Many businesses have opted to have their employees work remotely from home during the recent global coronavirus pandemic. This option provides a solution that protects the safety of your employees while social distancing measures are in effect and also allows your business to continue running.
While working from home offers greater freedoms and flexibility for many employees, some employees may find it daunting, especially if they never considered remote work before. If your employees have recently made the switch from working in an office to working remotely, read this blog to learn some vital tips to help your employees transition.
Make Sure Employees Have a Dedicated Workspace
It’s important to establish boundaries so that the line between being at home and being at work doesn’t get blurry. While in the past your employees may have been able to leave their work behind when they left the office, this becomes significantly more difficult when they work from home. Communicate with your employees that setting up a dedicated office can help. This way, they have a clear marker indicating when to focus on work — while they’re in their office — and when to focus on home life.
Encourage them to find a secluded spot in their homes for an office and avoid setting up their office in places typically used to relax and unwind, like the couch or bedroom. The more they can differentiate between a space dedicated for working and a space dedicated for something like watching TV, the more they will be able to focus while at work and not stress about work while off the clock.
Make Sure Everyone Has the Right Equipment
Part of establishing a dedicated work from home office is having the right equipment. Work with your employees to find out what office equipment they need to be successful at their jobs and what equipment you need to provide them with. Start with the basics like a desk and chair that allow them to comfortably work all day like they would in the office.
Other important equipment for home offices includes a fully functioning laptop or computer and all the associated cords and components. This will allow employees to complete their work similarly to when they were in the office while still maintaining daily productivity.
Perhaps one of the most important things employees need when working from home is a good internet connection. Your team will need a reliable internet connection for email and video meetings, as well as to do their work. Make sure your team doesn’t miss important announcements, deadlines, or conversations by establishing they have a good internet connection, and be willing to work with them if they don’t at the moment.
Encourage Your Team to Follow a Routine
Many employers allow employees to choose more flexible schedules when working from home as long as their regular tasks are completed on time. Establish early on what your expectations are for your employees’ work schedule and allow them to build their own routine from there. No matter what schedule they choose or what your company requires while working at home, encourage everyone to set up a consistent routine.
Have employees establish a work schedule and stick with it. Additionally, encourage them to be mindful of how their morning routine affects their workday: for employees working from home, rolling out of bed and walking straight into their office will seem tempting, but invite them to take time to fully wake up and prepare for work. Something as simple as changing out of their pajamas signals to the brain that it’s time to wake up and concentrate on the task at hand.
Focus on Wellness
Another important aspect of working from home is to focus on overall health and wellbeing. Working from home can be a difficult transition, and many will miss seeing their coworkers. To combat this, regularly schedule video calls and conferences to check in or go over upcoming projects.
Additionally, encourage employees to utilize their breaks during the day. Your employees will feel better and work better if they take some time to walk around and step away from their computer. For example, standing up to do some exercises like wall push-ups, chair squats, and calf raises will get blood flowing and energy up.
It’s also important to have employees take advantage of your company’s time-off policy. Sometimes employees just need a break, and a day away from work can help. Allow them to take the time they need to make sure their mental health is in a good place. This can also help them come back to work refreshed and ready to get things done.
While your company’s ability to return to the office may not have a solid timeline, don’t despair. Focus on the positives of working from home as you make this your new normal. Taking care of your employees, surroundings, and yourself will ensure you and your team are able to competently and effectively perform your job, even without going into the office.