Your office is in self-isolation and things are changing quickly. Many of your staff haven’t worked remotely before and you’re worried that their inexperience in working from home and your inexperience in managing from home will lead to inefficiency. It is especially difficult as there wasn’t ample time to plan and set guidelines. Throw lack of childcare into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster, right? Wrong. Although challenging, managing a team from home is well within your grasp. Use our guideline to ensure your team is achieving their goals regardless of where they are working.
Provide Proper Equipment
An employee is nothing without their tools. Having a proper set up is vital when asking your staff to work from home. Hardware items can include;
- Workstation including a desk and chair
- Dedicated business phone line
- Broadband internet connection
- Stationary office supplies
- Microphone and headset
Of course, this seems obvious but it’s still important. Few things are as frustrating as not having the equipment needed to complete one’s job. This negativity has a spiral effect that can lead into other areas of work.
Useful Training Sessions
Not all of your staff will have experience working from home and some may find it daunting. Make sure those who don’t understand the expectations, software and equipment receive adequate training. It’s not fair to expect your employees to function at the same level as at the office if they aren’t sufficiently accustomed to their revised roles and tools. Make sure everyone is comfortable and set up a protocol for those who have questions and concerns.
Set Firm Expectations
Ensure that each of your employees understand how your expectations have shifted now that they are working from home. Should you expect upon a higher level of communication and transparency now that staff are working remotely, make this clear from the get-go. If you’re work sharing and increased accuracy is necessary for updates, ensure your staff understand the importance of this new standard operating procedure. Deadlines should be met, not just come and go, they may be more important now, than ever.
Your staff is used to being in constant communication due to close quarters and this shouldn’t end because you’re now further away. There is a multitude of communication software programmes that allow for seamless contact between you and your staff. Having regular and consistent check-ins will help create a sense of normality. Do you normally have a daily meeting at 10 am? Keep that standard going. Do you have a weekly group round-up on Friday afternoon? Create a group video session and ensure everyone attends! Keeping in touch will help your employees stay focused and ensure that problems are dealt with quickly.
The Destination is Important, Not the Journey
It is natural to worry how many hours your employees are putting in. Are they distracted by their children? Are they as working as hard as they would be at the office? I’d suggest setting goals and evaluating performance based on the achievement of those goals, not the activity used to obtain these goals. If your staff is hitting their targets, great. If they aren’t then you can look into managing their activities more closely. In the end, how they achieve their goals isn’t important, so long as the goals are being met.
Working from home can be difficult for some. The change itself can be very jarring. Many enjoy the office and the social interaction it contains. Some will be home alone and require additional contact. Make sure that each employee understands that you are there for them during this difficult time. Ensure constant communication and be empathetic to their new situations.
We at DMJ feel that these uncharted waters should be a time for people to come together (not literally), pool resources and ideas and make us all stronger. We are offering our experience and services to everyone and anyone who needs them. This extends beyond our current clients and candidates. If you need guidance on working from home, please contact me. If you need support or advice, I’m here. If you’re home alone and want to have a virtual cup of tea, I’d like nothing more. We all need to be better during the worst.