For many businesses, making the transition to a home work force has been a challenging situation.
From the juggling of children and their schoolwork, keeping the peace in the household, to remaining motivated during all the uncertainties, to working in a completely new atmosphere, we understand the difficulties working from home can bring.
We explore a few key tips on how to make that transition to help you and your team to successfully work at home.
Implement a work routine.
Working from home brings a whole new set of challenges that differ from working the usual office environment. Focusing can be much hard with all the homely comforts and distractions around, and it can be a lonely time with the absence of socialising with co-workers.
Establishing and maintaining a routine is key to making the transition to a home workforce. By setting aside specific hours to carry out certain tasks such as answering emails, making team conference calls, writing reports, and even having lunch, can make the day flow much better. It is so important to get up and get started, to take regular breaks including a lunch break, and to make sure you turn off and finish working at an appropriate time.
Also creating a designated workspace in your home can get your mind into to work mode and reduce the temptations of the surrounding distractions of the home.
Connect with your team
Distance from your workplace can often lead to a breakdown in communities and work values. Workers can often feel isolated and feel like they are working on there own when out of an office environment. To keep up moral and continue to build relationships with your colleagues, making simple steps such as making calls rather than sending emails, or keep in contact via video conferencing can help to bridge the gap.
It's really important that structured and unstructured connections with work and colleagues carry on whilst people are working remotely or flexibly Many businesses ae working towards a normal culture within their team. By holding regular 1-2-1’s, providing feedback to employees over the phone and ensuring that the standard performance reviews are going ahead as normal. The key thing is that these meetings are held over the phone or, if possible, virtually face to face.
Maintaining work-life boundaries
When working from home it can be overwhelming if you do not set some clear boundaries for yourself. Keeping work and home life separate can be difficult, especially if you have children at home with you.
If you are home-schooling or looking after children whilst trying to work, look to have a discussion with work about the realities and difficulties you are facing. Setting up a routine to try and distinct times for you working and for helping with school time can help. If you find yourself dividing your attention between the two, may leave both things suffering. Being there for your children offering undivided attention at these uncertain times is very important, but also getting the right balance for your own wellbeing.
Management from Home
As a leader, managing a remote team might be an entirely new experience for you, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult transition to make.
Keeping track of all your staff’s productivity can be difficult and ensuring that they have the necessary tools to carry out their tasks at home is a must. By scheduling some face time with individual employees can ensure that they don’t feel forgotten about. It is important to make them feel supported and ask how they are managing in the home environment and have the right tools to carry out their jobs.
Also, it is important to follow-up video chats or calls with a summary and a note of the actions to take, or your understanding of the major points to ensure that things are clear and that staff members can set off on the task.
Delivering regular feedback to employees, and encouraging them to do the same, helps everyone align with team objectives. It also encourages discussion on what is being done right and what can improve whilst working at home.
IT and technology
Having the right technology can make a huge impact on your working from home experience. Communication tools such as instant messaging, video and voice calling platforms can help to keep teams connected. Remote working can often lead to employees’ hard work going unnoticed and not being appreciated. That’s why it’s important to invest in a recognition platform that allows employees to send and receive recognition acknowledging their hard work and contributions.
There are a variety of apps that can be taken advantage of that can provide a great place to create a great work community, Apps such as Blink (https://joinblink.com/) provide an excellent place to connect with staff, help to manage disruption in communications and be a central hub to help build that office environment again.
Try and using video calls with your teams wherever you can as there is no real substitute for seeing the faces of your colleagues. Setting up videocalls with your team isn’t a viable solution, you could use other services like WhatsApp video for basic video calls with colleagues.
Mental Wellbeing and Home Support
Having to work from home can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when it is comes out of the blue and a completely new experience. There are certain steps that employers can take that can encourage ease some of the stresses that working from home can bring.
We all know how difficult it is to operate in a highly stressful environment, with these kinds of conditions negatively impacting on employee’s performance, and more importantly there mental and physical wellbeing. By implementing the steps above should help move in the right direction to provide the support your staff need during these difficult times.
Organising informal social meetings are also a great way to foster a sense of office culture and boost morale. Some great examples could be to hold virtual social meetings and do online pub quiz together, lunch dates, hold some online award ceremonies or set some fun challenges for the team to carry out at home.
If you have any questions with regards to taking out a policy with us, or are wanting to make changes to an existing policy, you can get in contact with one of the Event Insurance Services customer service team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01425 484 860.