WP&C Remote Work Guide

Making the move to remote work requires an intentional process to ensure your team maintains its effectiveness. Whether you, your team, or your entire organization is working remotely, this guide will help you navigate your way to the "new normal."

How to use this guide

With more than ten years of experience effectively partnering with teams in remote environments, we have learned that teams that begin their remote work journey by defining their approach achieve higher levels of effectiveness. This four-part guide explores how to execute a successful transition and remotely deliver the value clients expect. This guide covers: 

  1. Defining your approach to remote work 
  2. Remote work best practices 
  3. Remote work DOs and DON’Ts
  4. Setting ua remote workspace 

Part 1: Define your approach to remote work

At WP&C we understand the challenges of remote work first-hand and acknowledge there is no single, one-size-fits-all approach. Our three-step approach enables organizations to execute their transition to remote work effectively and efficiently. 

  1. IDENTIFY your remote work leader
    Treat your transition to remote work as a project—because it is one. 
  2. ALIGN on your remote work activities
    Work with your team to align on your remote work activities, needs, goals, and preferred methods of communication. 
  3. ESTABLISH your remote work processes and supporting tools
    Establish the necessary processes and supporting tools to include your preferred methods of communication. And don't forget to provide training!
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Example WP&C's approach to remote client work 

By following the 3-step approach outlined above, WP&C developed a remote work strategy that allows us to deliver the same value to clients remotely as we do on-site. After assigning a remote work leader (Step 1) and identifying key project activities (Step 2), WP&C established the right processes and supporting tools, as seen below, for the execution of remote projects (Step 3).

Communication

 

Communication

 

Project Execution

 

Part 2: Best practices

Successful remote work depends on effective communication, collaboration, and a sense of connection. Here are our top 10 best practices for remote work:

  1. Use the right tool for the situation—platforms for internal and client use will likely differ
  2. Escalate the medium, not the message—if no response to email, text; if no response to text, call
  3. As a manager, focus on team output, not on face time
  4. As a team-member, over-communicate
  5. Agree on a preferred medium for communication and collaboration in advance
  6. Plan for the unexpected and be prepared for things to take longer than normal
  7. Test communication platforms prior to using them with clients
  8. Create virtual team rooms to enable focused collaboration
  9. Keep the camera on, even if your co-workers or clients don’t
  10. Make time for fun—schedule informal team meetings and virtual team building
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Part 3: Tactics for success

Sound day-to-day tactics ensure the successful execution of your remote strategy.
Avoid common pitfalls by keeping in mind these key dos and don'ts.

DO:  
  • Debrief with your team after meetings to develop them as you would in-person
  • Connect with your team on a regular basis, not just in response to immediate needs 
  • Meet your clients where they are—use tools and communication methods/styles they use
  • Show up for virtual meetings with clients and customers as you would in person (e.g., professionally dressed, on time) 
  • Allow your team and clients to see you on meetings (hold conferences over video rather than phone whenever possible)—keep your video on even if theirs is off
DON'T:  
  • Leave it to your team to figure out how to work remotely on their own 
  • Assume everyone on your team consumes information the same way you do (hold one-on-one check-ins to make sure your team understands your objectives)
  • Skip the informal communications that enhance teambuilding and friendships
  • Let informal processes and workarounds become the norm—standardize your processes and tools

Part 4: Setting up a remote workspace

An optimally set-up workspace will ensure greater security, effectiveness, and efficiency.

CYBERSECURITY
  • It is critical to take two sets of actions:
    1. Upgrade your security protocols for the new work-from-home dynamics
    2. Assess your organizational readiness to defend against cyberthreats along three lines of defense - technology, processes, and human performance
  • The main vulnerability in recent cyber-attacks has been the human element; train your team on appropriate security tools and processes
  • Apply cyber-security best practices, such as dual-factor authentication

cybersecurity module

PRIVACY & FOCUS  
  • Find a space in your home that is free of distractions
  • Make sure the area behind you is free of clutter, allowing you to be the focus of the conversation, not your background
  • Consider ergonomics; place the camera at eye level to mimic in-person interaction
EFFECTIVENESS & SPEED
  • Consider providing your team a second monitor to enable one screen for work and another for video conferencing and real-time collaboration
  • Ensure your team has strong internet connectivity to enable video conferencing
  • Make sure your IT department is ready to support the increased support requests that may come with the transition to remote work
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