Flexible working has been on the rise, with working from home now expected for many employees. And now with COVID-19 preventative measures being put in places by companies around the globe, it's crucial that businesses understand how to properly establish a remote working environment conducive to productivity and engagement.
Below are our top tips for business leaders to ensure they get the fundamentals right from the start.
This might sound redundant considering how much time we all spend chatting back and forth via emails and instant messaging platforms, but we're not talking about that. It's important to set up suitable communication methods that help employees feel connected with one another, like a daily Zoom call with face-to-face interaction. Block out time for a stand-up call where everyone has 5 minutes to run through the projects they are working, and can raise any issues they are facing. This will help retain a sense of connection and replicate interactions you would normally have in a meeting room or the office.
It's crucial line managers put basic expectations in place. These can include core working hours, meeting times, and goals and tasks that need to be met each on a daily or weekly basis. For employees, it can be easy to end up working 24/7 when their laptop is constantly within reach. This can easily lead to fatigue and burnout. Advise your employees to take a break as per normal, encourage them to go for a walk and get some fresh air. Cabin fever does not make for productivity.
Invest in tools
Project management software. Video conference meeting apps. Noise cancelling tools. Shared drives. Instant messaging communication tools. There are so many ways you can improve remote working just by having the right software available to your team. While these sound like they can be costly, it's more important to focus on the strong ROI seen through increased levels of productivity and engagement.
Establish the right working environment
When working from home, it can be easy to fall into a routine not conducive to productivity or positive wellbeing. From setting up a dedicated desk space, to creating a working space that is free from distractions, employees need an environment that encourages them to mentally focus on their job. This could be a trial and error process for some employees, but once this is sorted, it will make their days much easier. Try having daily video conferences so employees avoid falling into a daily pyjama slump.
Trust, trust, and trust
This again comes back to communication. It's so important that you trust your employees, and they feel trusted. It really is a two-way street. Set the guidelines and expectations, and trust that your employees are following these and not seeing remote working as a holiday. Keep your team accountable, be honest, and maintain communication without micromanaging, as this will only cause tension.
Remote working can be challenging, but when implemented correctly for each employee, can achieve great results. And don't forget that you can keep your employees healthy by sending them healthy snack boxes direct to their doors, so they feel valued all while getting the right nutrition to fuel their productivity and engagement. Want to know more? Contact us today to see how we can help.