To ensure your workforce continues to be productive AND feels connected and supported while working from home we suggest the following tips:
- Make sure your employees are set up with everything they need to do their job. This may require hardware such as a laptop or printer and/or software. Your business might need a policy on how you are going to support your employees with their home office setup and ongoing costs. Keep in mind some employees may be nervous as they are required to work with new and unfamiliar technology. Ensure they are supported and appropriately trained.
- Consider your OH&S obligations while they are working from home. Make sure your organisation has referred to the relevant state health authority on your legal obligations and put guidelines in place to meet the requirements to provide a safe working environment.
- Ensure your employees are clear on your expectations of their work hours. Working from home might present some difficulties for people around this, especially if they have small children at home. Discuss this with your affected employees and come up with an arrangement that works for the both of you. Be flexible where possible.
- Ensure you have checked in with each team member daily. This may occur organically throughout the day as you check to ensure work is on track, offer assistance & feedback, or to discuss joint issues and projects. For some employees it might be necessary to check in to make sure they feel productive and efficient. Working from home is new to a lot of people and it can be confronting for some. Sharing ideas and offering support is essential in your job as a manager. These are challenging times for a lot of people. Being vulnerable and openly talking about concerns and fears is an important way for people to feel connected.
- Encourage your staff to move around regularly and get some fresh air for their mental wellbeing. Offer walk and talks where you have a meeting while walking around the block or backyard.
- Encourage good online etiquette:
- If you are facilitating an online call be aware it is harder to see social cues online, especially with a large number of attendees. Make sure that those wanting to contribute are heard. Check everyone on the call knows how to use the online chat function and can use that to offer comments or questions during the call
- Be a few minutes early to the online meeting so you are ready to go on time
- Make sure your face can be seen clearly by participants and ask anyone to adjust their screen or address background noise levels before the call starts by putting their microphone on mute
- If you have called the meeting be clear on your agenda and the people that need to be there. The smaller the number the better.
- Think about creating 30 second videos to update your team. It could be as simple as a good morning check in or setting the priorities for the day to a more detailed update on the latest project. The videos don’t have to be perfect. They can be taken with your smart phone.
Good luck and remember to stay calm and reach out if you need support
Power to Process are business consultants who support small and large businesses through transformation & change