Working from home offers flexibility for employees and can help businesses retain their valuable workforce. As the COVID-19 situation develops, many businesses have already encouraged their employees to work from home. However, it is vital, for both employers and employees, that the set-up is as efficient as possible to maintain productivity, communication and motivation.
For employers, it is important to make sure the following steps are taken:
- Have all employees been provided with the necessary hardware (laptop, charger, headset etc.) software and vpn / network connection information?
- Have clear and reasonable expectations been set when working from home? If it is necessary for certain teams to be “online” during particular periods of the day, this should be clearly communicated.
- Are managers in frequent communication with their team members and continuing with regular virtual meetings?
- Have our key suppliers and clients been provided with contact details on how to reach us whilst our offices are unattended?
For employees, it will be necessary to check that they are well prepared to work from home, paying particular attention to the following:
- Do they have adequate internet / telephone connections which are capable of supporting their working needs?
- Is there a quiet area where they can work with minimal distractions?
- Have meetings been rescheduled and attendees been informed that meetings will be conducted via videoconferencing or over the phone?
- Are their priorities clear and are they in regular communication with their team management?
Whilst it is inevitable that there will be some teething problems with having your workforce working remotely, employers can mitigate the majority of these issues by having a formal process in place with clear instructions and expectations. This will minimise disruptions to business activity and ensure employees are prepared to continue delivering during times of uncertainty.