Given the current circumstances, those used to driving to their office everyday for their 9-5 have now found themselves walking into their living room to work from home. Businesses all over the world have had to learn to adapt by transitioning from the conference room to video chat. In fact, according to Pew Research, “As more companies move to encouraging – or requiring – telework, one-quarter of those surveyed say they have used video calling or an online conferencing service, like Zoom or WebEx, to attend a work-related meeting due to the coronavirus outbreak”. With the popularity of such online resources growing, remote working may become more commonplace in the years to follow. Here are a few quick tips of how to effectively transition your business to a remote environment while not sacrificing productivity.
Picking your Software
Now that you will find yourself miles away from your employees, you may be in need of additional virtual communication tools. It is important you pick software that matches how your workplace operates, but that you are not using so many platforms that workers feel overwhelmed.
This is where you need to sit down and identify which communication methods are most effective and what resources your employees need to access on a day-to-day basis. Whether your primary needs are remote asset management, video communication, project management or time tracking, Hubspot provides this extensive list of remote tools to ensure you choose the best one.
Now that your software is successfully integrated, it is time to get to work. Many people associate their productivity with a certain environment, so it can be difficult to turn your relaxing after-work space into a new office. These tips will help ensure both you and your employees are staying on task while at home and while still possessing a good work-life balance.
#1 Pick a designated work space
Having a sectioned off work area in your home will help ease those urges to climb back onto the couch. Clear off your home desk or make use of the dining room table, just make sure that the only activities that happen in this area are related to your work day. Letting the other members of the house know when your work hours are will help minimize interruptions in this space. At the end of the day, you will be able to completely step away from your work station for the night just like it would be with an office.
#2 Schedule out your day
Even though you may not be needing to arrive and leave the office at a certain time of the day, it is important to still contain your working hours to those times. Let employees know that the work day will still begin and end as scheduled to prevent any interruptions to work-life balance. Make sure your exit from the work environment at the end of the day is widely known to employees to minimize business leaking into your downtime. Don’t forget to give yourself a couple of short breaks throughout the day too!
#3 Extend your to-do list
Overcommitting yourself for a day may sound stressful, but it is a great strategy to keep yourself motivated. By making your to-do list seemingly more than you can take on in a usual day, it will help stray you from distractions. Whereas if it appears you have less to do, that next episode of Ozark can be pretty tempting. Use this as a challenge to see how much you can get done in your workday. If a few items don’t get completed, simply add them to the next day’s list.
Keeping Morale High
As a business owner and leader, one of your jobs is to help inspire those around you. It is no secret that remote working can limit facetime and human interaction with others which could lower company morale. This can easily be fixed by incorporating team building activities into the daily schedule. Bonding with your team over video conferences is a fun method to get to know your employees since quick chats by the water cooler are out of the picture. Below are some ideas for virtual team relationship building.
This classic game is a very simple one to play over video chat. Simply assign a new team member each week to research questions and have other members compete individually or in assigned teams. Groups can brainstorm answer options in separate chat rooms and shout the answers when time is up.
#2 Website Scavenger Hunt
This will be your first chance to test how your employees have truly explored your company’s website. Start up some friendly competition by prompting members to search the site for a certain customer’s testimonial or blog post. The winner surely gets some tech-savvy bragging rights.
Another oldie-but-goodie that has the ability to be played through the screen. Have team members pull up Whiteboard or a similar application and then share their screen on the video call when it is their turn to draw. You may be surprised by some of the artistic talent your employee’s possess - or lack thereof.
Remote working is seeming to be the way of the future as business owners become more creative in their practices and online tools grow. By adopting some of the practices above, you will be guaranteed to have a smooth transition for you and your employees into the remote workplace.