This year has seen numerous companies have to quickly adapt to remote working because of COVID-19. At the height of lockdown, 60% of UK adults were working from home, according to Finder. While some businesses have thrived in this new workstyle, many others have struggled. Without efficient management, employees can feel isolated, stressed, and distracted, causing low productivity levels.
However, you can keep your staff motivated throughout this unprecedented time by following these five invaluable steps.
1. Check Their At-Home Workspaces
If your employees are operating from their sofa or bed, it’ll inevitably disrupt their productivity. Having a dedicated workspace that is separate from their usual relaxation area is vital. Otherwise, they could get distracted during business hours or struggle to relax in their free time and become stressed.
An uncomfortable workspace can also thwart concentration. To support good posture, staff members will need a desk and an adjustable office chair that discourages any hunching. If using a laptop or computer, the screen should be eye-level to avoid neck pain.
2. Provide Sufficient Technology
Suitable technology is required to work efficiently from home, which may include a well-functioning laptop, mobile phone, or desktop. Productivity levels will undoubtedly plummet if your employees are relying on slow and dated devices to complete the usual tasks.
Operating from a paper filing system isn’t ideal when home-working and converting to a digital process will hugely heighten efficiency. This may include using free online programs such as Google Drive. However, depending on the field of business, you may need to provide software such as invoicing programs, asset management software, or word processing systems.
If your company buys or sells goods internationally, the trade management software, ManSys, will enable you to maintain efficiency and minimize disruption to day-to-day duties when operating remotely. From this platform, you can manage and control virtually every aspect of the global business strategy, such as planning transportation.
3. Regularly Communicate
Although working from the comfort of your home sounds appealing, many miss the social interaction you get in an office. Research from Total Jobs found that nearly half of UK employees experienced loneliness during the lockdown.
Emailing and online communication platforms are great for keeping up to date on procedures and for general chit-chat, but it doesn’t equate to face-to-face meetings and coffee-break catch-ups. Scheduling regular video calls for meetings and socializing can help boost morale. Also, ensure team members are regularly supported by their line managers in case they need to discuss anything privately.
4. Set Guidelines
Set realistic deadlines, goals, and targets that will suit home-working to eliminate any disappointments and miscommunications. Allow your employees to raise any concerns and address anything that isn’t achievable.
Provide flexible guidelines on how everyone should manage their time. For example, providing the required hours are completed, you could permit staff to start and finish their day earlier or later than usual.
5. Positive and Constructive Feedback
In an office, successes often come up in casual conversation, or you may even hold monthly social occasions to celebrate your team’s achievements. Without this, your employees could start to feel negative and frustrated.
It’s still important, if not more so, to dish out well-deserved praise to employees when working from home as it can enhance confidence and productivity levels.
On the flip side, constructive feedback is also vital. If your employees perform poorly and don’t receive any criticism, they won’t feel motivated to improve on future tasks. Ensure they’re still aware of the usual consequences, even though you aren’t physically present.
Working From Home Is Beneficial
When optimized correctly, working from home can provide numerous business benefits such as an expanded talent pool for new-starters, and if you decide to operate remotely permanently, eliminating rent would hugely cut costs.