Even before COVID-19 arrived, people were starting to change the way they work the world over. The world is changing and so is the workplace. For many of us, it’s difficult to picture going back to working in an office. In the name of convenience, efficiency, and comfort, working from home has become the norm and we must enable our employees to work from home. It may not be quite as easy for those managing staff and establishing new ways to do the same things we’re used to doing at the office. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. That’s why we’ve crafted a handy work from home checklist for your staff.
The Changing Workplace
Time stands still for no none. Change is inevitable and we have to move with the times if we plan to keep our businesses competitive. Every single generation before has bemoaned the uncertainty next generation, and the change they will bring.
‘I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today’
– Hesiod, 8th Century BC.
The thing is, we cannot simply choose not to change, we need to enable our employees to work at home. So, we forge ahead and figure it out along the way. Finding the best way to work has always been an iterative process. From the invention of ergonomics to the adoption of open-plan offices, we have had failures and successes along the way. For managers and business owners trying to get the best out of their employees, there are always other people ask for advice from, not to mention the boundless insights our employees can offer.
Pros of Working From Home
Change requires creativity, effort and a lot of preparation, which is why so many people resist it, but the work from home trend… ain’t goin’ nowhere. For all the stress though, there are so many pros to working from home when the system works well.
- Employees save money on transport to and from work
- Employers can save money on unused office space
- Employees achieve higher productivity
- Companies have a reduced staff turnover
- Employees typically have higher job satisfaction
- Employees have more autonomy
- Teams have more efficient meetings
- Companies can employ talented staff from all over the world
- There is higher employee morale
The Ultimate Work From Home Checklist for Staff
It takes some time to get into the groove of working from home, that’s why your employees need a work from home strategy. They may start out excited or daunted but with the right mindset and a few tricks here and there they will fly.
Setting a Routine and Sticking to it
Waking up on time to get the day going, in the same way as your employees normally would when going into the office each day, gets everyone off on the right foot.
Following a Schedule
Just as your employees have to wake up on time, they need to schedule time to answer emails, attend video meetings and eat lunch.
Creating To-Do Lists.
The harbinger of procrastination resides in the loss of a to-do list. They ensure your employees don’t forget tasks. Plus there is a certain satisfaction in ticking things off, lifting morale when your team is under the whip.
With a family, this is easier said than done but establishing boundaries is essential. It’s helpful to set do not disturb hours and keep noise to a minimum as to not hinder concentration.
Getting Dressed Every Morning
Even if there are no scheduled Zoom or Skype meetings, your staff need to feel like they are at work. Pyjamas are the best but they don’t exactly foster that professional feeling. In as much as we all fake it to make it, this goes for working from home too. Look good to feel good.
Sticking to Work Hours
This is as much a part of a routine as it is part of setting boundaries and getting work done. Employees who tend to overwork, need to stop the clock when the day is over. Those who get bored or lazy, still need to get up on time to get things done, otherwise, they end up working late in order to finish their tasks.
Preparing to Work From Home
Start by making sure your employees have all the essential equipment, enabling them to work from home efficiently. They will need a laptop, a spare screen if possible, something to raise the laptop to eye-level, a keyboard, mouse and highspeed internet. This way your team can stay productive.
Next, employees need to prepare their home workspace. Whether your employees have a spare room or only a nook in the corner of a room, there are ways to create a productive and inspiring workspace. It takes time but in the long run, they cannot do without it.
Lastly, the right furniture and home office layout will go a long way to keeping your employees happy and healthy. A crick in the neck and lower back pain will undoubtedly get it the way of productivity. It’s all avoidable through ensuring the workspace is ergonomically sound.
Establish Clear Protocols
More than helping your staff get their heads around the change in environment and setting up their offices, there are some bigger picture procedures and work from home policies which need to be implemented if they haven’t already been. These changes will make or break the experience and the morale of your entire team.
- Everyone must be available online and telephonically to communicate clearly and effectively.
- Frequent updates are important to keep everyone on the same page.
- Your employees need to use Zoom, Skype, Google, Microsoft or other video call software for meetings and include all the necessary staff.
- Teams must use project management software so that everyone knows what’s going on at all times.
- Consider giving your employees output targets rather than hours to keep to, this change in mentality has been proven to be beneficial.
- Employers need to make their expectations clear.
- The whole team needs to support each other, managers included.
- Employee recognition cannot be taken for granted, acknowledge their achievements, it goes a long way to boosting morale.
- Manage issues swiftly, anything impeding morale and productivity cannot be allowed to fester.
Don’t let the intricacies of working from home affect your team. This work from home checklist for your staff will get you started. For advice and information on ergonomic work furniture for the home and office, get in touch with us today.