Many of us are having to adjust. For those in offices, most of us have moved to working at home. And if you are a manager of employees, then you will have to completely change the way you work and deal with colleagues. And most importantly, look after their welfare. We took a look at how to keep employees happy at home.
First of all, everyone needs to understand what is required of them by working from home. This begins with the set up that everyone should have within their home. And you should lead by example and set the standards. Employees should dress as if at work, and act as if at work at all times. They must find a place in the home that is comfortable and conducive to working. Ensure that your employees have the right set up. A desk, the right ergonomic set up, a comfortable chair and so on. The company should look to provide items that employees do not have and cannot afford to. After all, they did not choose to work from home, so it is the responsibility of the company to ensure everyone has a set up as good as they have always had.
Organise training sessions, as well as providing resources like self-assessment checklists or even one-on-one virtual appointments with an ergonomist. These help employees set up proper workstations and learn healthy habits. And training can also help with new processes that will have to change with everyone working remotely.
You need to trust your workforce. As long as targets are met and work is done, there is no need to overdo your supervision of employees. It will breed resentment if you are constantly asking for updates on the work of colleagues. You need to be relaxed in trusting your employees to be professional at home. If work levels slack, then you can change your approach. But you should start the process allowing responsibility and independence of sorts for those working at home.
Nevertheless, working from home is not an excuse to abandon everyone and seek solitude. Many of your employees will welcome some contact, even if just to ask how they are. Especially for that reason, in fact. This pandemic has been tough on us all. A large percentage of us are struggling to get by. Remember that working from home is not paradise for many. They would rather a return to normality. So you need to be more human than ever during this period. Set a routine for contacting all employees, and seeing how they are. Do not leave anyone alone during the time of working from home. Have resources at hand for those that need extra help. Phone numbers, articles, and people they can contact to help with mental health.
In a way there is an element of winging it as we all adjust to new work practices. So do welcome feedback, and allow opinions of how things can be adjusted from those you work with and manage. You need to adapt and work out best processes. And this will be different from company to company. and from department to department. Work out what is best for all concerned. There will be different practices applicable for people within a single department, as everyone has unique circumstances and characteristics.
As long as work is done, there is no reason for strict guidelines. Let people work at their own way, and during the hours that suit them if it does not affect the business. Ensure that breaks are taken, as is exercise. Do not allow employees to be chained to their desks. But do make it clear that as always you expect work to be completed to previous standards and on time.