As COVID-19 spread across the globe, national lockdowns and restrictions took place in many countries to try and get the pandemic under control. This resulted in many workers leaving the traditional office setting and adapting to working from home. While this might not have worked for everyone, for a lot of companies, this change in circumstances has proved that remote working can result in the same amount of productivity from their teams, or in some cases, productivity has even increased. This has led a lot of businesses to decide to keep remote working in place even after the pandemic is over, mixing time in the office with time working from home. If you think this new approach will work for your company, below are some suggestions on how you can make it easier for your employees to work remotely long-term.
Access to Network
If your staff is already working from home, you should have given them access to your company’s computer network (if you have one). Your IT team should have been able to help with this, and it’s important because your employees will need to be able to login into their portals, share files securely with one another, as well as communicating across any IM systems you use at work. If they are accessing this network at home, make sure your Cyber Security systems are up to date to protect sensitive data.
Provide Them with a Budget to Create a Home Office
If you can afford to, think about how you can make your employees more comfortable working from home. A lot of people will have temporary workspaces at home currently, but if you’re expecting this change to be more permanent, they must have a proper home office area where they can focus. Offer employees some money to go towards buying supplies or office furniture like a quality desk and supportive office chair they can use at home – they’ll appreciate the gesture.
Accept Flexible Working Hours
Another thing to consider if you want your employees to work from home from now on is their schedules. You might have operated with a traditional 9-5 structure when you were in the main offices, but this should be something that changes as well. People have different times of day when they feel most productive, for some that are the early hours of the morning, others mid or late afternoon. As long as your employees reach their deadlines and hit their targets, think about allowing a more flexible approach to their working hours to get the best out of them.
It’s always important to touch base with your teams to see where they’re up to and how you can help, but with everyone being out of the main office environment, it’s not as easy to get
people together. Schedule regular meetings with your teams, at least twice a week, to make sure they’re getting on OK. You should also make more time for people to have individual meetings with you to check on their progress and well-being at home. You could run ‘drop-in’ sessions and give employees the option to schedule a video chat with you during these hours they want to.
Working remotely is going to become the new normal for a lot of workers, and if this is something your company is thinking about doing, use these suggestions to make it easier for your employees to adjust.