The world has changed. With enhanced quarantines and lockdowns being imposed on countries and cities, businesses have suffered left and right. Offices have been shut down and everything deemed non-essential are not allowed to open.
Employees and business owners are suffering. In the Philippines, bills continue to pile up with only an extension for a month on bills payment being given. This means that people are still expected to pay their bills even though for most, there has been no income for a month now.
This brings us to the question: how can businesses digitize their system? How can they survive this quarantine especially if it will be extended? How will business owners earn? How will employees continue to have jobs? What can businesses do to thrive in a day and age where they are forced to stay at home?
For the businesses that can afford a work from home set up, here are some things that you can do to ensure that you transition from an office set up to remote work.
1. Have a digital copy of all pertinent documents.
Scan everything of importance and have a copy on your encrypted emails, Google Drive or Cloud, as well as a copy on your laptop.
2. Have an organized digital filing system that will make it easy for people who may need access to look for a certain file.
3. Have a naming system in place for all your documents. This will ensure that things won't get lost in the turnover from hard copies to digital.
4. Pick a tracking system that works for you and your team. Some of the potential choices can be Monday.com or Trello. If you are in digital marketing or social media, Hootsuite is also an alternative.
This is where you can track what your team is doing assigned tasks, progress reports, et al. Basically, this tracking app should be something that can easily tell you what your team members are doing and their progress at a glance.
5. Pick a communication system that will ensure you can stay in touch with your team. I discourage Facebook Messenger because it can easily be a source of distraction. Slack can be something that you can look into.
6. Have a full-time social media person. Since you have now gone digital, you need to ensure that communication lines between you and your clients or customers are always manned. If you are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, et al, there should always be someone disseminating information, sharing promotions, and answering questions during office hours at the very least.
7. Set rules. Test the waters. Be flexible to see what works for you and your team but have a few that are non-negotiable such as no attending of virtual meetings while wearing pajamas.
8. If you have products that need to be delivered, find a way to do so without risking your employees' health and life.
9. Digitize every department's processes that can be digitized. Payroll should be one of the obvious choices. You can use either Paymaya or GCash for this to limit outside movements.
10. Set a time and follow that new office schedule. Just because it's a work from home does not mean that you or your employees will work from the time you woke up till you sleep.
11. Maintain professionalism especially when corresponding with coworkers and clients. Since you are working from home, it's possible that you will be in a more relaxed mode and this could trickle down to clients and customers inquiring about something. Remember, the keyword is WORK and not HOME with the phrase work from home.
12. If all these tips seem overwhelming to you and you don't know how or where to start, hire a professional team that can help you digitize your business. Roxas-Ylaya Digital Services offer this kind of service at a reasonable rate and can help with the transition from office to digital to be seamless. You may send them a private message on their Facebook Page to get started.
No matter what happens, we all need to remember that the only constant thing in this world is CHANGE and if we fail to go with the tide, we could easily lose what we have. When it's sink or swim, I hope that we all swim and if we don't know how to, then now is the best time to learn.
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