When COVID-19 took the world by surprise, working remotely became the norm as businesses struggled to keep operating. Although some of these restrictions have now lifted, many staff members continue to work from home because of convenience or because they are medically vulnerable. In fact, according to recent statistics from the ONS, 24% of people are still working from home in some capacity.
Managing a workforce that is working from home (WFH) or working from anywhere (WFA) can produce some challenges along the way. To overcome these hurdles and also to ensure you offer the correct support to all of your staff, there are various different things you can do to help.
Ensure you Provide all the Relevant, up-to-Date Technology that is Needed to keep Connected
Remote employees are more likely to feel frustrated or neglected if they can’t keep in touch regularly or if they don’t have the right tools at their fingertips. Likewise, you may see productivity suffer if a remote staff member doesn’t have access to the technology they need.
To prevent this, make sure each employee has access to the newest version of hardware, software or any other technology that they will require.
Ideally, provide your staff with a company-supplied workstation in order to ensure all their technology needs are met. If this isn’t possible due to finances or logistics, make sure that employees have easy access to all the newest software updates and all your bespoke programs.
As your remote workers will often be sharing files with your company system, it is important that their personal computers and devices have good anti-virus software. Also, to ensure their computer continues to work efficiently and that they can remain productive, they need to have both a clean-up tool and a repair tool installed on their machine.
To ensure maximum productivity, use a unified communication system so that all their communication needs can be found in one place. Use Microsoft Teams to communicate via video call and if you need to make a voice call, use Microsoft Teams Direct Routing. These are cost-effective and reliable ways to communicate with your staff.
Make sure you Communicate Regularly via a Variety of Media
When people are working remotely, it’s essential to adapt your communication methods to suit their needs and to maximise productivity.
To do this, ensure you schedule regular communications with your remote staff, enabling them to feel part of your team and making sure they are kept up-to-date with everything.
Try to use different types of communication with your remote workers. Firstly, each employee has a different personality, so what works well for one person may not work well for another.
Secondly, different communication methods work better for different tasks. For instance, a one-to-one discussion may work fine over a telephone call but a group discussion will work better using a video conference platform.
Reward Staff and Make them feel they have More Control over their Job
When your employees are working from home, try to give them a sense of control over their own job. Give them the chance to make their own decisions and run their own projects where possible, so that they feel trusted and valued. Let them know that you see them as a capable member of the team, but also be there to offer support where needed.
You may also wish to reward your staff with financial incentives and vouchers, to encourage their productivity and show your appreciation.