In the wake of COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic, remote working is no longer just a nice perk for businesses to offer their employees but rather a necessity. However, working from home in a virtual workplace presents its own unique productivity challenges that companies should be prepared for.
Here are seven key steps to follow in creating an effective work from home environment:
1. Give Your Employees a Virtual Home
Your employees need to have an online hub that gives them the feeling of entering a physical office when they log in. Therefore, an intranet site is vital for an efficient work from home environment.
Employees should be able to communicate there as well as access key workflow information such as task processes, job responsibilities, contact information, work schedules and company announcements.
2. Leverage Remote Working Apps
An intranet site is not enough, it needs to be supplemented with other online tools to ensure timely communication and smooth cooperation. Some of the key remote working apps to consider include:
- Video conferencing apps such as Skype, Meet and Zoom
- Task tracking apps such as Basecamp, Trello and ClickUp
- Screen sharing apps such as JoinMe, TeamViewer and WebEx
3. Help Your Employees Adapt
Working from home is a significant cultural shift and with this Coronavirus pandemic, a very sudden one too. Your staff will need your help in getting used to the new tools in their daily work life.
All the above-mentioned apps have some kind of learning curve to them, so you need to take time to train your employees how to use them properly, and also be patient with them as they learn.
4. Keep Job Roles Clearly Defined
One of the major drawbacks of remote working is that it’s easy for the corporate hierarchy and workflow structure to fall apart when people are unable to physically meet and talk face-to-face.
So, one of the key documents that should be easily available, and constantly updated, on your intranet site is a go-to list outlining who has been assigned which task/responsibility and how to contact them.
5. Set Clear, Measurable Expectations
Another common problem with working from home is how easy it is to lose focus and motivation due to the myriad distractions present (family, TV, etc.) and the unfamiliarity of being productive at home.
This is why it’s important to break tasks down into benchmarks/milestones than can be spread out over the workday and week. Such clear, measurable expectations help employees stay focused throughout.
6. Gather Feedback in Order To Improve
You should make it a point to ask your team how they are doing and what you can do to make their work easier. Listen to their frustrations and suggestions about the tools and processes you choose.
Keep in mind that managing (so many) staff from home is as new for you as working from home is for (most of) them. You therefore need seek out and stay open to their feedback and ideas on how to make things work better.
7. Recognize and Reward Hard Work
As mentioned earlier, working from home is significant and sudden cultural shift. You should take the time and make the effort to recognize and reward the efforts of your team to keep up with the change.
This can be as simple as congratulating them during the next group video call, having their favorite meal delivered to their door or even letting them have a day off. The key is to make them feel valued.
Have you prepared a great work from home environment?
The work from home shift that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to adopt might be a blessing in disguise given the many benefits that remote working has to offer. With the right guidance and leadership, your team can achieve the same productivity it always has in the office, or more.
Let the professionals at ASB Resources guide your company in setting up the necessary structures and technology to harness the power of remote working. Schedule a call with one of our experts today!