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Capstone Works, Inc. Blog

Remote Work - our new best friend

Well sometimes we need to re-think our best practices and COVID-19 has forced us all to explore new ways to work, communicate, and manage.  We've been a Microsoft partner and Microsoft Teams user for many years now, but I underestimated how Microsoft Teams would be used to manage and lead a remote workforce in this uncertain world.

As we moved to a 100% remote workforce on March 9th, we did so with full confidence in our Business Continuity Plan, being able to maintain 100% of our service delivery without needing our physical office space.  But even I'm surprised at how well the team can communicate and deliver services from their homes!  With a combination of VoIP telephone, Microsoft Teams, and a VPN to our network, each team member can continue to engage and resolve client issues!  This includes handling proactive maintenance and communicating with clients via email, company desk phone, AND video calls/meetings. We've fully serving every need our Client's have encountered while navigating this new and exciting (OK scary) business situation.

This transition has I'm sure raised several though questions for you and your staff as well. However, we've found that we need access to 6 things to seamlessly work "together" while apart.

  1. Well managed VoIP telephony - allowing for our phone tree to remain the same, outbound calls to come from our phone numbers, and provide a transparent Client experience.
  2. A secure team virtual meeting tool, like Microsoft Teams, allowing for chat, file-sharing, face-to-face meetings, and collaboration.
  3. Cloud services or VPN access to on-premise servers giving a remote work experience identical to being in the office.
  4. Regular team "huddles" (daily all-hands check-ins) to chat, maintain interpersonal connections, and define priorities for each day.
  5. Weekly public acknowledgment of individual contributions; we use a Microsoft Teams based peer review system and keep our eyes open for "great job" acknowledgments.
  6. Metrics and performance KPIs to keep individual performance and contribution visible.

Your list may vary, but in combination with our culture and tools, we've found remote work to be more productive, more organized, and nearly as interactive as in-person work.  Many of these success factors depended heavily on technology.  Each of our clients faced similar but unique challenges in adjusting to a full or part-time remote workforce. An existing relationship with a prepared, forward-thinking Managed IT Service firm helped them be nimble and quickly react to changing conditions with little to no impact on overall productivity in the face of perhaps the biggest threat to all businesses in our community in my lifetime.  I'm proud of the accomplishments of my team, and the positive impact we've each had in assisting our many clients in navigating these waters of transition.

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715 Discovery Blvd
Suite 101

Cedar Park, Texas 78613