It is predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work forever. In the UK, Europe and other countries across the globe, many companies are still operating successfully with remote workers. And this is expected to continue well into the future.
In fact, studies have found that 85% of people would prefer to work from home some days, rather than spending all week in the office – even after the pandemic.
However, as an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that working from home is beneficial to the business as well as the employees.
One of the issues some employers have found is a slight decrease in employee productivity. But with so much going on, from financial stresses to homeschooling, it is no surprise that some employees are struggling to stay on top of their workload.
If you would like to ensure employee productivity remains high when working from home, you should consider the following tips.
Set Mutually Agreed Goals
Discussing and setting goals with your employees ensures you are on the same track. Your staff will have objectives to work towards and will understand what you are expecting from them. Plus, you can ensure everyone is comfortable with their workload and re-delegate if someone is struggling.
Work From The Cloud
Working within a cloud-based platform, such as G-Suite or Office 365 enables your employees to communicate and collaborate. Your team will benefit from having everything they need at their fingertips, from their emails and calendars to files and documents.
Plus, the communication apps, such as Microsoft Teams, enables constant and instant communication. Migrating to the cloud also adds an extra layer of security and protection to your company. Lost files, unexpected updates and IT issues will be a thing of the past. Nothing with slow your employees down when working from home.
Ensure Regular Check-Ins
Regularly checking in on your employees and offering your support will make the world of difference when working from home. Time and time again, studies have found that employees who feel supported in the workplace are more productive and motivated.
Plus, working from home can be both stressful and isolating depending on the circumstances of the individual. Regularly communicating with them allows you to ensure that your team is prioritising their wellbeing.
You will be able to offer support to those who need it whilst staying on top of upcoming deadlines, projects and workloads.
Does your team have the equipment they need to work comfortably from home? Do they have a working computer or laptop?
Do they need additional accessories to ensure working from home meets health and safety standards? For example, perhaps a desk stand will ensure their laptop is at the correct height.
What about tools and apps? Perhaps a product management app, such as Asana could help your team stay on track. Without the correct equipment, your team will struggle to work productively from home.
Offering flexibility often means trusting your team to choose their own hours. if you set boundaries, flexible hours can work really well and help your employees.
Staff who have families to care for and/or children to home school will particularly benefit from flexible working hours. There may be certain times during the day when there are fewer distractions to contend with at home. Your employees will be able to utilise these hours and work productively on their goals.
Encourage Dedicated Workspaces
Dedicated workspaces are important for productivity, motivation and creativity. Encourage your employees to create a dedicated, comfortable workspace in a quiet room or corner of the home.
These dedicated workspaces are also crucial for work-life balance. Otherwise, your employees may struggle to separate their work life from their home life, which can lead to stress and even burnout.
If an employee does not have the space to create a dedicated work area, perhaps allow them to work from the office, providing it is safe for them to do so and is not breathing COVID-19 regulations.
As it stands, working from home is the future for many businesses. And this doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. But with a series of small adjustments, you can ensure that your team are working productively from home.