With the ongoing situation in the world, there are many people who are either furloughed or have been outright laid off from their jobs. Those of us who have the ability to work from home should feel very fortunate that we have the ability to keep working at least until this has all passed.
Although a lot of companies have been slow to let more of their employees work remotely, there is a whole slew of benefits that may lead many employers to allow their employees to work from home even after the COVID-19 crisis has settled. Not to mention that this brings unique challenges that companies may be unprepared to deal with.
In this article, we’ll be going over which new issues may arise after shifting employees from onsite to working remotely and what can be done to lessen the blow.
Keep in Touch
When you work in an office with your employees, you may take that proximity for granted. Even if you don’t have daily meetings, how often do you stop by for a minute just to see how things are doing or for a quick update on a project? These are just as important to your workers as to you since it creates a relationship beyond just instructions from a faceless email.
Make sure to take the time to check in daily with your team, perhaps even a couple of times a day, for the same reasons. There’s no shortage of free or low-cost programs (such as Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting) that can help you stay in touch without wasting too much time. The more often you do these meetings, the more efficient the process will be for everyone.
Working from home sounds great, but it can be an adjustment, especially if you’ve been forced into it like many are today. For Example, your workers can find themselves getting claustrophobic and uneasy since they no longer have a routine of getting ready for work, traveling, and just getting out of the house. For many, this can be a source of anxiety and stress.
This is why you need to keep those meetings we talked about not just informative but upbuilding. Don’t just talk about work — have everyone talk about a positive thing that happened. It could even be something as simple as finding a new series that they like or their children making breakfast for the family etc.
Make it Personal
In addition to group meetings, make it point to meet with employees one-on-one at least once a week, more if you have ongoing projects that need attention. When you’re home alone or with the family, it gets really easy to be sidetracked compared to working in the office.
Remember that for some people, the office is their main source of socializing, so this could be a lifeline to them as now they could be completely isolated. Younger employees also appreciate more frequent feedback from their superiors and without this they can get easily distracted or disheartened.
Be the Fun Boss
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your employees are going to work 8 solid hours a day at home. But remember that as long as they are getting their work done at a high level of quality, it’s best just to leave that be. In fact, encourage downtime and even create games or challenges for your team. With everything going on, if you don’t give them the occasional distraction, they’ll find something on their own that could end up keeping them off task for longer.
Keep Their Heads in the Cloud
Since they are no longer in a physical location that you have control over, making sure that your team’s data is backed up properly is crucial. While most companies are using a cloud storage solution on some level, others rely mostly or entirely on server storage. Find a way to make sure that all your employees work is backed up safely and efficiently.
Hardware and Software Checks
The last thing you want is for your employees to have nothing to do because the don’t have the proper tools! Whether you provide them with their equipment or they’re using their own, make sure that your team always has everything they need to do their work. Also, to avoid progress interruptions, make sure to keep all software licenses for programs such as Microsoft Office or any other industry-specific apps up to date.
Lastly, don’t forget security considerations. This is especially important if they’re using their own equipment since what works at home computer may not cut it for your business needs.
Looking over these challenges, especially the last two, having your employees work from home may be more difficult than many imagine. Especially when we consider that much of this has to be done on short notice considering the circumstances.
That’s why an MSP might be your best option in these trying times. We have the tools, resources and experience needed to take care of all these considerations without ever having to step foot in your office. Contact us today and we can show you how we can start to implement your perfect solution for your business.