ExecutiveChronicles.com |7 Ways Businesses Can Make It Easier for Employees to Stay Home | Business cultures around the world are forced to adapt to an entirely different concept of work if they want to stay afloat. There’s been a shift in organizational culture and people are switching from working at an office to working from their homes. Every change has its challenges and businesses should recognize them and make this transition easier for their employees. Adapting to a new “normal” is a challenge for everyone, both employers and employees.
Teach them how to work from home
The shift from an office to a home environment won’t come as easy for each member of your team.
Don’t just assume that your employees can adapt to different work environments instantly. Parents of small kids might find it especially difficult to stay on their work tasks and manage their hyperactive kids at the same time. If you want to help your employees adapt quickly to the working-from-home situation, provide them with a blueprint.
Give them a written guideline on how to set up their daily routine, how to organize their work per hour, when to eat, take breaks, and communicate with other team members. Write at least three different work schedules and be open to their feedback so that you can further polish the official work-from-home blueprint. Pay close attention to feedback provided by parents, because the official blueprint might not work for them. Don’t forget to establish a work-from-home policy in order to avoid hearing I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do that as an excuse for poor performance. Remain flexible but make sure there are some rules to be followed.
Provide remote employees with the right equipment
Some employees will own properly equipped home offices, while others won’t. Still, both of these groups are expected to be equally productive. Thoughtful employers will find a way to help their remote workers set up comfortable and productivity-boosting home offices. If you have a budget to spend, equip your employees with desks, chairs, and other helpful things. You can also allow your employees to borrow their office chairs and desks for the time being and return them once everything goes back to normal. Just do whatever it takes to make the transition from work office to a home office as easy as possible.
Set clear and measurable goals
If you want your new remote employees to be productive and deliver expected results, you need to set clear and measurable goals. Define official work hours and kindly ask everyone to work during this timeframe. Your employees should be online and available to every member of your team during official work hours.
Duties, responsibilities, weekly or monthly tasks should be defined in a written form and also conveyed over a video call. Even though a large percentage of people will be even more efficient when working from home, you still need to cover all the bases and make sure nothing is being lost in translation.
Invest in employees’ wellbeing
Companies have recognized the importance of employee wellbeing long before the Covid19 pandemic. That’s why many of them have invested their resources into company wellness programs. Companies with a wellness plan have a larger percentage of healthier and happier employees that are more productive and efficient. The healthy workforce should remain your goal even during the pandemic.
You can give your employees access to online fitness programs and encourage them to exercise at home. Another perk your employees will appreciate is telehealth services like online physiotherapy available at SportsTec Clinic, online psychotherapy, or other forms of virtual health care. These company perks will only strengthen the relationship a company has with its employees.
Encourage virtual coffee breaks
Virtual social interaction is of high importance while your employees are working remotely. A sense of belonging can reduce the feeling of loneliness, isolation, and even depression thus improve productivity. Managers should encourage their employees to interact socially and discuss non-work topics, engage in online video sessions, and other forms of fun virtual activities.
Managers can take the matter into their own hands and even pair people randomly to take virtual coffee breaks together. An app called Donut can be integrated into Slack and it will randomly choose two of your team members to connect virtually. You can also host virtual pizza parties on Fridays so that you can all catch up at the end of the week. Your employees will appreciate this gesture which will increase their sense of belonging.
If one of your employees has a birthday coming up during quarantine, you can send them a handwritten note, a cake, fresh flowers or anything else that can make them feel appreciated.
Keep the spirits up by regularly checking in
Daily check-ins, whether work-related or not, are highly recommended when taking care of your remote team. People are used to chatting around the water cooler or leisurely strolling in your office to ask a personal question or seek advice. Video conferencing apps can make your regular daily facetime just like the real thing. Even if you chat about work, these video calls will lessen the sense of isolation and loneliness.
Let your team know that you will call them on a daily basis to discuss the most important questions and just check on their wellbeing. You can also host a group video call once in a while when you sense that your team could use a virtual get together. Rely on communication tools like Slack to communicate daily and discuss work-related questions.
Implement a No Pyjamas dress code
Even though people will be inclined to wear pyjamas as their official work-wear, encourage them to change into something more presentable but still as comfortable. Dressing for success even when you work from home has been recognized as a way to make a clear distinction between work and private life. Encourage your employees to dress appropriately because it will make them feel better. Also, if they have to communicate with clients, they will always look the part and leave a professional impression.
Helping your employees navigate these difficult times will help them adapt to the new “normal” and remain productive and efficient. They will appreciate your efforts and overcome working from home challenges with ease.