Thanks to the pandemic, the number of Americans who are working remotely is continuing to grow. In fact, it has increased by more than 173% since 2005. Along with the pandemic, there are other benefits offered by transitioning your employees to work from home, including cost savings and improving their job satisfaction.
While this is true, the transition to this new work environment can be challenging. If you want to make things easier for you and your employees, keep these tips in mind. They can also help if you plan to make a South Carolina residential investment.
Create a Remote Work Policy
The first step to take when you are ready to transition your employees to work remotely is to create a remote work policy. You need to ensure your policy is clear for all employees to ensure they understand the guidelines without contacting a lawyer for help.
The remote work policy you create should define how your employees will work remotely and cover important topics such as how productivity will be measured, software tools, and working hours. Your remote work policy needs to be reviewed and updated a minimum of one time per year.
Some of the topics you need to cover in your remote work policy include who is considered eligible to work from home, how frequently they can work remotely, what the availability and working hour requirements are, and what software applications or tools should be used.
A good way to begin drafting this policy is consulting and collaborating with your internal stakeholders, like HR, legal, team leads, and management. You should assess what is required to make sure employees are equipped to work from home. You also need processes in place that will ensure your remote workforce is efficiently managed.
Set Up Your Remote Working Tools
In the remote work policy, you may have already defined the programs, and tools employees need to use when they work from home. It would help if you ensured that your employees have the needed tools, including the equipment, software programs, and more. You should also provide the needed training while they are still working on-site. After all, the training process will be much more difficult when the person moves to work remotely without it.
There are more than a few software tools necessary for remote work. This includes project management software, which is helpful and convenient for planning, managing projects, getting organized, and budgeting effectively. You can find some cloud-based project management software tools, making them a good option to manage and streamline your workflow remotely.
Another necessary option is collaboration tools. These will help you organize and store necessary information, communicate with teams across departments, share different files, and more. When you are trying to figure out what collaboration tools you should use, remember you need to make sure it is one that all your employees can use, ones that integrate well with the other software being used and provide proper data security.
Some other tools you may use include cloud services, video conferencing software, learning management systems, time tracking software, performance management software, security options, remote access software, and password managers.
Prepare Your Managers
Management processes and practices will change during workforce transitions. This includes ones from traditional office environments to a remote location. Team leaders and managers must adjust to the need to relinquish some level of control and to build trust. It is a good idea to collaborate with your team leaders and managers to create a new and effective management strategy.
Help Your Newly Remote Workers Get Started
Your management team needs to provide guidance and support for your new remote workers throughout the transition process. They should also work to manage expectations. Management needs to make sure remote workers fully understand all the new processes and have the tools necessary. Along with having these tools, employees must know how they work and how to use them.
One way to help your new remote workers is to provide information and guidance on the right way to set up a home office. Not all employees are going to have the right home environment to accommodate the setup. You can do some things to help with this, such as providing equipment and tips, along with best-practice solutions, and how to create a divide between home and work life.
You should also help your employees properly structure their workdays. Get your workers to create a daily work schedule and then encourage them to establish a regular, daily routine. Ensuring that your workers have a properly structured workday will help them stay on track with what they need to accomplish.
It will help if you communicate expectations and goals for your remote workers. Be sure you have clear and achievable goals for them beyond just assigning certain tasks and then setting deadlines. Your employees will be more prepared for working remotely and more productive when they are provided one-on-one guidance and accolades for their performance.
Make sure to check in with your workers, how they are managing to work remotely, and create a solid feedback look. This is going to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding what needs to be done.
Maintain Good Communication
When establishing the communication guidelines for your workers, you need to outline the type and frequency of expected meetings. You should maintain regular meetings and keep social interaction and company culture in mind. It is always good to start these meetings with small talk.
Ask your employees how they are doing and encourage them to share their experiences and how they are coping with this new work environment. This interchange will help your workers feel more connected to the entire team and the business. It also gives you the chance to share best practices for a successful remote work experience.
After the meeting, it is smart to follow up via chat message or email, cover the key points discussed, and what you want to see by your next scheduled meeting. You should also add a few words of motivation and appreciation.
Use These Tips for a Successful and Smooth Transition to Remote Work for Your Employees
Making the transition from working in an office with a team daily to working alone remotely is a huge change. While some employees may thrive in this new environment, others may struggle. It is good to use the tips and information mentioned above to provide your employees with the tools and guidance they need to ensure their ongoing success in their new work from home position.
Remember, working from home requires personal accountability. While you will be there to help along the way, this is completely different from working in an office where team members and management are nearby. Be sure to keep this in mind as you create a transition plan for your workers. By doing this, you can feel confident that your workers will be successful in their new remote work environments. Being informed and using the right steps will minimize issues while ensuring you get the desired results from your new remote workers. Keep this in mind as you begin to transition your employees from working in an office environment to working remotely from their home or another location.