Are you panicking about getting back to business? Well, if you are, today (June 18th) that’s fine because it is International Panic Day!
The organisers of the day suggest you can celebrate the day in two ways; one a day of panic, where you stress about everything, or alternatively a day when you sit back and relax, and enjoy a quiet day at home.
We don’t want you to be stressing about going back to work. We’re here to help you feel less stressed about preparing your teams to work from home long term - particularly in terms of setting up their tech.
Or getting back to a new, smaller office or upgrading tech which you have neglected and you now know it must be brought up to modern-day standards.
There are several things to think about which may have been overlooked during the extraordinary lockdown period.
However, if you wish to make WFH (the new acronym for ‘working from home’) permanent or semi-permanent for some of your staff you may need to consider their environment in a more strategic way.
You need to consider the office space they are working in if they’ve been using the kitchen table that isn’t a long term solution.
Is their connectivity adequate and secure? – that requires investigation. You need to review and possibly upgrade or change the hardware they are using, the programs and tools they are working with and their communication channels.
Also, it may be down to you as an employer to kit out an office space that’s more suitable. It may even be a small build in their garden – as an employee may not wish to give up a bedroom to create a ‘free’ office for your company.
Even if they are – is this space secure for insurance purposes? Is it far too open for other visitors to the home to see sensitive data? These issues now need to be looked at to avoid a situation where there’s a very real need to panic!
Does your team member have a dedicated workspace, where everything is accessible and is there a door that can shut out everyone else? Or do they want you to create one for them?
You may think that’s unreasonable, however, is it? Would you give up your bedroom for someone who once employed you?
It’s important to think about privacy in an employee’s home office. If they have other people in the house, perhaps ensure they have a ‘no-entry’ sign on the door to stop people continuous interruptions.
Is your team member the only one using the tech you’ve provided? Or are they using their own laptop? It is important to distinguish between work and home life in terms of the tech being used. Other family members should not have access to what may be sensitive documents.
Allow staff time to move away from the screen for breaks; working from home, makes it far too easy to sit in front of the screen longer than at work.
It is important to communicate well with your team while they are working at home. For that, you need to consider your leadership style.
Have you always been a leader who wants to control everything? Have you relied on seeing your staff on a daily basis, a bottom on a seat between 9 am and 5 pm?
Lockdown will have inevitably interrupted that for you and hopefully, it has allowed you to understand that transformational change can support your business to move forward more rapidly.
We’d advise being task, rather than time, focussed. Couple that with excellent communication and productivity will soon return to normal – and may exceed normal.
Ensure any information you give is clear and concise and gives expectations of when projects/work should be finished.
Set up regular team chats via video, and also make time for non-work chats, so that you can keep the office relationships working. Now is the time to make our team members feel important so that they invest personally in getting your business back on track.
In our next blog, we’ll talk about what to consider when your office, factory or premises re-open fully? Is your tech still fit for purpose?