Working from home on a permanent or semi-permanent basis has been a major adjustment for companies and employees alike who are accustomed to a busy office setting that’s bustling with people. Of course, home life can be just as busy, but in a different way. From kids and spouses to the never-ending list of household chores, there are certainly a lot more personal distractions at home than there are in the office.
For that reason, managers and CEOs of companies need to do everything in their power to ensure that their employees have all of the tools and resources they need to be productive while working remotely from home.
As a manager, you may still have the option of renting temporary private offices whenever you need to get away from all of the chaos of your home life. But keep in mind that not all of your employees are able to do that during the pandemic-related lockdowns. Here are some useful tips of what you can do to help your employees stay productive during work hours and ultimately preserve your company’s bottom line.
Give Your Team the Proper Tech and Productivity Tools
Setting up a home office for anyone who’s not used to working from home can be challenging. Employees working from home for the first time need access to company resources, tools, online platforms, and accounts that they can usually only use from their work computers. As the team manager, it’s your responsibility to provide access to all necessary online platforms and accounts, so that your employees can do their jobs from home.
From company-used project managing and tracking apps to communication platforms such as email, teleconferencing, and videoconferencing equipment, it’s crucial for individual employees to have a reliable means of staying connected with the rest of the team.
Check in with Your Team Members
Check in with your team members from time to time to see how things are going, how they’re coping with working from home and all of the changes it brings. Ask for project updates when needed, but avoid micro-managing from a distance. Employees need to feel like you trust them enough to manage their time and their workloads properly.
Instead, offer assistance so that they know you’re there to support them, but don’t do it in a way that makes them feel incompetent or incapable of doing their jobs. Strike a balance between keeping the lines of communication open so that they can let you know if they feel overwhelmed without overstepping your boundaries as a manager.
Create Virtual Spaces for Online Collaboration
Set up work-designated platforms that allow your team to virtually get together for project collaborations, meetings, and social gatherings. Recreating an online work environment that’s similar to the office gives employees the ability to continue interacting with one another just like they would at the office.
In addition to working on projects together, they can also virtually celebrate company milestones, hold conference calls, and host videoconferencing meetings.
Prove You Have Faith in Your Team Members
Working remotely gives you the opportunity to truly show your team members that you trust them to stay motivated and productive, meet their deadlines, and self-manage. Conversely, it also gives your team members the chance to show that they can work well independently and as part of a team with little to no micro-management required.
That doesn’t mean that they won’t require a little additional management support from time to time. There’s a fine line between overbearing micro-management and providing the right amount of managerial support. Employees appreciate knowing that you’re always available whenever they need you without feeling like you’re constantly looking over their shoulders.
Give Your Employees Some Flexibility
The rules and regulations surrounding lockdown restrictions are constantly changing. That lack of stability can make it difficult for your employees to maintain a sense of normalcy. With everything they have going on in their lives, it’s only fair and practical to cut them a little bit of slack.
While many employees are doing their best to stick to the traditional 9 to 5 work schedule at home, sometimes they may need a little extra wiggle room to produce consistently good quality work within a reasonable timeframe.
Rather than focusing on strictly meeting tight deadlines, try loosening the reigns a little bit. Encourage your employees to concentrate more on reaching their targets by setting small and easily achievable goals. Achieving those goals will make them feel more confident in their skills, boost their productivity, and maintain work quality. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Empower Employees to Share Their Ideas and Suggestions
Your employees have great in-depth insight and knowledge about what it’s like to work for your company. Working from home gives them a unique perspective in terms of what needs to change and how to boost the entire team’s productivity and work ethic. Asking them for their input will make them feel valued, empowered, and inspired to keep putting their best foot forward.
Give your employees more incentives to continue working hard and maintaining a steady workflow even as they work from home. Additionally, this type of back and forth dialogue will strengthen your employee-manager relationship and reassure them that you’re always on their side.
Do More Virtual Team-Building Exercises
Team building exercises are an effective method of establishing and nourishing important work relationships. After all, how can you expect your team members to work well together if they barely know one another? Not being in the same room can certainly make team building exercises and events challenging, but not necessarily impossible.
Just because you’re on working hours, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little lighthearted fun with your team. Get the conversation started with some small talk and take it from there. Without getting too personal, you can ask them about their hobbies, what they’re doing for fun during the pandemic, how they’re families are doing, etc. Briefly taking their minds off work and reminding them that they’re not alone is a great way to relieve stress and build camaraderie in your team.
For those times when you need a quiet and secluded place to work away from at-home distractions, why not rent a private office in Mississauga or Ottawa? Innovative Professional Offices provides fully furnished, welcoming, and regularly sanitized private office rentals that are perfect for helping you manage your small business. Contact us today to learn more and get a free quote for our temporary private office rentals.
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