Tips For Running Your Business Remotely
Arlington, Texas - May 1st, 2020 - As essential workers, spray foam insulation professionals regularly interact with customers, coworkers and other pros while conducting daily business. Even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, contractors know the interactions must continue and work must get done.
Thanks to advances in technology, spray foam insulation contractors can carry on with work while following social distancing recommendations. In a time of online communications and video technology, contractors have more options than ever to keep business on the right track. At the same time, business owners should use personalized touches to help clients feel comfortable, such as:
- Provide peace of mind
First and foremost, business owners should draft a COVID-19 statement. The statement, either in writing or via a video, should describe steps the company is taking to keep customers and employees safe and healthy. After the statement or video is posted on social media and the company’s website, contractors should call current customers to provide extra reassurance about the safety procedures in place.
At Demilec, we posted our COVID-19 statement on our website to inform contractors and suppliers about our efforts to protect our team members and maintain production of our products.
Show employees you care
Remote work can leave employees feeling isolated. Have regular check-in calls or online video chats. During the interactions, thoughtfully answer employee questions about the company’s COVID-19 response and provide reassurances that the company is moving forward.
Set up a virtual office
Even though spray foam contractors are essential workers, they still face limitations due to social distancing requirements and stay-at-home orders. These virtual office tools can help employers connect with customers and employees:
- Video conferencing: Virtual face-to-face interactions allow participants to see expressions, body language and reactions. While on the chats, participants can make visual presentations and share screens for easy access to information.
- Cisco WebEx Meetings (Webex.com)
- WebEx sessions are free for up to 100 participants with no time limit. WebEx’s upgraded option ($13.50 per month) includes 5 GB of storage and recording transcripts.
- Skype (Skype.com)
- Skype allows for free meetings for up to 50 people without having to download an app. The platform has a background blur feature, which is helpful to hide messy surroundings.
When a project calls for multiple people to work together, collaboration tools allow participants to share files and exchange ideas in one place. The platforms are an alternative to emailing and texting, many with instant messaging and document editing functions:
- Slack (Slack.com)
- Slack provides a single platform for multiple teams to interact in channels, which can be organized by topic. Participants can share documents and save important messages. Slack accounts can also be connected to Google Drive, Twitter and Zoom.
- Chanty (Chanty.com)
- Chanty is free for teams of 10 people or less and comes with a virtual manager that turns messages into tasks. Chanty also allows participants to send voice messages in addition to text messages.
- Microsoft teams (Teams.microsoft.com)
- Microsoft Teams provides free access to unlimited chats, video and audio calls, plus 10 GB of file storage for an entire team. As part of the Office 365 suite, Teams integrates with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, among others.
In preparing and executing a job, project management software helps organize, track and document work. The platforms allow contractors to simplify their workflow to complete tasks without miscommunications and inefficiencies. The following free project management platforms are among the many that can streamline workflow:
- Asana (Asana.com)
- As one of the most popular project management tools, Asana is used by millions worldwide. It allows users to collaborate on projects and create templates to automate tasks. Asana is free for up to 15 people with no limits on the number of tasks that can be created.
- Basecamp (Basecamp.com)
- Basecamp Personal offers free access to project management tools, including resource planning and scheduling. The platform provides space for up to three projects with 20 users and up to one gigabyte of data storage.
- Wrike (Wrike.com)
- The free version of Wrike provides project management resources for individuals or teams of up to five people. Through the platform, users have access to cloud storage, real-time activity streams and file sharing.
In addition, online invoicing and payment tracking platforms also make tracking business expenses and income easier. Some of the more popular web apps include Square (Squareup.com), QuickBooks Payments (Quickbooks.intuit.com) and FreshBooks (Freshbooks.com). Each provides limited free access for business owners.
Finally, employers should ensure that they are current on the latest developments and changes. Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the most up-to-date information.
During this crisis, Demilec will be here to support our customers and their business needs while maintaining high standards of health and safety for our employees.
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