Businesses around the world are facing unprecedented challenges and change at the moment as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the globe. With increasing numbers of employees either on the verge of, or already, working from home maintaining continuity of projects and connection between team members is imperative for business success.
Here at SalesFix, our people and the communities we work in, matter. Like the rest of the world, we are concerned by the spread of the COVID-19 virus and are taking whatever steps we can to contribute to the efforts to flatten the curve of infection. That’s why, as of Monday 16 March, we have taken the proactive step of ensuring our people can work from home.
If you’re one of our clients, you likely won’t even notice this change as remote working is something we’ve been doing since day one anyway. For us, it is business as usual as we continue to work on your projects and support needs.
While we’re lucky to work in an industry where that’s more than possible, we recognise that other organisations are facing considerable issues. Challenges such as accessing an organisation’s files remotely, interacting with colleagues and team members, or simply the strength of a home internet connection, can cause deadlines to be missed, processes to be duplicated, and information to be unavailable.
After a decade’s worth of experience in remote working, we know a thing or two about how to stay connected even when you’re not in the same location. Below are some tips and technology tools we’ve found beneficial for overcoming isolation, staying connected, and ensuring your team and business continues to excel regardless of whether you’re in the office or at home.
A good internet connection!
This includes having a plan with enough data. Working from home means you’ll be using extra data that you may not have considered when initially taking out your plan. If you think you’ll be affected, check with your internet provider to see if they have any deals as you’ll no doubt agree there are better ways to use your data than downloading work files.
Chatter is a Salesforce real-time collaboration application that lets users work together, talk to each other, and share information. With the ability to connect on both desktop and mobile, Chatter connects, engages, and motivates users to work efficiently across the organisation, regardless of role or location. Like other social media platforms, users are able to “follow” both users and documents to collaborate on sales opportunities, service cases, campaigns, and projects with embedded apps and custom actions.
Sococo and Remo both provide a virtual office experience by removing location barriers. With each employee having their own avatar that can be moved between rooms in a virtual office, you are able to see and hear co-workers, conduct private meetings in breakout rooms, share screens, and essentially work side-by-side without having to be in the same place. Feel free to contact us to hear about our experiences with each one.
Google Meet and Google Hangouts
Another good tool for staying connected is Google Meet and Google Hangouts. Meet is perfect for running meetings. Simply schedule an appointment, invite participants, click on the link at the scheduled time, and boom instant video meeting.
While you are also able to schedule group video chats in Hangouts, it is primarily a chat app that allows you to chat with anyone else with a Google account. Hangouts is accessible on both mobile and desktop and are good for a general chat as conversations can take place either individually or as part of a group.
Loom for screen recordings
Whether it is onboarding new employees, training existing staff, or troubleshooting customer issues, Loom allows you to quickly and easily record a process, procedure or conversation right from your computer. Not only does this reduce time by removing the need to duplicate instructions, it also allows you to get your message across the first time as people can see exactly what you mean and can replay videos later if they missed something.
Asana for task management
A key challenge when working remotely is ensuring team members are on the same page with projects, tasks and deadlines. Asana makes this easy by allowing teams and individuals to map out each step and organise all the details of your work in one place. Whether it is creating templates that can be duplicated to ensure processes happen correctly every time, or assigning tasks to specific staff and moving them throughout different categories as they’re completed, Asana provides an easy way to simplify workflows, reduce errors and ensure deadlines are met.
With seemingly everything needing complicated passwords these days, trying to remember them all can be an impossible task. That’s where a password manager such as LastPass can be a lifesaver. LastPass removes the need to remember which password you use for which site by allowing you to develop and store encrypted passwords online. Businesses are able to grant specific access to individual staff depending on their role or requirements which increases security and safety. This is particularly important if someone is working remotely from a family computer that is being used by multiple members of the household.
Cloud products for collaboration
Teamwork and collaboration go hand in hand and cloud based products such as Google Docs or Quip have made this even easier. Gone are the days of endless version numbered documents that are almost impossible to read due to all the tracked changes. With cloud based products multiple team members can be working on the same document at the same time with all changes and revisions automatically saved in the background.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, Salesforce is offering Quip Starter for free to any Salesforce customer or non-profit organization through September 30, 2020, to help those needing to work collaboratively.
For those that already have Salesforce and are considering enabling your people to work from home, we have provided a helpful checklist of things to work through to make sure it’s possible to access Salesforce remotely:
- Check if Login IP ranges have been set up and modify as necessary
- Check Login Hours to make sure there’s no restrictions that would impact users at home
- Check two factor authentication settings, are they up-to-date?
- Check any SSO settings to ensure that the system you’re authenticating with doesn’t need to be connected to a domain to authenticate (e.g. Active Directory/Microsoft)
- Includes any authentication on the domain itself such as login IP restrictions (if you take your laptop home, can it log in off your network).
For example, if you currently log into Salesforce using your Microsoft credentials (Active Directory), Active Directory also needs to be checked to ensure there are no restrictions for Log IP/hours in place.
If you would like any help, guidance or advice on the information above, or just want someone to chat too, please get in touch. Customer success is one of our values, and we take it seriously. We want our customers to succeed and will do what we can to support you to do that, particularly in these ever-changing and uncertain times.