For many, the Coronavirus has kept them from their workplaces and offices as a precautionary measure to help limit the spread of infection. This has given many the opportunity to work from home for the time being, which can be just as effective as working in the traditional office. Here, we’ve put some tips together to help you make the most of remote work strategies.
The Benefits of Working from Home
There are benefits to working from home, even under normal circumstances, that employees undoubtedly appreciate. A big one is eliminating the commute. While those fortunate enough to live just a few minutes from the office may not see the significance, for most, the commute can be a terrible thing. In New York City, the average commute takes about 43 minutes, and rural areas of the United States see 30 percent of their workforce traveling 30 minutes each way to get to work.
There are also the health benefits and decreased spending that can be seen, as employees are less inclined to snack and order out for their meals. Home also features fewer of the distractions that the office presents. In fact, despite the other distractions that the home can provide, a Stanford study conducted over two years demonstrates that working from home can greatly boost productivity. Finally, as an employer, you have to appreciate the decreased investment into space and utilities that remote strategies can bring if it were to become the norm.
The Issues with Working From Home
Unfortunately, there is no universal standard for what to expect when using a remote work strategy. Some employees just aren’t as productive doing work at home as they are doing work in the office, which gives many business owners and managers reasons to hold back on remote work privileges. It falls to the employees to gain the trust needed to convince the employer that remote capabilities are a good thing. There is a general acceptance of the idea that, if a person is at their desk at work, they are at least contributing something to the overall productivity of the group.
Remote work’s benefits transcend simple company culture and can really impact a business’ functionality. Whether it is a matter of preference, or based on a need like the health concerns you are currently facing, everyone stands to gain when remote work is a viable option.
How to Make the Most of Remote Capabilities
As an Employee:
Be on Time: While the eliminated commute makes the morning easier, make sure you spend the extra time you have doing what you need to do, whether that’s taking care of the family, eating a better breakfast than you otherwise could, or getting in a bit of reading or meditation. However you spend your extra time, just make sure you are in your seat and ready to work when you are supposed to be.
Focus: Without the distractions of the office, focusing on your tasks should be somewhat easier. Try to accomplish as much as you can between breaks in your concentration. You will accomplish more, and the work will be better for it.
Track Accurately: It is absolutely crucial that you accurately track how you are spending your time working from home. Take note of when you start and end your tasks, acknowledge when you reach certain milestones in your progress, and make sure you are communicating with the rest of your team to keep them up to speed. This accountability can also placate those who may distrust you are working diligently.
Use the Right Equipment: Rather than going through the process of setting up an office phone in your house to deal with meetings you need to attend online, invest in a comfortable set of nice headphones with an integrated microphone. Using the speakerphone on your smartphone or the options integrated into your workstation should be avoided, if possible. A headset will improve your experience, as well as the experience those working with you have.
As an Employer:
Provide a VoIP Solution: Voice over Internet Protocol is compatible with virtually all devices, allowing your employees simplified communications through an app or an installed client without any additional hardware requirements.
Use Cloud Solutions: If you expect your staff to be productive while working remotely, give them the tools to be able to do so. Storing documents and hosting your critical applications on cloud resources--while no small feat to implement--can significantly improve your employees’ workplace satisfaction and productivity, whether they are in the office or working remotely. We can help you make any needed adjustments, as well.
Standardize Things: Set standard processes and applications that your employees should be following and using, and give them to your employees. Otherwise, they may find themselves trying to complete a task and resorting to the use of unauthorized software and tools, also known as shadow IT.
We Can Help You Put Remote Capabilities into Practice!
There is a significant amount to consider when integrating telecommunication and remote access capabilities into your business, and there is no one way to do it. Going through the process with Emerge as your resource and guide will make your entire process more efficient and seamless.
We are always here to help you out. Give us a call at 859-746-1030 to get started.