The Covid19 pandemic has changed our working environment drastically. Companies had to re-evaluate working processes, and prioritise the safety and well-being of their employees. Working from home has become a norm for some businesses.
Says Natalie Rabson of Boston City Campus, “We each face unique challenges, not only because of our different personalities, but also due to our various lifestyles and the type of work we do. This is important for employers to keep in mind when devising strategies of how to create a fully functioning and productive work- from- home team. “
These changes have come with pros and cons. It has not been a smooth transition for some, while others have adapted easily to this ‘new normal’. The circumstances of the employees differ and that has determined how they have adapted to working remotely. Natalie says that the Boston students adapted almost seamlessly to the move to on-line, perhaps because learners are by nature a group immersed in digital communication and relationships, and so we should take notes and learn from them!
Some employees have struggled with juggling work in their homes because they have children, pets, lodgers, or their spaces are not conducive to serve as home offices. While others have adapted well and are excelling in their duties due to less distractions such as travel time, constant tea breaks and office politics.
Home Offices require a lot of discipline.
Fortunately, the following strategies can help you stay motivated when you work from home:
- Maintain regular hours, create a schedule filling your work day,
- Schedule breaks and take them in full.
- Establish a dedicated workspace and
- Limit distractions and interruptions - Set ground rules with those in your ‘workspace’ or ‘home’
- Try and leave home once a day - for a walk, or a drive.
Companies must also ensure that they engage and monitor the output of their employees. Targets must be met, and services must be rendered using key performance indicators (KPI’s) to measure performance in a fair way.
Here are some tips to effectively manage remote employees:
- Set immediate and clear expectations, in writing. Do this for each task.
- Engage as often as possible,
- Schedule regular team meetings,
- Be transparent
- Use technology to overcome geographic boundaries.
Empower your employees. Working from home makes it more difficult to reach decision makers. Employees need to be able to do their jobs well, that may mean empowering them with more decision making than when in the office, in order to get the job done. This may include for example sourcing three quotes, but then letting the employee place the order and sign for it instead of seeking further signed approval,
Essentially, work-from-home strategies have to be based on trust. There are no ‘eyeballs’ on the work-from-home employee. Thus, the employee must be dedicated and committed to what they are being paid to do, and the employers must create a working digital environment based on trust.
This can be a win-win situation if both employers and employees display mutual trust and respect, and work together in reaching the companies’ goals and mission.
Boston City Campus offers accredited and degrees, diplomas and higher certificates online. Visit www.boston.co.za