Are your employees struggling to work from home? It can be a nightmare situation for those with small children or no dedicated workspace, however due to the recent countrywide lockdown only essential journeys are permitted and homeworking is being heavily recommended to all businesses.
Nevertheless, working from home can be a major challenge for some and can end up with less work getting done, this is mainly due to distractions at home.
Although working from home isn?t as bad as it may seem and there are ways in which the experience can be improved to the point where the difference between the office and dining room is indistinguishable.
Firstly, time management is one of the key aspects to working efficiently, especially as almost all of your employees will be required to work in a setting where they would usually relax and get away from their work. Therefore, regular routines can help keep focus and by an employee sticking to, for example a morning routine every day for the time period that they are asked to work from home can really improve their experience and limit typical bad habits such as oversleeping, lack of focus or being under prepared.
In addition to this distractions can play a big part in an employee?s quality of work, to help battle this ensuring as much distance and separation from others in their household can greatly reduce the chances of getting distracted and can stop work from being produced to a lower standard than when they are in an office environment.
Minimising the exposure to distractions is essential for employees as they have no one with them to help them, to aide this using video calling software such as well-known programs like Zoom and Skype to keep in touch with employees is a great way of measuring their progress and to help bring a team together even if they are working remotely in a challenging environment. Having daily team voice chats at the end of the day to see how everyone is getting on is a great way to help keep your team motivated and focused.
To add to this using calendars efficiently is something that can help to streamline workflow as you cannot tell who is free for 10 minutes if you are not in the same room so scheduling calls and meeting can help the rest of your team to see who is available or not. The above can also be utilised in out of office email messages which allow you minimise distractions from clients/customers whilst you work on a more time-consuming project.
Teamwork and communication are vital when a team has to work from home as usually they will be within close proximity to each other and can negotiate their time and expertise but when they are separated some team members may struggle with their work, one way to overcome this would be to have video meetings throughout the day to ensure that everyone still has work to do and that they are not struggling to complete the work they have.
Furthermore, separation is important to avoid distraction so recommending that your employees use two separate devices, one for work and one for home, this is to avoid getting carried away on social media and other time-consuming activities that should only be done outside of work hours.
Distancing is another vital aspect to your employees when they work out of the office and I recommend that employees split their time between two areas of their home, this can help them to mentally distinguish between focusing on work, minimising distractions as well as spending time with family and relaxing.
Unfortunately, for some this isn?t possible as they may be living in smaller spaces like Flats and shared accommodation, although in these circumstances setting clear defined routines in which there are planned breaks can go a long way to helping deal with the fact that they are only permitted to only leave the house for 30 minutes a day, making the day go by faster and more efficiently in some cases.
Finally, ending the day doing the same activity can set a habit in which your body knows that work is coming to a close and that soon you will be able to go back to relaxing instead of focusing, this is something that could be recommended to employees in order to help improve their work to life balance. An example of the above could be going for a daily 30-minute exercise at the end of the working day to separate work from home.
However, there are downsides to remote working and one of these is that each employees situation is different and whilst one may have good internet and a dedicated workspace, a perfect working from home setup, some may not and may not have a good internet connection like the company?s office does. Limitations such as services like internet and devices can inhibit the workflow of your employees and can lead to them doing less work as they are on their own not in an office being monitored.