Registration is now open for our remote work strategies for small businesses course. Learn more here.

remote work strategy course

Figure out how to get your business online, from people to processes

With help from Future Skills Centre, we’re offering a FREE 5-week, virtual course to help you develop a long-term and sustainable remote work strategy that you can implement immediately. This course is for owners and operators of Canadian small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with 500 employees or fewer. Priority is given to those most affected by COVID-19, primarily women and persons with disabilities.


Most remote work services focus solely on the client-facing side of developing an online store or helping your employees work from home. This course is comprehensive and will help you move your business processes and people, from financials to sales, to an online environment that will reduce your overhead costs, accommodate your employees’ needs, and give you more transparency and time to operate your business.


Our first course cycle begins on Monday, June 21, 2021 and ends on Friday, July 23, 2021.

What you will learn

At the end of the course, you will develop a long-term remote work strategy and the innovation skills to implement your strategy. The strategy will cover areas such as:

Financial process

Pay vendors and employees electronically, digitalizing all financial documents, and accept payments electronically

Governance and oversight

Complete filings online, develop an online repository for meeting materials

Sales and marketing

Consolidate all files online, manage projects using collaborative tools, and create an online store

HR and communications

Meet employees' workstyle needs and improve their workflow and communication with others.

This course will also help you develop:

A better understanding of your business, including your employees and how remote work can improve the productivity, cost effectiveness, security, and sustainability of your business

A network of other business owners and operators in your province and industry who you can connect with after the course.

Even if your business still relies on some in-person staff, such as a restaurant or shop, this course can help you move more of your back-end operations online and help you realize cost savings and reduce the number of employees required to commute to work.

This course puts you in the driver’s seat to move your business operations online.

Key dates

This course runs from June 21, 2021 to July 23, 2021. Our second cycle begins October 18, 2021 to November 19, 2021.


Lessons are conducted remotely via Zoom webinar, with course materials accessible on Google Classroom (Google account required.)

Weekly schedule:

  • Mondays: 1-hour live lesson with Dorinda So, Executive Director of pointA
  • Fridays: 1-hour Q&A session with Kelly Bray, Office Manager at pointA
  • Homework assignments due on Sundays at 11:59 PM NST.
  • Optional community group discussions throughout the week

Who is this course for?

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 apply.

Course instructors

This course is delivered by Dorinda So, Executive Director of pointA, with weekly Q&A sessions with Kelly Bray, Office Manager at pointA. Together, they have taught thousands of students over two decades and have backgrounds in strategy, innovation, and business operations, managing everything from financials to board governance.

This course draws on our own experience transitioning our operations online. What began as an exercise to consider our own carbon footprint in terms of our office space as well as our individual commutes turned into a complete strategy and systemic implementation plan developed in conjunction with our team.

Our strategy and implementation plan is a hybrid solution that is inclusive, flexible and cost-effective (>60% savings in overhead costs). The foundation of this work allowed us to become a virtual organization within 2 days of the Ontario government’s announcement of the closure of all non-essential workplaces in March 2020.

Eligibility and how to apply

While we prioritize those most impacted by COVID-19, we welcome all owners and operators of Canadian businesses (<500 employees) across all industries to join the course.

All that is required is dedication to attending the sessions each week, completing the homework and engaging with other students. 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.

Once you complete the registration form, you’ll receive an automated confirmation email with the details you provided to us, and closer to the course start date, you will receive a separate email inviting you to join our Google Classroom. We aim to enroll all those interested in joining the course but if the course is full, we will invite you to join us in our second cycle, from October 18, 2021 to November 19, 2021.

Deadline to apply

Applications close on Friday, June 18, 2021 at 5 pm EDT.

Questions?

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

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.

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.

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. We also use Google Classroom, which requires a Google account to access. You can complete homework with a Google account using Google Drive, and you’ll be able to access your homework even after the course ends.

We upload all lessons and Q&A sessions to Google Classroom 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 homework 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.

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. 

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.

You’ll be matched with 5-10 other business owners and operators in your industry and province/territory that you can connect with to support each other as you develop your strategies, with the hope that they’ll be useful contacts even after the course.

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 homework. 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 Google Classroom will eventually close and we’ll email everyone when that time comes.

We just expect that all homework to be completed. All homework, 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.