The global pandemic has turned the world of work upside down. Commuting to the workplace is no longer a daily habit for up to 40%1 of the workforce. What’s more, it’s a trend set to stay in place long after the scientific community has found an effective treatment or vaccine for the virus.
Online and WordPress website-based businesses particularly adept at making the switch to remote working using necessary tools for WordPress businesses. But that doesn’t come without its challenges. User accountability, user communication, and security concerns all accompany the switchover to this new model of working.
The solution to these problems comes in the form of leveraging technology. That is cloud-based tools that help keep each employee on track.
Remote team management tools for communication and security for your WordPress site
Managing your team remotely doesn’t necessarily have to be any more difficult just because you lack face-to-face interaction. Today, there are plenty of useful tools that can help you remain on top of projects, increase security no matter your employees’ location, and facilitate better communication.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the tools you should be using to manage your remote employees from a communication standpoint.
Tools for communication to help you manage your WordPress business the right way
Not a new technology by any stretch of the imagination, but email will remain a mainstay of your remote communication strategy. It’s still a fast and effective method to send out important messages to either individuals or several team members at once.
However, it can get a little messy to have several email chains open pertaining to several different projects. In which case, it may be wise to invest in a browser-based business communication solution such as Slack.
Designed to replace work email, Slack allows you to dedicate neat channels to one specific topic or project. It may be much easier while managing your WordPress business to message your employees with a centralized hub – rather than having multiple messy email chains.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services are an excellent solution for business owners looking to avoid racking up costly minutes on business telephone lines. VoIP providers allow you to telephone over a Wi-Fi connection rather than through the traditional phone line. This enables business owners to kill two birds with one stone – better communication at a reduced cost.
The best part is that VoIP apps and solutions are easy to download and install. They also get around the current trend of younger employees not having a connected telephone landline.
Video calling software
In many ways, working under the pandemic conditions has been dominated by the emergence of video conferencing technology like Zoom. Once again, these communication tools are excellent at least somewhat replicating that all-important face-to-face interaction.
Group meetings, one-on-ones, and team catch-ups are all a cinch with the help of video calling technology. Their role in facilitating social interaction is just as important as their communication functionality. This is a far more personal method than an email or a phone call.
Bonus – team-building tools
As touched upon above, perhaps the most prominent aspect missing from the remote working experience is the daily team comradery. It’s almost impossible to recreate that social atmosphere of working and bouncing ideas off each other in a face-to-face setting.
However, thanks to tools such as Awesome Boss and WooBoard, you can come close. These browser-based solutions help employees and managers reward and recognize employees for outstanding work.
Whether it’s employees clubbing together to reward a peer who has recently excelled in a specific project, or a manager looking to congratulate a staff member who has gone above and beyond, these solutions are perfect for keeping your employees engaged while distanced from each other.
Tools to help with remote team management for your WordPress business
Collaborative working apps
Collaborative working tools are vital in the remote environment. They help to keep everybody on track toward their goals and accountable to both you and their peers. They are so many to choose from, but popular choices include browser and app-based solutions such as Trello, Asana, and Monday.com.
While all different in format, they all offer very similar functionality. They give you a picture of where each project is up to and displays what team members are working on. It helps to eliminate unhelpful micromanagement processes and allows you to focus instead on your workload as a manager of a WordPress site.
But how can you tell that your employees are putting the hours in to achieve those goals? You guessed it; there are online tools for that too.
Time-tracking software such as Toggl helps you to understand where the time is being spent in your business. Not only does this solution allow you to keep tabs on employee productivity, but it can help you with better allocation of resources to time-heavy projects.
Lastly, project management in a remote environment is not feasible without file sharing. Previously, that may have taken place on a local server based in the office. With that option removed from the equation, you’re going to rely on cloud technology to facilitate collaborative work.
The two most popular solutions for file-sharing are Dropbox and Google Drive. However, there are plenty of solutions out there that may cater to your specific needs. Whichever you choose, seamless sharing and updating of files will dramatically speed up the delivery of major and minor tasks.
Tools for security and user accountability
Once you’ve set up all of the communication and project management systems in place, next comes the question of security. The issue with remote working is that the security threat to your website or online business increases. Weak passwords on devices, insecure public Wi-Fi networks at local cafés, and shared home networks all present a risk to your business.
However, you can protect the asset of your company’s WordPress website with the help of excellent security-enhancing plugins.
With most, if not all, of your staff working remotely, it’s impossible to track who is making changes to your website without the help of a plugin. A WordPress activity log is a record of events and user changes that take place on your website. By maintaining a record of user and site changes you keep your finger on the pulse of your WordPress site, e-Commerce store, or multisite network.
This helps you prevent hackers from tampering with sensitive areas of your website. Also it helps to keep employees accountable for their actions when not in your presence.
You can keep tabs on aspects such as login and log out times, actions taken during a session, and receive instant alerts if changes are made to mission-critical data such as the WordPress database. This solution helps webmasters and managers to stay abreast of employee actions without spying in a ‘Big Brother’ manner.
Also, in many cases, the sharing of credentials between individuals should be avoided at all costs. While you may be able to supervise a few users, when there are multiple team members designated to each user role, you need an activity log plugin for WordPress to track changes made to your site accurately.
Strong password policies for your WordPress business
Despite efforts to strengthen passwords across many organizations over recent years, 80% of hacking breaches are still tied to poor password choices. Given that weak, stolen, or reused passwords provide the method of entry for the vast majority of bad actors, you need to take preventative action.
The first step you can take is to implement strong password policies on WordPress user accounts. Minimum length, mandatory use of mixed numbers and characters, and the inclusion of special symbols are just a few of the features you can implement with such plugin.
You can defend your site and limit the risk associated with a remote workforce by forcing users to implement strong passwords, remove the ability to reuse old ones, and dictate password policy based on a user role’s seniority. All that can be easily implemented with the Password Policy Manager for WordPress plugin. With laptops and other similar devices often shared among family members, this is a crucial step.
You could have the most robust password in the world. However, it would take only seconds to gain entry to a website if that password fell into the wrong hands. That’s why it’s also essential that you implement two-factor or multiple-factor authentication across your most sensitive user accounts.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) prevents bad actors from gaining access to your site by requiring an additional piece of identifying information such as a pin code or biometric data. Successful implementation stops hackers with stolen credentials in their tracks.
The best part is that 2FA protocols are easy to apply via a two-factor authentication (2FA) WordPress plugin. After successfully installing the plugin, you can set up an additional security layer on your website in a seconds. It’s that simple.
Remote team management tools make working from home and managing your WordPress business much more effective
With remote working set to become a foundational pillar of the ‘new normal’, webmasters and online business owners are looking for new ways to maximize accountability, productivity, and security.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there to make the transition as seamless as possible. From daily video conferencing to applying two-factor authentication login requirements to senior user roles, you can use a wide variety of online tools to continue on your path toward your business targets for 2020.
When it comes to increasing and enhancing the security of one of your most vital assets (your WordPress website), make sure to utilize the WP Activity Log, Password Policy Manager and WP 2FA plugins to improve productivity, user accountability and to add more layers to the security of your WordPress website.
References used in this article