07 Apr Consulting during COVID-19: Remote work tips
It’s no doubt that our world here at RedCloud – and frankly everywhere else – has been disrupted like nothing we’ve seen before by the spread of COVID-19 worldwide. Currently in a time of heightened personal and team safety, our consultants and headquarters staff are all working from home, balancing their dedication to family and friends with our collective responsibilities for our clients and peers at RedCloud.
Needless to say, it’s a big change, but it’s necessary to put the health and wellbeing of our people first ahead of all else so that we can get back to “normal” sooner than later. We’ve compiled some tips for our consultants during this crisis and thought they may be helpful to share more broadly to our community. And while these are of course helpful during our ongoing remote work, for many of us remote work is (or could be) the norm going forward, so these tips will certainly outlive the current state of affairs:
- Clearly communicate your availability. Without face-to-face interaction, it’s necessary to over-communicate with your client and any teammates to ensure ongoing success. Be sure to make your availability known and set yourself work hours during this time so others know when to reach you. If they change based on the other needs in your life, keep clients as updated as possible. We’re finding everyone is understanding of the impacts, but particularly when expectations are clear from the outset.
- Use Online Meeting Platforms. If you aren’t already, familiarize with and utilize the features of online meetings platforms (we use Microsoft Teams at RedCloud) to enable face-to-face, audio, screen share, and chat to stay connected with clients and other RedCloud team members. There are a wealth of resources for each platform out there to be a superuser…here’s one example. During a time of social isolation, don’t be shy to show your face on these apps. It is a great way to boost morale and connect more authentically in a time during a time of so much social distance.
- Set up urgency rules. Determine a system for the course of action you and your colleagues or clients will take for urgent needs – whether it be email, online platform, text or other means. This way, when challenges arise, a system is in place to efficiently address them remotely.
- Be flexible and realistic with your work. This is new to everyone, so be sure to adjust your work schedule to meet the needs of your new reality at home, the varying needs of clients, and your teammates. Your schedule might shift to accommodate early morning updates, breaks for family time, late evening email catch-up, or whatever it takes to balance it out.
- Be proactive. Think ahead to how the current health emergency is impacting clients, colleagues and their work – and consider how you may be able to help them. Consider the long-term (2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks ahead) and be proactive about what your assistance might look like to them. Now is a great time to prove your value and show off your skills!
As many are saying across the country, we WILL get through this together as a society, with some smart thinking, grace, and determination to keep projects on track, our people happy and informed. Keep it up everyone!