With lockdown official, organisations across the country are scrambling to adjust to a workforce that needs to work from home. Managing remote staff can be challenging, but it also promises an opportunity to continue to serve customers while keeping staff employed and, ultimately, staying in business.
It’s easy to find advice for remote employees, instructing them how to be productive and inspired while working from home, but not much written for the employer. In addition to addressing an immediate need, a solid remote working strategy can not only help your employees, it could strengthen your business for the long term.
So how do you provide the best experience to empower remote workers?
People first. A good work-from-home plan considers the wellbeing of employees. Do they have the tools they need? Are they empowered to do their jobs and address the issues that customers may have? Can you support them with health and safety advice? Is technology in place that can ease the burden faced by a workforce that suddenly has to adjust to different ways of working? Answer these concerns and you will have a solid strategy for managing and enabling a remote workforce.
Communication and collaboration. Remote working does not mean that staff are invisible, though, some employees may feel isolated. Address this by keeping staff up-to-date on new developments that may affect them and establish ways of working and that enables collaboration and encourages communication between team members.
The right environment. Create a supportive environment that allows staff to feel confident and supported by providing the information and tools they need to succeed. Simple-to-use, intuitive technology is an important part of this but time also needs to be made to allow staff the opportunity to come to grips with new technology and new ways of working.
Trust. Because remote employees aren't sitting in an office, it’s sometimes easy to assume that they are not working. Often, the opposite is true. Without separation between work and home, remote employees often work longer hours than office-based employees. This type of pressure can add unnecessary anxiety and reduce productivity. Set clear work hours and encourage employees to have a healthy work-life balance.
The right technology: Encourage productivity and seamless business operation as employees move away from an office environment with intuitive and easy to use tools that don’t need lengthy training or additional skills. This automation needs to be appropriate, useful and easy to deploy. No-code automation is a vital part of this need.
With self-isolation and lockdown the new norm, COVID-19 is altering society for the present but most likely for the future, too. As businesses shift to remote working they are setting a foundation and pattern for the way we work in the future.
Image: Glenn Carstens Peters, Unsplash.