The last seven or eight months have been tough as we have all been adjusting to a new way of living and a new way of working as well. It could be said that we are so far into this journey that we are all well used to the way it is going. However, in the beginning, it was assumed to be a temporary measure, and we all expect that to be the case, eventually! But it is becoming clear that it’s going to be a very long temporary situation. Therefore, it is essential to consider how we can make sure that we keep the business running smoothly while everyone is working. In this guide, we are going to look at procedural, technological, and personal aspects of the day to day and long-term business strategy.
Have a Firm Home-Working Set of Rules
It’s essential to have a set of rules for working from home, and this has to be written up and implemented concerning all of the different people who work in the company. Risk assessment should form an integral part of this. These regulations won’t necessarily be the same for all types of workplaces and you need to pay careful attention to what is needed and what works for yours. If you need people to be logged on at a certain time then this needs to be enforced. A good example of this type of business would be the call center.
When Can People Come into the Office
We need to be very careful about when people can come into the office. For some, it’s a quick flying visit to pick up some essential items, and for others, it may be that there is a need to meet with someone. Whichever it is, you should have a system in place for limiting the numbers at any one time. Bookings that should be approved by management are a good idea. Where someone has to meet an individual from outside the organization strict protocols should be in place to facilitate social distancing and hygiene. Sparsely set out rooms, and copious amounts of hand sanitizer should be made available.
Have a Workflow System
It’s vital to be aware that work interaction will not be as organic as when you can all meet around the same physical space. Using a system such as Kanban Software will be beneficial. As it’s is very people-based and allows for interaction in a way that allows progress to be made on projects even when working remotely. The advantage here is that everything becomes organized within the software, and the emphasis is placed on collaboration. If you employ a mix of email and messenger software, then important communications can be easily lost in the flow.
We are all more familiar with video conferencing software than we were in the past. Early on it was not uncommon for individuals to be accidentally muting themselves, or turning off their video feed. However, as time goes on, we have mastered the basics, but we still must endeavor to get the most out of these interactions. The timing and rhythm of normal conversational turn-taking have gone out of the window and must be re-learned for this new medium. It is key, now more than ever, to have someone chair meetings to ensure that all views and opinions are heard and explored.
How to Assess Performance
Assessing performance may be more challenging than it was in the physical office as you are not in direct contact with your staff as much as before. Picking up on mood and attitude will be much more challenging. However, there is an opportunity to make these assessments based on more empirical evidence. Every conversation and interaction is now saved on the system somewhere. So evaluating who is contributing and who is not becomes much easier.
Staff Rewards and Entertainment
When we don’t have the usual methods of rewarding and motivating, we need to think outside the box when considering staff entertainment. In regular times a business would offer all kinds of things for this, gym memberships, cinema tickets or even big staff nights out. With many of these attractions closed or severely restricted depending on what part of the country you are in, alternatives may be in order. You could offer vouchers for streaming services or home delivery items such as luxury food and drink. It’s a challenging time, so the need will be there to think creatively.
Interesting Related Article: “How To Work From Home (Now Your Kids Are Also Home)“