Are you considering letting your employees work from home? Remote work can have a ton of benefits for your staff and company. However, it can be a scary leap to make as it comes with many changes and challenges you’ve maybe never faced before.
In this article, we’ll put your mind at ease and give you some ideas on how you can help your employees work from home better.
First, let’s go over some advantages of having a remote team.
Advantages of Letting Your Team Work From Home
Other than making your employees happy, remote work has many major advantages. Here are a few:
- Save money on renting office space.
- Increase employee productivity.
- Reduce staff turnover.
- Promote a healthier and happier work-life balance.
- Hire the best talent from anywhere in the world.
Switching to remote is possibly the best thing your company can do. So why don’t more companies go remote?
Because change can be scary
Many business owners fear employees will spend work time doing other things. And that can happen.
While there’s no 100% guarantee your employees will be on the ball all the time, there are ways you can help them work better from home that will keep them on their game and prevent binge-watching Netflix during work hours.
What You Can Do To Help Your Employees Work From Home
Provide the Right Tools
If you decide to let your staff work from home, you need to make sure they’re properly set up. You never know, some employees may rely on coming into work to use office supplies.
All employees working from home should have:
- A reliable computer.
- High-speed internet.
- A comfortable workspace (desk or table, and a good chair).
If the employee doesn’t have these things, does it mean you’re responsible to provide? Well, it depends. As a business owner, you need to assess the situation. How much will this cost you? How much money/time would it cost to hire someone who does have it?
Many job places donate office supplies to employees when transitioning. Some companies buy staff laptops and such after their 2-year anniversary with the company. While you aren’t “legally” required to give anything, remember it’s about helping your staff.
Prioritize Strong Communication
Communication is key. Especially in a remote team. As more companies have gone remote in the last decade, there’s been more demand for communication platforms. Technology doesn’t fall short of effective, either.
Our top picks for communication tools include:
- Slack (best for team communication).
- Zoom (best for video conferencing).
- InVision (best for design collab).
- Trello (best for project management).
- Google Drive (best for file management).
All of these tools serve different purposes. Companies often have employees use multiple, or all of these, to ensure communication is versatile.
Simplify Company Meetings
Company meetings as a remote team can be challenging: bad connection, distractions in the background, or lack of focus. There are a million things that can go wrong.
A simple way of always getting the meeting’s information across the team is to use a transcription service. This way, in case anyone is out for the day or technology issues occur, you can keep staff up to date.
Monitor Employee Behavior
Monitoring staff behavior is arguably the most challenging part of a remote team. Tracking behavior may seem excessive. The reality is, employees are working on your time. Thus, you have all to right to monitor them.
Monitoring employees help keep them on track and closer to reaching their goals. This doesn’t mean you should micromanage. A tool so staff can track their work hours will do the trick.
Save Time For Remote Social Interaction
A team who’s recently switched from an office environment to their isolated home offices are surely going to feel a lack of socialization. For healthy team members, it’s vital to provide staff with opportunities to chat about things other than work.
Start different threads in your communication tool. For example, a birthday thread, a pet thread, a general chat thread, and anything else that’s relevant. Staff can send pictures, get life updates on their co-workers, and, most importantly, feel connected to their team. You’d be surprised by how heavily these “off-work-topic” threads are used.
A note to employers facing remote work for the first time: You’ve got this!
It’s not the easiest transition. However, it’s going to be worth it. It’s not as scary as it seems. If you follow the advice in this article, you’ll be fully adjusted in no time. Prepare for more productive and happier employees.