There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on society in numerous ways. One of those being the requirement for many workplaces to switch to remote working arrangements.
While some businesses may have already had systems in place to enable employees to work from home, for many it has been a huge adjustment.
In order for you and your team to stay as productive as possible and keep your business running smoothly, it’s important to get your home office set up just right and adopt a few new practises to help mobilise your remote team.
Here are a few of our tips for how business leaders can ensure operations still run smoothly when working from home.
Have a dedicated space
Just as you would at your workplace, when working from home you need a designated work area. You will still be having important calls with clients and employees, so you need somewhere quiet and with minimal distractions so you can focus.
You should also think about your background when setting up your home office. Zoom meetings will be the norm for many people going forward, and for business leaders wanting to ensure they are still providing a professional front when hosting virtual meetings, having a clutter free, simple background during your video meetings will offer better presentation to your clients.
It’s also important to define your workspace and set boundaries for anyone else you live with and let them know that when you’re working, not to disturb you.
A comfortable set up
To ensure you’re able to stay productive and not end up with a sore neck or back or strained eyes at the end of the day, your home office set up should be functional and comfortable.
A comfortable chair that provides you with the necessary back support is a necessity. If you’re uncomfortable it will be harder to stay focused on your work tasks.
Your work area set up should also include a desk or hard surface that allows you to have your computer at the right height for your eye line, to minimise eye strain.
Get equipment sorted
In order to get the most out of your remote team and ensure they can complete tasks to the same high standard, it is important that you make sure they are equipped with the necessary resources.
While for some employees a computer may be the only thing they need to get work done, for others, there might be some additional pieces of equipment needed. Don’t assume that they already have what they need at home.
Printers, scanners, additional monitors and headsets, are just some pieces of equipment that might be necessary for your team to successfully work from home, so make sure they have these things available to them, this could involve making arrangements for them to take their work equipment home.
WiFi is a must
Just like having the right equipment, access to good, reliable internet at home is crucial to ensuring the success of working from home. Poor internet access, as well as being frustrating, can significantly hinder productivity.
As well as impacting your ability to get your daily tasks done, with many work meetings currently taking place over zoom, a good internet connection is a must-have. You don’t want the internet dropping out during client meetings.
If your, or any of your teams’, current internet connection is not strong enough to deal with the kind of work you need to perform, this will need to be addressed.
While everyone is working from home, it can be harder for your team to feel connected.
Make sure you keep the lines of communication open and have regular contact with your team.
Whether that involves you catching up with your team one on one for a quick weekly call, or a regular team zoom meeting, it’s important that your team still feel connected.
Challenges of working from home
When working from home it can be tempting to keep working longer than you would if you were in your actual workplace, as you don’t need to worry about the daily commute and your computer is within easy reach.
However, it’s important to encourage your team to try to keep regular working hours, and make sure they are switching off at the end of the working day.
Also be aware that some of your staff will be dealing with a lot of issues outside of work, whether that’s having children being homeschooled, family members to care for, as well as coping with the current stressful situation. It might be challenging for some team members to stick to regular working hours, and so offering flexibility for them to set their own schedules when necessary can help ensure you are getting the best productivity from them.
While there’s no doubt that working from home can present a few challenges, by ensuring that employees are well equipped with the right technology and are trusted to continue producing quality work, business leaders will be able to successfully operate remotely.