As millions of workers have had to set up an office at home, some people will find it easier than others to find a workable routine. Here are some practical tips from Anita Tweats at The Finance People for managing employees who are working from home:
Trusting your team is key to making home working work. Set up work from home guidelines to ensure standards remain high and everyone stays motivated and on track.
Be clear on expectations
Working away from the office is less structured and employees need to be clear on what’s expected from them. Agree working hours and availability. Do you want staff to work office hours or is a degree of flexibility built in? If hours are more flexible, be clear who’s working when and make sure staff know if you need them to be contactable during office hours. Discuss daily and weekly tasks, key projects and deadlines to ensure all work is met and completed in time.
The technology has to be in place for home working to really work. Invest in reliable equipment – you don’t want staff waiting hours for files to download or having conference calls on crackly lines.
Focus on goals
Stay focused on goals and not the number of hours the team are putting in. If goals are being met, then everything’s on track.
Communication is key. You need to make sure you and the team are talking regularly. Agree an appropriate number of weekly catch ups and any formal reporting. Remember to keep the team up to date with how things are going to.
If you have monthly one on ones to ensure professional goals are met, do them via video calls and deal with issues head on. It is important to keep the team motivated and on track – not always easy when everyone’s working in isolation.
As you can’t do team meetings face to face, do them via video call instead. Having that time as a team is still important.
When working from home, it is easy for your team to do too much. Set daily and weekly maximums for working hours and make sure employees take the necessary breaks.