HOW TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS SMOOTHLY IN A REMOTE WORKING ENVIRONMENT

The world is going through a distressing and unprecedented time right now making it difficult for individuals and businesses to survive. The global economy has taken a big hit and to be able to sustain your business in a remote environment becomes extremely challenging especially if you operate in a retail or customer-facing industry.

We have compiled a list of factors that may help your business operate smoothly:

1. EQUIPMENT: The first and most crucial part of keeping your business running is to ensure your employees are able to resume their work while being at home so provision of appropriate equipment (notebooks, iPads, desktops, printers etc.) with pre-installed software is very important. You may also want to install virtual meeting software including Zoom, Webex or Microsoft Teams depending on your budget and employee strength.

2. STOCK MANAGEMENT: Not being physically present at the workplace may make it difficult for you to manage stock and do inventory checks. Having a stock/inventory management software will make your life easy in this case. Make sure to include all possible items (perishables/non-perishables) to avoid making office or warehouse runs later.

3. CURBSIDE PICKUP/DELIVERY: A very essential aspect of operating a retail business remotely is the ability to offer curbside pickup or delivery to your customers. If you run a restaurant or even a clothing store, being able to provide pickup and delivery can make sure your sales are not hit too adversely.

4. KEEPING EMPLOYEES CONNECTED: Being stuck at home or forced isolation can also have a negative psychological effect on your employees leading to lower productivity and morale. You can organize weekly fun sessions to keep your employees connected and keep them motivated. Activities can include karaoke, trivia nights, virtual wine and paint or online games where people can play in teams.

5. SALARY OPTIONS: The Government of Canada is offering tremendous amount of help to business owners to enable them to pay their employees in part if not full so everyone can remain afloat in these times. You can do an evaluation of your finances and apply for the wage subsidy program if eligible so you and your workforce are able to sail through the coming months.

6. COMING BACK TO WORK: A big concern for most companies and employees is how to be prepared to eventually come back to work. You can create and share a survey to gauge everyone’s health and comfort level to evaluate the readiness of your business standing back on its feet. The process can be staggered across phases with 20% occupancy leading to 100% over a few weeks or months starting with the healthiest people to high-risk individuals (diabetic/pregnant) joining last.

You may also want to consider doing any upkeep/maintenance/disinfection right now when few or no people are present at the workplace.

We hope the above tips will come in handy for you to be able to operate your business efficiently while working remotely.

Stay safe!