remote work strategies for small businesses

The post-pandemic workplace will no longer be the same. Are you ready?

Let’s help you prepare. This course is made possible by Future Skills Centre.

By the end of this 5-week course, you will:

  • Have a strategy for your business that you can implement immediately.
  • Re-think how you operate your business to save money and time and increase productivity (e.g., minimize paperwork, reduce overhead costs).
  • Learn how to continuously improve processes and plans.

 

Students will also have the opportunity to book one on one consultations to discuss their strategy in more detail. 

This course is for owners and operators of Canadian businesses with 500 or fewer employees.

Download the course syllabus.

Read our blog post to learn more about our experiences developing our remote work strategy.

Weekly schedule

Monday, October 18 - Monday, November 15

  • Mondays, 12:00-12:30 PM EDT: live instruction with Dorinda So, Executive Director of pointA (recordings available afterwards).
  • Strategy development activities are due on Sundays at 11:59 PM PDT.

What you will need

  • Zoom (no account required but ensure application is downloaded)
  • Time commitment: 30 minutes each week on Mondays (or view recording), and between 20-90 minutes of strategy development time, depending on the activity
  • Cost: Free.

Course instructor

Dorinda So

Executive Director 

Dorinda So has spent the last decade working with business, academic, and political leaders, and advising them on strategy, innovation, policy, and economic development. She has spoken internationally at conferences on these topics, is a regular guest lecturer at Ontario universities, and has published over 40 publications and thought leadership pieces. Over the course of her career, she has worked in many industries, from automotive and sustainable transportation to health care, real estate and finance, which inform her ability to think clearly about strategy and innovation and to teach these concepts in a practical manner. She sits on various governance bodies including at the University of Toronto. 

Deadline to register

Registration closes on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 5 pm EDT.

Questions?

Email us at learn@pointa.ca or call Dorinda So at 647-200-5394

Download the course syllabus

Credits and thanks

This Remote Work Strategy Course project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

Le projet stratégies de travail à distance pour les petites entreprises est financé par le Centre des Compétences futures du gouvernement du Canada.

FAQ

Future Skills Centre is a forward-thinking research and collaboration hub dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success and meeting the emerging talent needs of employers. As a pan-Canadian community, FSC brings together experts and organizations across sectors to rigorously identify, assess, and share innovative approaches to develop the skills needed to drive prosperity and inclusion. FSC is directly involved in innovation through investments in pilot projects and academic research on the future of work and skills in Canada. The Future Skills Centre is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.

This course is for owners and operators of small-to-medium-sized businesses in Canada, with priority given to women and people with disabilities, as data shows they are most affected by COVID-19.

All business owners and operators in Canada with 500 employees or fewer are welcome to register.

Once you complete the registration form, you’ll receive an automated confirmation email with a link to the web page where we will be posting course materials such as the recordings of each session, the strategy development activities and further reading.

All that is required is dedication to attending the 30-minute sessions each week and completing the weekly activities. After the course, we also hope that you will commit to implementing your strategy and participate in our surveys as part of our evaluation process. You may also be asked to participate in additional research and evaluation activities so that we can further the understanding of the impact and recovery of COVID-19 and how skills can be attained (as part of Future Skills Centre’s work). Finally, we ask that you contribute to a respectful learning environment with your fellow students.

We will be asking all students to let us know at registration for any accommodations required such as live captioning during sessions and will do our best to accommodate all students.

Having a remote work strategy allowed us to become a virtual organization within two days of the Ontario government’s announcement of the closure of all non-essential workplaces in March 2020. Here are some benefits we have seen within our own organization:

Reduced costs

By foregoing our office and renting coworking spaces, we could save $20,000 annually.

Reduced workload

By investing in automated processes and outsourcing, we reduced our finance-related workload by 64% (equivalent to $13,000).

Reduced commute times

Reduced commuting time by up to 75%, saving employees more than $5,000.

Read more about the benefits of having a remote work strategy on our blog.

Even though you may have been able to work from home during this time, your organization may still have paper-based financial records or other aspects of operations that rely on a staff member visiting the office. As we reopen, this is also a great time to re-think your space and processes. Our course will help you think through which operations can be moved online, to reduce the number of staff required to commute to the workplace, and make your organization more efficient in the long-term.
Yes! This course will help you determine which operations can be digitalized, which can help your business save money and reduce employee commutes.

At this time, we can only offer this course in English.

We use Zoom for all sessions, which you can access using an app, browser, or computer software. 

Course materials will be available on our website, and the link will be made available to you once you register. 

You will receive emails from learn@pointa.ca when recordings and strategy development activities are posted on our website.

We upload all lessons to our website after the session ends so you can watch the videos on-demand. However, we do recommend joining the live sessions as much as possible but we understand it’s not always possible.

The weekly strategy development activities will ask you questions to help you design a strategy for remote work. This may require doing an office walk through to figure out what processes and areas that can be digitalized. We expect that at the end of the course, you’ll be able to put everything together to create a comprehensive strategy for implementation after the course. Strategy development activities should take a minimum of 20 minutes every week and may require involvement of others on your team, depending on the week.

No, thanks to Future Skills Centre!

Of course! Non-profits and charities are businesses too, but we ask that they still have 500 or fewer employees.

We believe that no commute is a sustainable commute so the less time we spend going to and from the office to work with vendors, customers, and other employees means we’re saving time, money and the environment! pointA offers services and programs to support sustainable commutes, including remote work.

We’re here to help!  Email us at learn@pointa.ca for help before, during, and after the course! Or give us a call at 647-200-5394. Students can also book a free one on one consultation with us.

We can definitely provide suggestions on partners we’ve used but we’ll be providing advice on how best to undergo procurement to enable you to find the best partners for your business.

Of course! We’ll send one electronically after the course completion.

We encourage all students to dedicate the time to join the sessions live and complete the weekly activities. However, we know that things come up and if you can’t complete the course material on time, please email and let us know and we will accommodate your situation. However, access to the course webpage will eventually close and we’ll email everyone when that time comes.

We just expect that all strategy development activities to be completed. All of the activities, taken together, forms a complete strategy.

We have a privacy policy specific to the course that addresses this. All information that is collected from you is kept in secure, password-protected cloud servers located in Canada. Information may be shared with the Future Skills Centre as part of our agreement with them but will solely be used for evaluation and research purposes and all names and identifying information will not be shared. If you have any questions or concerns about the information we collect and how it is used, please email us at learn@pointa.ca.