Without a doubt, COVID has significantly altered the business world in 2021, with more companies than ever requiring or encouraging workers to operate from home. While many staff now work from home, many managers and workers are still adjusting to this paradigm change.
Working at home means additional obstacles, fewer opportunities to communicate naturally with employees, and increased social distance — both of which may contribute to decreased efficiency. To address these issues, employers should look for new ways to manage and communicate with workers and provide more opportunities for employees to engage with one another.
Here are seven ways for making your employees work from home easily and improve their productivity.
Establish Mutually Acceptable Expectations
When requiring workers to work from home, it is critical to provide consistent guidelines and requirements so that everyone understands what is and isn’t appropriate while working from home. These requirements can include issues such as time management and communication protocols.
When working from home, workers will use software such as Microsoft Excel to monitor their time and keep a clear log of what they do during the day. Workers should also communicate their availability to coworkers by informing them of their schedules.
Provide your employees with technology and productivity tools
To make your employees work easier from home, provide them tools to stay productive and connected. Get them project management monitoring applications like Asana and Airtable, messaging software like Microsoft Teams and Slack, and video conferencing software like Google Hangouts and Zoom.
Equipping staff with these new tools helps administrators and workers be on the same page regardless of where they serve, whether at home or while standing in line at the supermarket. These new apps can also assist in keeping the staff more efficient and connected when COVID uncertainties subside, and people return to work.
Encourage the use of dedicated workspaces.
Many traditional office employees have never required dedicated workspace in their residences. Still, if they are already operating from home regularly, managers should promote home offices separate from communal rooms. In some situations, companies also provide substantial stipends to assist employees in creating suitable, efficient spaces for remote work.
Give steady and emotional support.
Since working at home can lead to feelings of isolation and negativity, businesses should do everything they can to offer emotional support to their workers. Managers can set the tone for their simulated workplaces by embodying a relaxed and upbeat demeanor, contributing to a level-headed workplace where employees can still get stuff accomplished.
Maintain Open Lines of Communication
Communication is essential in the workplace, but it is particularly important when the employees work remotely. Communicating as often as possible will help reduce misunderstandings and ensure that everyone understands precisely what is required of them. During working hours, managers and staff should also respond quickly to emails and other correspondence.
Giving your workers flexibility goes beyond letting them work from home. Allowing remote employees to work hours other than the traditional 9 to 5 period should be considered. Instead of concentrating on the amount of time invested, change your perspective and concentrate on the amount of work completed.
Non-Work Activities and Team Bonding Should Not Be Overlooked
Finally, one thing that managers can overlook is the importance of promoting non-work activities with remote employees. Making time and space for employees to discuss news, hobbies, and other subjects will ease tension and feel more connected just as they will in the workplace. One approach is to provide a few minutes before and after conference calls for employees to catch up.
Working from home is becoming more common, and you can follow the above tips to stay ahead of the competition and ensure your workers are as productive and happy as possible.