Over the past months, companies around the world have been thrown into a state of chaos and uncertainty thanks to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Most workers have been forced into lockdown and are now working from home, and with no end to the pandemic in sight, it is likely that we will be working from home for quite some time. This may initially sound like a bad thing, but it’s important to keep an open mind and look on the bright side of things. In order to help you and your business to deal with the current issues, below are a few tips on equipping your associates to work remotely.
The scale of the current pandemic is unprecedented and unfortunately, there are no guides on how to deal with it. Because of this, it is crucial that you stay flexible and adapt to any new challenges that may present themselves. Luckily, with modern technology, there are plenty of ways to work from home and still stay connected to your team and co-workers, just as if you were in an office together. While it may take some time to adjust to the new way of things, in some cases, it is actually far more efficient and beneficial to work remotely.
For example, one notable benefit is the amount of money you can save on rent and utilities if you cut down on office space that is almost certainly no longer being used. This is not only saving money but that along with the lack of a daily commute, it is also far better for the environment.
Use the technology available to you
Fortunately, while we are working from home and may be physically separated from our co-workers, modern technology provides us with plenty of tools to make life easier and every day work more efficiently. Programs like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams can be used to communicate online and there is even virtual background for zoom that can help to either maintain a professional appearance, keep sensitive data hidden, or even just prevent distractions that could be caused by things like people and pets walking around behind you. They can even be used to simply hide a messy room that you did not have time to clean before your virtual meeting.
Other tools that you can use include screen sharing that makes it easy and efficient to share information as you can share either your entire screen or just a specific application to anyone you choose in the call. Virtual whiteboards are also available and function just like physical whiteboards, letting you discuss topics and brainstorm ideas as if you were in the same room with one another.
Make sure your co-workers have what they need
Finally and perhaps most importantly, you will need to make sure that your team and co-workers have the necessary technology that they need to continue to do their job while away from the office. Check up with each employee individually to make sure they have not only the hardware they need, such as laptops, webcams, headphones, and microphones but also the software they may need to do their job. You cannot expect every employee to have access to the right technology and checking that they have what they need will also help them to feel as though you really care instead of just seeing them as a tool. Fortunately, even if you do not have work laptops available, hardware like this can typically be rented and it is relatively inexpensive and uncomplicated to do so.
In addition to making sure your employees have the hardware and software they need, be sure to check up on them periodically to make sure their mental state is holding up. For some people, most of their physical interaction comes from seeing people around the office, and having that stop and instead spend all their time alone at home can be jarring and can leave them feeling lonely and isolated. A quick check-up as well as things like virtual coffee breaks, not only help you monitor teams mental health but is also a great way to keep everyone in touch and will help you to come out of the pandemic stronger and closer than you were when it started.