Remote Working

Our tried and true success factors for remote
working and remote resources

The modern office doesn’t always look like, well, an office.

NB Consulting has been working remotely since we founded in 2006. NB Consulting has completed projects onsite, remote and a mixture of both partially and fully remote.

The following are the tried and true success factors that in our experience ensure the success of remote resources.

Remote Working

Technical Connectivity

Even in the early days of remote working, in 2006, NB consultants have made sure on their own time that their personal laptops can connect to the client’s systems. Both PC and Mac! Mac has gotten a lot easier in the last 5 years. NB Consultants also used client laptops if that is preferred, but we prefer to use our own because our “cheat sheet” of over 20 years of SAP consulting are on our personal laptops.

VPN

We have several customers using multiple VPNs all from our Macs and PCs. Due to the nature of SAP consulting we sometimes need to research online or contact our resource pool for answers to our customer’s questions. It is best when the VPN does not block us from sending email, instant messages or searching the web.

NB Consulting | Working Remotely

Time Zone

All of our consultants will work our customer’s time zone.

Working Hours

All of our consultants will be online both during working hours, and after working hours (if necessary). If a consultant needs to go to an appointment they are required to inform their customer counterparts:

  • The date and times absent in advance.
  • Calendar, if shared with customer, to be updated.
  • An email and cell phone number to reach them.
  • Any missed hours will either not be billed or made up for in the evenings/weekends.

Noise

It should not be noticeable that a consultant is working from home. They should notify their family members:

  • “If the headset is on to be quiet”.
  • Arriving at the house, they should quietly check to see whether headset is on and if it is to be quiet.
  • Their time: They are working from home for at least 8 hours a day. This does not mean they have time for matters outside of work during that time.
  • Headsets can go on at a moment’s notice and all noise should cease.
  • Meeting should be started/joined 5 to 10 mins before they start where possible. It is very easy to forget about a meeting when your head is down working in the detail. Even email calendar reminders can be snoozed like that alarm clock. Get in the habit of arriving early not to be early, but as not to miss it entirely.
NB Consulting | Working Virtually

Meetings

Be available for all and any meetings, sometimes customers call them at the shortest notice.

  • ALWAYS Mute yourself when not speaking: there is always background noise even when  your workspace is quiet. (for example, the birds in spring are very loud in England)
  • Muting: Be aware that you are muted. Hearing “you are on mute” from your customer  more than once a week is a bad sign. I would wonder what else you are missing.
  • Video: If you look hungover do not turn it on. If your lighting is like Nixon in the 1960 first  TV debate do not turn it on.
  • Screen sharing: Make sure everything on your desktop is work related if you are going to  show your screen. It may be cool that you read the Onion but the customer does not need to see it.
  • We use Go To Meeting but can use any screen sharing software our customer prefers.
  • Time Zones: Be aware of them when scheduling meetings.
  • Vocal clarity: Make sure you have a good headset.

Communication

This is the same for when everyone is on site. There is no such thing as over communication on an SAP project. If you have included someone who does not need to know; they will let you know and hopefully politely.

NB Consulting | Remote Working

On site

If you do go onsite when you are mostly remote working make sure:

  • The customer approves this
  • You have an agenda
  • Confirm the people you need to meet with will be onsite that week
  • It is done best when coordinated, so all team members are onsite the same week.

Long Emails

We believe that scheduling quick, impromptu meetings to resolve specific issues are productive. These are not meetings to just discuss something they are meant to make a decision and move on. Once an email has reached a certain length without resolution it is a time for meeting. I know; we all detest them. But sometimes they provide needed guidance and resolution.

NB Consulting | Remote Working

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What our clients say

NB Consulting’s approach is to not just fix problems that you are having, but involve themselves in your processes, to better understand how to make changes to your SAP system – making it easier to manage, report and transact on a daily basis.

Vice PresidentOmega Research and Development