Working from home is not unusual anymore. The latest statistics show the popularity of this phenomenon. While some companies hire remote workers exclusively, others have adapted this practice for a couple of days per week, whereas for some organizations working remotely is a completely new situation.
As the number of people working from home is expected to grow exponentially in the face of COVID-19, many companies have prioritized the safety and protection of their employees by having everyone carry out their tasks from home. However, due to the sensitivity of the situation, another layer of stress is added. This is when companies’ support and assistance comes to place.
Take a look at some ways you can make sure that your employees remain at the top of their game and keep being productive while working from home during this period of uncertainty.
Make sure that your employees have the right equipment
This is probably the primary and most important aspect of increasing productivity while working from home. Equipping your teams with proper communication channels and new technologies, allows both the employees and employers be on the same page. In order for tasks to be carried out efficiently, employees also need to have proper access to internet, and the right devices to work and complete tasks (e.g., computers, tablets, laptops, internet access equipment).
Provide access to all the information they need
Besides coronavirus-related materials, your employees need to have access to other information that is crucial to perform their daily tasks. That is why you need to ensure that the folders containing any type of information needed are easily found and accessible by everybody at all times.
Social isolation can greatly impact your team, so it is important you reinforce communication. This can be done by sharing essential and timely information with employees. As you adapt your processes, strategies, and policies due to the pandemic situation, make sure you share them with the entire company. Thus, your employees will feel more involved and connected to the entire team.
You can also develop a plan for communication and provide the tools and software needed for team interaction. Make it a habit to continuously share informative materials related to the virus, the measures to be taken, and the best practices to be adapted so as employees stay safe even at their homes. Above all, your employees need to be informed first about any pandemic-related decision that the company takes.
Most crucially, you need to inform employees on network security, protection of confidential information, network capabilities, and encrypted access to the company’s network.
Encourage dedicated workspace
A very important aspect of being productive while working from home is the space one uses. You should encourage employees to have a safe and dedicated workspace, free from distractions, where they can focus on their work and do not deviate from productive work hours.
Give emotional and steady support
In order to have alignment of goals and tasks, as well as improve communication across teams, make usual check-ins through video calls or texts. By having online daily meetings, your team can talk about what they have achieved the previous day, what they want to achieve for the day ahead, concerns, ideas, and so forth. Keep in touch with the teams, ask for suggestions, and discuss the progress. You can use these calls to simply keep their spirits high. Also, support them by asking for whatever they need while they work from home.
Advise employees on taking care of their mental health and encourage them to prioritize their physical health. Tell them to get up, stretch, and refocus during short breaks. This can be as easy as sending out a daily reminder on the communication channels you use or via email telling your team to get up for 15 minutes.
A change of working environment can lead to increased productivity for some, but on the other hand, can lead to a dip in productivity for others. As this is a stressful situation for everyone, extend some grace to yourself and your teams by helping them to be more productive, have an improved mental health, and be more creative in their thinking and work.
As the health crisis caused by COVID-19 is reaffirming the need for access to learning resources, everyone should make use of this time to pursue new interests or upgrade their competences. This could be easily achieved by attending, for instance, any of the many PECB training courses that are going to be delivered online, finely tailored to meet your needs.