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Work From Home - How to get it right

With many businesses opting for a work from home solution, with the pressure to implement social distancing, a usually well thought out process seems to have been implemented almost overnight.  This of course brings it difficulties.

Whilst many larger organisations have instructed many of their staff to work from home, productivity and quality of work remain the area of concern for small businesses.

Tech savvy business owners have moved very quickly to tools that allow virtual meeting between employees and applications which track projects through the employee’s computer.

Remembering that remote working takes adjustment for everyone, other business owners look at how daily schedules can assist with their knowledge that their staff are actually working and assists their employees with staying focussed.

Such a remote daily schedule could include:-

9.00am - Work day starts – video/telephone meeting to plan the day

10.00am – Team meetings to discuss project progress and scheduled output for the day

4.00pm – Video/telephone meeting to review progress/output (also enables next day planning)

5.00pm – work day ends

Note: for smaller ‘teams’ the team meetings may include the manager with individuals to discuss progress.

The important thing to remember is that there is a way to monitor output and keep up focus and motivation levels with remote employees.

Employers need to remember that remote working forces a change in the way we work.  A level of effort will need to be implemented from the start to:-

  • Communicate more regularly with staff.  Remember, it is not a matter of seeing them across the office or you approaching each other.  Set up regular times to ensure employees have the opportunity to regularly communicate.
  • Video conferencing and screen sharing is also a great option to assist with everyone feeling a greater connection.  There are many inexpensive applications that can be used for this.
  • If you had regular meetings whilst you worked in the office ie., leadership meetings, team meetings, stick to the same schedule. With so much changing, keeping as much regular routine as possible can assist with productivity.
  • Use an instant chat tool. This is useful where instead of you and your employees turning to talk to someone on the next work station, they can simply type an instant chat.
  • Keep everyone accountable.  Like working in the office, there are start times for all. Working from home can make it easy for some to miss the start of the day and remember it can also make it difficult for some to separate work from home and work too many hours.  Whilst flexible timing can be set up for remote working, you want to ensure that monitoring of your employees work times and attendance still applies as it would in the office.

Other important factors must be considered for work from home setups:-

  • Increased IT security measures should be considered
  • Workplace Health and Safety still applies and each home office should complete a WHS Checklist to ensure any identified risks are managed.

For assistance with your plans, please contact our advisors at 1300 720 004 or advice@hradviceonine.com.au.

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