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The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way that most of us work. As the virus has spread around the world, the majority of governments have encouraged their citizens to stay home wherever possible, minimizing contact with others. For those who can work from home, this has meant a shift to remote work. The thing is, even though vaccines are being rolled out and many elements of life are getting back to normal, many small business owners have found that remote work better suits them and their employees. From the employees’ perspective, working from home reduces commute time and costs and allows for a better work-life balance. From an employer’s perspective, having a remote workforce means saving money on office spaces and related overheads. So, it’s not all too surprising that many small business owners want to stick with this remote working basis. Of course, you need to make sure that you can still manage your team well while doing this. Here are some steps you can take to achieve this.
Continue Team Building:
When staff work from home, it can be easy for them to lose touch with their colleagues and the wider company. It’s important that you ensure your staff maintain these communications and bonds, as it leads to increased collaboration and higher levels of productivity. But how can you encourage team building within a remote workforce? Start by holding daily or weekly meetings between the team, where everyone can catch up and check in on each other. You may also want to hold a day once a month or so where the team meets up in person, working from a hired venue or meeting for social activities, like visiting a steakhouse for a meal.
Focus on Cybersecurity:
Cybersecurity is a significant weakness for many companies with remote employees. Why? Because staff may not be aware of the threats that face them when working from their own internet connection off-site. It’s important that you train your staff in cybersecurity to minimize risk and maximize data security within your business. There are a number of steps you can take to achieve this, but some common ones tend to include using a VPN (or “virtual private network”), encouraging staff to work from devices that you provide and offering training in cybersecurity.
You don’t want to micromanage your staff while they work from home, but you also want to make sure that they are performing as expected. So, set KPIs. KPI stands for “key performance indicator” and will serve as a goal that your team members need to reach in order to show that they are working productively and efficiently. This will offer guidance, as well as give you a means of checking in on staff performance.
Make Use Of Software:
If you're running a business and have employees who work remotely, then you know that it can be a challenge to keep everything organized. There are a lot of different software options out there that can help you manage your remote team. With a lot of different software options out there, it can be tough to decide which one is the best software for working remotely. You need to consider what your needs are. What kind of tasks do your employees need to complete? What communication tools do you need? What tracking tools or reporting features would be helpful?
Working remotely can be extremely productive.
In 2022 it is important to consider that home working is now a permanent part of employment culture. Whilst it became the norm for millions of people as a direct result of the restrictions imposed on day-to-day life after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a working practice that looks set to stay. Recent statistics suggest that by 2025 an estimated 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely, whether this be by way of hybrid patterns of work or fully remote schedules. Many people consider remote working to be a superior form of employment. This is mainly because it allows people to gain better control over their work life balances and can often give added flexibility into the working week. If you are a hybrid or remote worker this article will be of significant interest. It explains three ways in which you can work from home in an effective and productive manner.
Create a dedicated home office
Whilst working from the couch with a laptop may have been a short-term solution during the first few weeks of a covid lockdown, it is clearly not a suitable long-term option. To work effectively from home, you need a dedicated space that allows you to work in comfort and quiet and achieve similar levels of productivity that you would if you were in your organization’s premises. Invest in a good quality office chair a desk that adjusts to give you the option of working whilst standing (as this can be better for your health over extended periods of time) and make sure that you have a high quality home office printer that is compact to save space and allows quick and efficient printing of important documents with a quiet operation.
Ensure you can work distraction free
A key part of effective home working is being in an environment that is free of noise and other distractions. Make sure that your home office is not in a busy area of the house or close to TVs that other members of the family may be watching. If your neighborhood tends to be noisy, then it can be difficult to focus for long periods of time. In such cases it can be a wise investment to purchase a pair of noise cancelling headphones. These can be used to stream your favorite work-based music that allows you to focus on the tasks in hand whilst cancelling out any unwanted ambient noise. Here are some of the best noise cancelling headphones in 2022.
Take regular breaks
With your perfect home office setup created you should find that it is easy to work efficiently and in comfort. However, as with office life in traditional offices it is important to take short regular breaks from your working routines. Whilst it is easy to get caught up in finishing off a specific project or task and sit for hours on end without a break, this is not good for either your physical health or your concentration levels. It is far more beneficial to take a short five-minute break every hour to have a short walk around the house or make a hot drink. These regular short breaks can give your brain a well-earned rest that ensures you work at the best of your ability when you sit back down at your desk.