The reality of working from home is much different than people realize. Even though most would love to spend the day in their PJs and not move from their bed while still getting work done, they don’t realize how much this kills your productivity until they actually switch to the home office. Our homes are full of distractions that you simply don’t have to deal with at the office.
As a boss, it’s your job to motivate your team and give them all they need to help them stay productive even when they’re not in the office. This can get quite challenging, but if you know your team, you’ll know exactly what they need to stay on top of their game.
On top of that, there are certain tips and tricks you can fully take advantage of that will ensure their productivity even when they’re not actually in the office. Creating a work culture that’s centred around the well-being and hard work of your employees will do you wonders, regardless of the physical environment your team is working in.
1. Look for online therapy
Your team will need a lot of support right now, especially if they’ve never worked from home. Whether you switched to at-home operations because of the COVID19 situation or because you wanted to, this is a big change. The stress is not going to be good for their well-being or productivity.
Now is the time to show your empathy and understanding. However, you are not a therapist and don’t know all the tips and tricks of getting the human mind to focus and relax.
Thankfully, a lot of online therapy sessions are available. In fact, there are also therapists who specialize in business and know exactly what your team is dealing with. Hiring one can do wonders for eliminating stress and getting your team to focus.
Make sure you send a clear message that you think this is going to help and that there isn’t a problem you can’t overcome together with professional help. There is still some stigma around therapy, so some members of the team might not be open to it right away, making it important to emphasize this is a safe and healthy option.
There is nothing wrong with them and nothing shameful about therapy, you just want them to become better people and have an easier time dealing with the new work conditions.
2. Make sure they have what they need
Not everyone will have their own home office or even a desk they can work at. Instead of letting your employees deal with these challenges yourself, you can be flexible and help them out. Since the office is empty for the time being anyway, why not let your employees take their chairs and desks home? If you’re not working with bulky office equipment, this is more than doable.
home? If you’re not working with bulky office equipment, this is more than doable.
This will also make adjusting to the new work environment easier. They’re already used to their chair and desk, making the environment more familiar and making it easier to start working. Their focus is less likely to be divided in these circumstances, too.
Technology from the office should also be available for at-home use, in case your employees don’t have personal computers they can work on. Besides, all of their work will already be on the office computer, making it easy to get to work straight away without worrying if any important data is missing.
3. Give them some autonomy
You might think that you’re doing your team a favour by managing every little thing they do, but this might be putting the breaks on their productivity. When you’re at the office, you can approve of anything they want to do in a matter of seconds because of the short physical distance.
When working from afar though, this method will only result in you being swamped with emails and questions. Your team won’t be able to do anything until you approve of it, meaning you’ll need to be online 24/7 if you aim to actually get some work done as a company.
This can be easily solved by putting some trust in your employees and giving them a level of autonomy. Let them decide when they’re going to work, how they’re going to do it, and how they’ll deal with the deadlines and details of the projects. Give clear instructions for every assignment and let your team work out how they’re going to manage it for themselves.
Not only will this make everything run more smoothly, but it will also give your team a chance to prove how clever and capable they are. What’s more motivating than that? Reward good performances with positive feedback and a virtual pat on the back, and direct those who made mistakes instead of punishing them.
This will also make it easier for you to focus on your own work because you won’t have to constantly check on anyone’s progress. Remember, you’re working with professionals here. They’ve been doing their job for a while, so it’s pretty safe to say they know how to do it well. After all, they wouldn’t be even working for you otherwise.
4. Keep taking care of their health
Most offices today offer a lot of benefits and perks in the office, one of which being a gym membership. Whether you provide free gym memberships to your employees or have an in-office gym, you’ll need to figure out how to adjust these perks to working from afar.
In these trying times, your team will be forced to stay indoors most of the time, meaning that they won’t be getting nearly as much exercise as they’re used to. Even a person who doesn’t exercise daily will be experiencing much lower levels of activity because they won’t even be able to take a walk.
This can take a toll on your employees’ mental health, accumulate stress, and make them feel less productive than ever before. You also need to be aware that the risk of injury will be increased. As people will spend most of their day sitting down, it’s very likely they’ll experience muscle soreness, cramps, and stiff neck and joints. The stress and unfamiliarity of the new situation will only add to these problems.
Luckily, there are professionals and clinics like the SportsTec Clinic who have thought of this problem before you even realized it was a problem. They offer online physiotherapy that could mean the world to your team. It might not be the same as having that gym membership, but it will definitely help their health problems stay short-term.
Not taking care of stiffness and soreness right away could make the injury permanent, especially if your team isn’t in their 20s any more. The older we are, the less flexible we are, and the more apparent it is we need physiotherapy to keep our bodies healthy and pain-free.
5. Communication, communication, communication
Without keeping the communication channels open, you can’t hope to get much work done. When they’re at the office, members of your team can simply waltz into your office and talk to you about whatever’s troubling them. That isn’t really possible when they’re working from home, though.
The thing is, you never know what kind of conditions someone lives in and what difficulties they could be facing when working from home. Thankfully, we live in the digital age where you can easily choose a communication channel and stay in touch daily.
Aside from making a group chat with your team and posting regular updates about the situation and asking if they’re okay, you should also make it clear individuals can talk to you about anything. It also might be a good idea to hold online video meetings once a week just to make sure everyone’s coping well with the new work environment.
When an employee does come to you with a problem, don’t dismiss them right away and say you’ll take care of it. The chances are that they already have a pretty good idea about how the problem can be solved and that you’ll boost their confidence by taking the idea into account. This also makes your job much easier and ensures the solution to the issue is actually effective.
Motivating your team to work from home can be quite challenging if they’ve only ever worked at the office before. You’ll need to figure out a lot of details by yourself, but this article will be your guiding light to success. Aside from the useful tips above, remember to always keep communication channels open with your team.
They’ll tell you exactly what they need to keep being productive and all you’ll have to do is provide them with it. We’re confident you’ll master working from home together and that your business won’t suffer one bit.
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