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How to Help Your Staff to Work Productively from Their Homes

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by Startacus Admin

Has the COVID-19 pandemic forced your company to re-gig and move to a remote workforce? Were staff forced to suddenly start working from their homes with no prior experience doing so? While it may be a necessity in order to keep everyone safe and healthy, and the business operating, it doesn’t mean it is a smooth transition. In fact, for many employees, productivity can be a real issue when suddenly working from home. This is even more the case if the company is a collaborative environment where departments were used to working closely with one another.

So, as the business owner, and the person with the most vested interest in the company succeeding, what can you to do to help your staff work productively from their homes? Whether this is a short-term solution, or something you plan to continue for the longer term, it’s best to be proactive in your approach to ensure that success. These tips can be a great starting point for you, and can help you start to realise improved productivity.

Ensure They Have the Equipment They Need

The very first step in helping your staff to be productive at home is to ensure they have the equipment they need. This could be simple things like a computer or laptop, printer, and phone – but without these simple pieces of equipment, their job just isn’t possible. Even if employees have their own personal computer, it may not be powerful enough, or current enough to handle the software required in your company. In that case, you will need to provide them with that hardware upgrade.

Provide Them with 24/7 IT Support

One of the most common problems that employees run into when working from home is IT issues. Hardware and software issues can be frustrating to them and prevent them from being able to do their job. Downtime equals lost revenue, so it’s something you don’t want happening. So, what’s the solution? Ideally you want to provide them with reliable access to IT support at all times. The idea is that if anything goes wrong, it can be quickly fixed.

One option is to partner with an outsouced IT company who can take the IT support responsibility off your shoulders, placing it with those who have experience, training, and knowledge. For example, this Kent-based company offers IT support for businesses, ensuring that you don't suffer downtime and that employees feel supported at all times. Employees can access that all-important IT support quickly and easily and continue on with their tasks without disruption. 

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Just because everyone is working from their own home office, it doesn’t mean there can’t be that collaborative environment. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open and create that office and team-like vibe even at home. This can be done through video conferencing and phone conferences. There is also software that makes it possible for people to chat in real-time, share documents, and even create a schedule that is visible to everyone.

The goal should be to make it feel as much like the office as possible, giving them the same sort of environment that they would have at work.

Experts often suggest setting up a daily check-in with employees. This just ensures that they have a chance to ask you questions, flag issues, and stay on the same page.

Set Office Hours

Depending on the type of business, it may also be helpful to set office hours in which employees are required to be “at their desk” and available. This can ensure that communication is smooth, questions are answered promptly, and that tasks are completed on time.

If you do decide to set office hours, this is something that needs to be clearly communicated with all employees from the start. You can send out an email outlining the hours, as well as your expectations of them and yourself during this time.

Encourage Your Employees to Take Regular Breaks

Just as they would do in the office, you also want to encourage your employees to take regular breaks. This means a lunch break, and then small breaks throughout the day. It’s important they get up and stretch, and move around. This helps to keep them focused and alert, which will be evident in their work.

You would never expect your employees to sit at their desks for eight hours straight at the office without getting up, so make it clear you don’t expect that from them while they are at home.

It’s a Process and It Will Take Time

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that if this is all-new for your employees and your business as a whole to be working in a remote environment, it will take time. There is a learning curve, patience and understanding will be needed. However, making sure everyone feels supported and that the lines of communication stay open will help speed that transition along.

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Published on: 6th June 2020

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