Remote work environments have become more and more a part of our fabric. As a growing trend over the past few years, companies and individuals have become more adaptable to remote meetings or inclusion of team members from other geographic locations. However, a true remote work environment approach requires disciplines in place for oversight, project governance, communications, business collaboration, and use of systems/apps that help align the business teams around company and project priorities.

Now companies are finding themselves unexpectedly thrust into taking on remote work environments across a complete organization.  It is more critical than ever to prioritize current and future business plans to align departments and cross-functional roles just to get through day-to-day operations. Companies with established remote work environments can handle continuity of business in the event of a disaster where many workers are suddenly forced into the remote workforce overnight.

Unfortunately, most companies do not have these strategies in place. We typically see disaster recovery / business continuity strategies enacted when businesses are hit with natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, tornados, where offices and/or businesses are closed for extraordinary lengths of time and work must be redirected. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire workforce is affected, even for the largest national and global companies. Having a strategy and workplan positions companies to keep systems and operations up and running.

Leadership

Leadership is always critical to the success of any business. When planning for remote work environments, this is especially true. In our new hybrid work environment with many internal and external resources deployed remotely, being clear on direction and accountabilities is vital to productivity. The key to keeping projects and day-to-day operations moving forward is setting expectations for various levels of leadership to focus strategically on prioritized work efforts while encouraging cross-functional collaboration to expedite plans.

Governance

Oversight is not something to take lightly in even the best of times. Core operations and the well-being of resources need to be balanced when determining go forward plans. With that in mind, consider the following best practices in moving forward as you attempt to tackle or refine this within your own company.

  • Sponsorship – Provide leadership and direction to project management / business alignment team in areas that affect budgets, timelines, resources, and financial reporting; give final approval on all strategies and plans
  • Project Management / PMO – Accountable for overall projects success; manage priorities, track project detail and provide updates to the steering committee; develop and provide oversight of final strategies and plans.
  • Business Alignment – Cross-functional team to manage key decisions, ensure buy-in for change, and align processes, policies, procedures, and communications; move from strategy/plan/roadmap to effective execution; track action items and issue resolution.

We are providing free resources with tips and insights to help you work through these unprecedented times and to develop or refine your own remote work strategy.  Read more on Remote Work Strategy: