June 29, 2020
The most crucial aspect that employers need to address when their team is working from home is their productivity concerns. Help them overcome these concerns and provide your team with applications that will allow them to be productive and stay connected. These include video conferencing apps, team messaging apps, project management tracking tools that allow workers to have a richer experience when working from home. It will also help to consult with the IT department to ensure that the security level is not compromised when using these tools.
Employers should also ensure that their employees have access to essential tools that are necessary for a smooth transition to working from home. Video conferencing accessories and IT peripherals like charging docks, speakers, headsets, chargers, keyboards, etc. are essentials that help your employees in conducting their daily operations without any hassles.
Either a series of one-on-one calls or team calls on a daily basis is highly recommended. When these calls become regular and predictable, the team will look forward to interacting with each other. These calls allow workers to consult their superiors and raise their queries. Let the employees' concerns or stress be the focus of this conversation; as a manager you can offer encouragement and emotional support to address this sudden change and crisis situation. These interactions must serve as a mechanism to address employee concerns.
Set aside some time for non-work topics. Allow the team to catch up with each other, crack jokes, and have some fun time. Once in a fortnight, you can even arrange for a virtual party where pizza or snacks are delivered to the worker's home, and they all can enjoy it simultaneously. These types of events will help reduce the feeling of isolation, encourage productivity and promote a sense of belonging.
It is a good practice to monitor progress regularly. Bring in clarity among your employees as to what tasks have to be prioritized, how many hours of work should be put in daily or whom to contact if any issue arises. By monitoring progress, you would be able to foresee any issue or extra support that the staff may need and make arrangements. As an employer you need to place trust on your staff and if there are any reliability issues, have a one-on-one conversation with the individual and address any problems. Employers have to remember that micromanagement is simply bad management.
Since working from home lets you save on travel, you can divide those extra minutes to have a more relaxed start to the day and also to increase your productivity. Setting an alarm helps you to start working at a set hour instead of being flexible. Take a set coffee break and lunch break, and you will see yourself create a pattern in just a few days. Prioritise your set tasks for the day and start just as you would at work. You can take a break of a couple of minutes at spaced intervals to stretch yourself and talk to your family members; this is a way of replicating your behaviour at the office where you would mingle with your colleagues.
A dedicated workspace at home might be the hardest to adhere to, as our laptops can be used on the couch and on the bed. By not working at a desk, you are creating an environment for easy distractions. However, if you dedicate a corner table and an ergonomic chair for work, you get to have a comfortable seating arrangement and an uninterrupted thought process, thereby helping to achieve higher efficiency. You can talk to your employer and take their help in procuring the appropriate office furniture. Having a dedicated workspace will also let your family members understand that you should not be disturbed. A workspace by the window would be ideal, as it would not make you feel isolated.
Try and keep your workspace minimalistic and simple. With fewer distractions around, your eyes will remain focussed on the tasks at hand. Try to keep your favourite books, magazines or e-reader separate from your work desk. Duplicating your workspace at home is a great way to have a working mindset with the same level of commitment and enthusiasm.
By keeping our mind and body active and communicating with our family, friends and colleagues, we are certain to make it through this pandemic without the fear of isolation. Working from home will soon be a preferred choice for many, as individuals will see the time and cost-saving benefits, and employers will notice increased productivity, efficiency and creativity. Both employers and employees need to bring to light distractions and obstacles they face and find ways to get around them.
Both, employees and employers can take advantage of the extensive selection of work from home accessories and communication devices that are offered by Amazon with exclusive business discounts.