Working from home presents its challenges as we continue to establish “the new normal”, and as hard as it may seem we simply MUST Continue. There numerous ways to bridge the gap and overcome the challenges to maintain business as usual, and here is our 10 Top Tips guide for managing your team working from home.
1) Health & Safety:
Working from home has it’s health and safety challenges. Provide all your home workers with a health & safety pack as you would normally but include any key elements particular to home working such as seating, exercise, and security. Make sure everyone has access to the H&S pack and reiterate the need for good seating, lighting, breaks and a safe environment. If you do not currently have a H&S provider, there are companies that can help:
2) Face to Face Communication:
Talk to your team face to face at least once a week. When working from home, the value of seeing someone over just voice is important to maintain communications. Even better where you can get your whole direct team on together provides a motivating open forum for them to discuss their successes and difficulties in working from home. There are many good conferencing apps including:
3) Team Collaboration:
Take team collaboration to the next level whilst working from home with chat rooms, project management, co-editing documents and file sharing.
Aside from the benefits of keeping your business going with online team collaboration of sharing files and co-editing, opening a chat room where your team can talk to each other and you, and make sure you look in a couple of times a day. You can have several chat rooms by team responsibility for projects and another one for the whole company. It may be useful project information or the odd joke, either way your biggest threat to motivation right now is isolation. So, keep up the banter. There many platforms available for team collaboration.
Hopefully you will have everyone working on a secure cloud location whilst working from home, but there will still be times when data is downloaded locally so you will need clear training and documentation on how any personal data is kept secure and confidential in the home office. Plus, you will need to ensure all your lone workers have suitable security software on their PC / Laptops such as:
If you are furloughing some or all of your team, appoint a Furlough Tsar to apply and stay on top of your claim. As with all red tape, it is time consuming and complex, plus it takes you away from what you do best. The rules will change over time such as how to communicate someone that they are being Furloughed, and what documentation you will need. You can find help with your furlough claim:
Do keep promoting your brand, get your message out that you are open for business and what you can offer. Those keeping up visibility will be the companies to last the distance. 1 Stop Data can help you with brand awareness and digital marketing.
Contact all your key stake holders including major customers, suppliers, investors and others who are essential contributors to your business. Call them or conference with them and tell them how you are going to keep the business going / growing. Then find out what you can do for them to help them through these tough times. It will be worth it and you will probably find new opportunities will come out as a result. If you have a large stakeholder list that you need to stay in touch with Contact Us as we can help you.
You may need to monitor productivity and attendance with your team whilst working from home. This is important both for you and them providing a daily structure and purpose to their day will be essential for us all to stay sane. As you are calling people at home or on their mobiles it is handy to check if they are working before calling. There are several handy apps out there providing attendance monitoring:
If you have not moved yet to online accounting, now is the time to do it fast. With online accounting your team can manage their own receipts and invoicing from home. You can monitor all sales and expenses without waiting for reports to be supplied. So, if you haven’t yet moved into the 21st century with online accounting I cannot recommend it highly enough. Plus, while you are working from home, you can take a look at the accounts yourself! Some that come to mind:
But most of all, Keep on Keeping on. This is a challenging time, but what will come out at the end of the day will be from your creativity and reflection of your business. If you need help, we are here to assist you with any of the above.