Companies are exploring their options when it comes to Team Members ability to work from home. There are numerous reasons for doing so:
- Increased worker morale
- Enhanced cost savings by not paying for office space
- More flexibility in work schedules
With all the benefits that come with working remotely, it makes sense that employers are considering if working from home can work for their team.
Here are three steps you can take to make working remotely as successful as possible.
Be upfront about your policies
You’ll need to have policies about what you expect from your team when they are working from home. Do you need them working Monday to Friday, or can their schedule be somewhat flexible? Are there meetings they’ll be required to still attend? Are there certain security protocols or procedures they still need to follow?
Make sure you have a policy book or set of guidelines specifically for your expectations of team members who work remotely. In it, include the expectations you will hold yourself to, as well. How much time do you need to respond to phone calls or emails? What hours will you be available if they need you? Will the company check in on team members periodically to follow up and see how they’re doing?
By having your expectations laid out, it allows your team to work more cohesively because they will know what you expect from them. While you probably won’t foresee every issue that could arise, you can address the common areas of uncertainty.
Communicate more than you used to
When team members are in the office, they may have access to additional information that they may not be able to have when working remotely. Team members might share information about a project while standing in the breakroom or pop in for a quick chat about a client. When working from home, they don’t have those same opportunities.
If there’s a question about whether your team need to know something or would want to know it, share it, so you can be certain they know everything they need to. Not all team members will get that information through the grapevine when they work from home, so you’ll need to be vigilant about sharing it yourself or delegate someone to keep everyone informed.
There are many possible channels to do this, especially these days, including phone, email, text, Slack, Zoom, Skype, and Teams. Do you have certain channels that you use depending on the category of information being shared? Make sure team members know the best methods of sharing information depending on the purpose.
Encourage informal communications
Something your team might miss is the social aspect of working in an office. Previously, they would see each other every day and would more than likely have informal chats at break times or throughout the day. Schedule a team lunch or break time and encourage everyone to attend. It could even be attended virtually. However, don’t make it mandatory, as they may have other pressing priorities.
Having the space and time available gives them the opportunity to catch up with their colleagues and feel part of the team. Make sure the lunch chat is informal and try not to bring up anything about work.
There may be other things you need to do to support your team working from home, such as providing your team with the necessary technology or equipment to enable them to do their job successfully. It’s also always a good idea to regularly ask your colleagues for feedback on what they feel is working well and what they find more challenging when working from home. Then take on their feedback and adjust as necessary.
If you have any questions, feel free to Join the conversation…