Times like the COVID-19 crisis can open your eyes to how connected your company truly is. With the possibility of many employees working remotely, your team is tested more than ever. You have the ability to truly see how up-to-date your company is with hardware, software and communication systems. It can be easy to lose touch with so many people working from home, but it is important that you take measures to keep your company connected. A virtual office is very different from a physical one, but your workers do not have to feel isolated or disconnected. Some ways you can help your employees include giving tips for working from home, encouraging normal work hours, communicating through video chat, encouraging needed breaks and rewarding progress.
1. Give Tips for Working From Home
2. Encourage Normal Work Hours
3. Communicate Through Video Chat
4. Encourage Employees To Take Needed Breaks
5. Reward Progress
This is the time to test your company's network infrastructure. You can see how easily workers are able to communicate with each other and with clients. Having a solid infrastructure can keep your company's information safe at all times and make it easier for employees to get their jobs done. Give employees clear directions about how they will work from home during this time. Give them information about how to access your company's databases from home and how to keep all information secure. Make sure that all employees have access to a reliable computer to get work done.
Working from home presents an entire set of challenges that are not found in the workplace. It can be easy to get distracted, and the lure of sleeping in every day is difficult to fight. However, when people stick to normal work hours, they tend to be more productive. While it is more difficult to enforce these hours when people are at home, you can still schedule meetings at normal times; you may even be able to let employees clock in and out like they would at the office.
It can be easy to feel isolated when there is no in-person communication each day. Fortunately, though, video chat has made it possible for employees to still interact with each other on a regular basis. This is more personable than email and can make employees feel that they are still part of a team. You can offer updates and messages at a regular time each day. Be sure that you offer some encouraging words and positivity at each meeting to keep the group motivated.
While working from home, it is important that employees take time to decompress and enjoy time with family. This is a stress-inducing period for most people, so allowing your workers to take breaks throughout the day is important. It is hard for an employee to work without any breaks at the office, and it is no different at home. You can encourage them to set a timer to work for a certain amount of time with 15-minute breaks between.
This time is difficult for everyone, so you should reward progress. This keeps your employees engaged and willing to hunker down to work hard. Let your employees know that you appreciate their hard work in the midst of a crisis. You can even have fun games for everyone to play with prizes. For example, you can have everyone send in a picture of their work-from-home space. Everyone can vote on the best one, and the winner gets a prize.
While this can most certainly be a stressful time for employees and businesses, it is important to stay positive and focus on the tasks at hand. When everyone does their part to maintain a productive and positive work environment, it can be a beneficial learning period for your business. It can help you be better prepared for situations that arise in the future and can bring your employees closer together than before.
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