Remote working has effectively been forced on a large proportion of the populace without much time for businesses to prepare. Below are our top 5 recommendations for employers to help them stay productive and remain organised in the new “work from home” landscape.
Face facts, it’s a different way of working
Remote working is actually significantly different from working in the office environment. While it may be functionally the same work that staff are doing, the actual practical reality of getting things can be drastically altered. Sometimes we take for granted the ease of communication in a standard working environment, and don’t realise what we can miss.
But the issue is that if employees are not used to remote working and employers don’t provide what is required, it can lead to a fall in productivity. As it looks like remote working might be here to stay – even with the relaxing of COVID-19 related restrictions – it is up to businesses to ensure that staff are not being hindered by poor processes and lack of organisation.
Here we take a look at some of the ways that employers can ensure that staff are just as productive and organised while working remotely.
Provide specific training
It is underestimated just how important managers are to the productive and organised running of a remote team. If you are managing a team you might feel that you have the skills to do so – and these skills may have served you well in the office environment, however managing a remote team is different – and you are going to need specific training.
It is up to managers of remote teams not only to ensure that they have the staff who are capable and happy working at home, but also ensuring that they have the correct tools and systems in place. Managers also need to take the lead in facilitating communication. It may be the case that your team has always been able to communicate freely in the office, but they may not find the right channels to do remotely – or alternatively, these channels of communication may not provide the kind of speed that they are used to.
Managers first need to learn the skills that they are going to need to get the most out of remote staff – they can then put them into practice in the specific circumstances in your business.
Regular meetings and catch-ups
One of the things that remote working has made more difficult is the idea of communication between members of the team. Many employees are reporting that they are working for long periods without hearing anything from their employers. And while this might sound appealing from the perspective of an introvert, it is actually very important that lines of communication remain open.
It is vital that members of staff feel like they are part of a team and continue to see and hear about the hard work that everyone is putting in. It helps to keep morale up and ensures that staff remain productive. But this won’t happen on its own, and it is instead important that staff should have regular meetings to remain in contact.
Remember that not everything has to be a highly work focused meeting. It can actually be extremely effective to have lunch together (virtually) or to just have a quick catch up every morning with the members of your team. Just chatting and reminding everyone that they are still working towards the same goals can work wonders.
Videoconferencing software providers such as Zoom and Whereby now provide high-quality services that are easy to use by anyone.
Work with cybersecurity specialists
“When your employees work outside of the office, the traditional network security controls that they would otherwise benefit from are less effective,” says Simon Monahan, Product Marketing Director at cybersecurity firm Redscan. Offices and workplaces typically have well-developed cybersecurity defences and procedures, but working at home can leave members of the team vulnerable.
“Endpoint devices are suddenly more vulnerable and without appropriate controls in place, and visibility of these devices can be reduced significantly,” Monahan continues “organisations that lack the ability to proactively identify endpoint focused threats are open to the risk of compromised devices being used as an access point to instigate network breaches”.
Many organisations were forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to ask staff to work from home without much time to prepare – this only makes the problem worse. As such, it is a great idea to work with cybersecurity specialists who can provide insight and advice on how to improve the security measures in your business.
Set goals and targets as normal
There is no doubt that having something to work towards can be a hugely important part of motivating remote workers. It is important that staff feel that what they are doing has a purpose – and when you are working away on your own at home, this might not always feel like this is the case.
It can be a great idea, then, for employers to put in place targets and goals – set by talking with employees and understanding what is achievable. It can be hugely effective for everyone to feel that they need something specific in order to have a successful day.
This is something that managers need to take charge of. Find out about your teams feeling towards the goals they currently have – if they are unrealistic then it is a great idea to scale back to ensure that days are less stressful.
Many of the ways that managers and employers can motivate staff remain the same as normal, but it is almost important to take into account the differences in the way that staff when they operate remotely. There are many advantages to working from home, so be sure What’s that word has a dictation option Is that what you’re after some book documents you can dictate on word to tap into these to make the most of working days for employees.