As businesses attempt to cut costs without putting their employees out of job, we’re seeing a rise in companies introducing remote working options. Having your employees working within a digital workplace can significantly cut the costs related to having an office-bound workforce, such as real estate and utilities.
That said, businesses who fail to provide the information and support needed to help their staff transition from office worker to remote worker will struggle to reap the benefits. If you’re thinking of making the switch from the physical to the digital workplace, it’s essential that you manage and prepare your employees for the changes ahead. This will lead to the higher levels of productivity and cost savings that you’d expect from having a remote workforce.
Here’s how to help staff make the switch to remote working:
Offer praise, support, and appreciation
Although you may come into contact with remote workers significantly less than you would if they were office-based, it’s crucial that you show them the same level of appreciation. Deliver praise via email, phone, instant messaging, or even share kudos on your intranet. Just make sure that you don’t simply see your remote workers as a “number”. This can quickly affect job satisfaction and lower employee retention. Be sure to check in with your remote workers as much as possible and deliver praise and appreciation regularly.
Share staff praise and kudos on your intranet
Help staff manage their workload
Managing remote workers can be challenging, but workload management is a key aspect in remote working success. It can be helpful to provide remote workers with a specific workload and detail the urgency of each of these tasks, so that staff can organise their day. For remote staff who struggle to prioritise, providing them with structure at home can make them feel supported, motivated, and more productive.
Create a remote working “how to” guide
Creating a “how to work remotely” guide and sharing it on your intranet software can be a great way to help your staff transition from office to remote working. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Create a dedicated working environment
Dedicating an area at home just for work is key for remote workers, as is working from a proper desk. This can help staff feel as if they are in “work mode”, and is much better for posture than working from the sofa!
A dedicated work space at home can help remote staff to focus
Create a schedule and stick to it
Although remote working often allows staff to choose the hours that they work, creating a schedule is important for productivity. For the best chance of success, remote workers should decide on the hours they want to work each week, write these down, and actually stick to them.
Encouraging remote workers to ask questions is something that many companies fail to consider. Remote workers may be less likely to ask questions and just plough ahead, but this can be counter-productive if they’re on the wrong path to begin with. Provide your remote workers with various avenues to ask questions and communicate with their coworkers, such as instant messaging, internal social media, and video conferencing.