware not to print out sensitive information which could easily be compromised, such as addresses and personal details. It is also crucial that appropriate and hard to decipher passwords are in place to ensure data safety.

Team members must not leave devices open and unattended in public spaces and should sign-off any business accounts once they no longer need access.

4. Staying Connected

It is no secret that working remotely can put strain on company teamwork and dynamics. Besides providing the necessary tools and infrastructure, employers must also focus on creating new ways to ignite the teamwork spirit regardless of distance.

Company leaders should be able to create opportunities for regular staff connection meetings and project collaborations.

Maintaining employee relations can spark motivation amongst staff members, build strong interpersonal relationships and uncover new skills and venture ideas.

Communication is a vital tool in any business, and becomes amplified when WFH or adopting a Hybrid platform. Addressing potential communication faults, or putting a structured system in place can combat this issue, and streamline WFH strategies.

5. Health and Safety

Employers should ensure that staff have a safe and manageable WFH experience, and provide staff with relevant equipment, such as desk, chairs and/or stands to help them carry out their work correctly and safely.

In addition, it is key that team members complete relevant WFH Health and Safety training which shows the best ways of physical and active behaviour, such as taking regular breaks, staying hydrated and taking good upright positions when sitting or standing during work hours.

Mental health workshops should also be taken into account to help those with a feeling of isolation.

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Julie Fraser
Senior Associate – Business Risk & Control – Operations
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