The belief that working from home is for millennials starting their careers on flexi-schedules and having no interaction with their co-workers, is changing fast. While this image may still describe the experience of many remote workers, the truth is that working from home is likely to be the future of many types of workers – from CEOs to lower managers to regular employees.
Working from home is a large transition, and employees who haven’t yet worked in this type of environment may not be fully prepared for the shift. But, the experience doesn’t need to be anywhere near as overwhelming as you might think. With the right planning, you can build the remote workforce every company dreams of. Here are five tips that show you how to start things off on the right foot, so that you can ensure your success as a remote team.
Give them the right technology
The right technology will help streamline your employees’ work from home routine. At the very least, they should have a computer/laptop and a solid internet connection. Laptops need to be reliable and versatile since your employees will perform all sorts of tasks, which range from typing to browsing, to chatting to video calling. If you’re interested in more than just the basics, it’s definitely worth investing in accessories that support employees in their daily tasks such as headsets and UPS devices. No home office is complete without a multifunction printer, especially if employees need to do admin that require hard copies. Check who has the required technology and provide to those who need them.
Give them access to the right online tools
If you haven’t already, now is the time to utilise online tools to get the most out of your employees and ensure that their engines run on full steam while working from home. Some services you can sign up for include project management tools to keep track of assignments, collaboration tools to enable employees to work together, communication tools to stay in contact, and cloud storage solutions to store and access files. Read our article Useful tools for remote team collaboration, for some suggestions.
Settle on a routine
While you may be tempted to offer flexible working hours to employees, try to keep things business as usual. Many work-from-home first-timers think they have the freedom to do whatever they want. To clear up confusion or misunderstandings, make sure everyone knows what is expected of them. For example, they should still record their hours, attend weekly meetings at 9 a.m, or report to their manager every day. Structuring a work-from-home routine will help you set boundaries and successfully manage remote workers.
Establish a communication strategy
Communication is a vital aspect of remote working. Whether it’s a meeting with clients, a casual cross-departmental catchup, or a formal company announcement, you need to create a clear guide for consistent communication so everyone is kept in the loop. There are several methods of communication at your disposal. These include email, phone calls, instant messaging, and video conferencing. It’s important to discuss with your employees which channels are more effective for particular tasks.
Keep the company culture going
Company culture is important to employees because it’s what keeps them engaged and motivates them to do their job to the best of their ability. If your company culture is “people first,” for example, you may want to continue investing in your employees’ skills by making online resources and courses available. Or, give them recognition for time, energy, and efforts devoted to the company. These might just be the inspiration they need to thrive in their new working environment.
Working from home is very different from working at a cubicle. Employees may find themselves taking care of others between tasks, dealing with more distractions, and feeling a sense of solitude. All of these can be a big adjustment. Planning is by far the best way to ensure a smooth transition. These guidelines can help your company get organised and build a foundation for remote working success.
Nashua has the solution to make work from home more effective for your employees. Give them a headstart with three remote packages featuring all the essentials (laptops, printers, software, accessories). Contact us via our Remote Working Packages page for more information on our ICT solutions.