As we try to slow down the spread of COVID-19, working from home is rapidly becoming the new reality for many Canadian workers.
Companies are closing their offices to reduce the spread of the virus, encouraging workers to work-from-home (WFH) where possible. Businesses across the country, as well as the entire world, are asking their employees to stay inside, work from home and practice social distancing.
Surprisingly, remote work can actually bring your business a number of benefits. In fact, according to a survey from flexible job search firm FlexJobs, 66 percent of employees said their productivity improved when not in an office - while 76 percent said there are fewer distractions when working outside of an office.
Despite that, working from home can definitely be distracting. Without proper care, employees can easily become their own worst enemy. When you’re not surrounded by co-workers it’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming unproductive
To help ensure your organization’s employees stay productive and efficient, Genesis Integration has listed five tips that will ensure your team is successful when working remotely:
1 - Encourage your team to wake up early and take their time
Routine is incredibly important for the mental health of your employees. Getting out of bed and sitting straight down for work will set your team members up for failure when they are working from home.
Instead, encourage employees to maintain a daily routine in which they wake up early, shower, brush their teeth and take care of themselves. This will preserve a sense of order and purpose in their lives, even when they are facing the unfamiliarity of social distancing and isolation.
2 - Dress like you would in the office
When working from home it can be incredibly easy for employees to just roll out of bed five minutes before they start work, and sit in their morning conference call with their pajamas on. However, the way your employees feel will significantly impact their work performance.
By encouraging your employees to look presentable while working from home, you’ll foster a positive attitude that reflects both in their mental health and the work that they complete from home.
3 - Take regular breaks
When in the office, your team is constantly having breaks from their desk. Whether it is a conversation in the kitchen, a team meeting, a walk around the office or a trip out to grab a coffee.
When working at home, however, it can be easy for employees to fall into the trap of not leaving their desk. Not only is it important for their mental health to take regular breaks, it has also been found to improve productivity. One tactic is to work for 50 minutes and then take 10 minutes off, while some people may find it effective to take the dog for a walk every couple of hours.
4 - Set clear boundaries and expectations
Working from home can allow for an easy transition into work-life balance, however it can also lead to your employees not taking the time they need to decompress and wind down. It’s important to encourage your team to track their time accordingly and ensure they maintain their personal and family time.
Setting clear guidelines on communicating with your team during office hours can add an extra layer of accountability, while at the same time helping to ensure employees remain highly productive.
Encourage your employees to do their best to stick with their normal routines, but be understanding of their individual circumstances and the fact that they may need to work flexible hours.
To prevent burnout and poor work-life balance among your team, make sure you connect with them on these expectations while allowing them the freedom to adjust their hours when required. If they are more productive in the morning or later in the evening, encourage them to take time during the day to be with their families and tend to household activities. Putting that trust in your team is essential when it comes to promoting productivity and lets your team know they are appreciated during this time.
5 - Use technology to stay connected
Without implementing the right communication methods, it can become easy for your employees to feel cut off from their teammates and your company in general. Communications and collaboration are essential for the success of your team, and will foster innovation, better work performance and remind staff how their work is contributing to the big picture.
Audio and visual (AV) technologies such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other instant messaging and videoconferencing tools are a fantastic way to keep your team regularly connected and all aligned with your company’s current objectives.
Are you looking for more tips on how to help your employees work from home, or would like to receive advice on what technologies you can implement to help remote workers become more successful? Contact the Genesis Integration team of technology experts today.