The future of work: Driving business forward with a work-from-home workforce
In the corporate world, working from home has become the new normal. However, long before the pandemic, as far back as 2015, experts referred to it as “the future of work”.
From a business perspective there are many benefits to allowing telework. Employees who enjoy working from home are more productive, employers have access to a wider network of talent, it is better for the environment and fewer staff members in the office means a smaller office space requirement and cost-to-company savings on multiple levels.
Telecommuting isn’t challenge-free. Some employees new to the future of work are struggling to adapt to isolation, which is creating stress and affecting productivity. Managing a remote workforce is also a whole different ball game. How do you ensure productivity, focus and engagement with an empty office?
Here are five tips to driving business forward in a work-from-home culture:
1. Get the basic tools and platforms right
Technology is a manager’s best friend, even more so when managing a remote workforce. Ensure all your employees are settled in at home with a dedicated work space, and are connected and set up with the necessary hardware and software to perform their duties at their best. Project management platforms and collaboration software like Asana and Microsoft Teams are also effective at helping management and teams communicate and keep track of objectives. Video calling is essential, as being able to visually engage will combat feelings of isolation.
2. Be flexible
In general, telework can be very successful if employers and managers allow employees flexibility regarding the hours they work. Of course, this won’t be feasible where customer service teams are required to work specific hours.
3. Lead with clear goals and objectives
Not physically seeing people working at their desks does not mean they aren’t being productive. Adopting a management approach that is focused on goals and met objectives rather than activities could offer peace of mind. Mutual trust is very important!
4. Communication, communication, communication
Schedule structured weekly check-ins with your teams and make a point to include one-on-one sessions regularly as well. Communication should be encouraged on all levels and proper Netiquette followed. It is important to keep it as “normal” as possible, which is why there is a place for small talk, animated gifs and social e-gatherings on your business’s digital communication platforms.
5. Celebrate successes
Just because employees are working from home doesn’t mean they have forgotten their career aspirations. In a struggling economy, promotions aren’t necessarily possible, but focus on what you can do. You can celebrate employees’ successes by communicating your appreciation of their personal growth and achievements within their role.
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