With a new round of lockdowns in place, many staff have returned to work-from-home set ups.
And while we may all be used to these by now, it’s important to recognise that as employers, we have a responsibility to ensure the well being of our employees.
How do you do this while remote working is in place?
Our team has been working remotely since the first lockdowns, in March 2020. We moved through some initial hiccups to find that our team work just as effectively from home – so much so that we have chosen not to return to in-person working.
Here are our tips for ensuring your team stays focused, effective and healthy when they’re not in the office.
Short daily zoom meetings
We conduct short (20-30 mins, most days) meetings via zoom each morning, to help focus the team and ensure they have the space to raise issues. I lead by example, outlining what I have to work on that day, and any foreseeable issues on my radar. Each staff member can respond in kind, allowing us to stay in touch and help each other out, really regularly.
Friday afternoon drinks on zoom
In addition to our morning meetings, Friday afternoons at 4pm we have “happy hour” on zoom. This is a fun, social time for staff to enjoy a drink of their choice (tea as much as alcohol) and laugh together. In the absence of actual social contact that taking lunch breaks together or passing each other in the tea room can generate, this is a great way to ensure we’re all relating as people, not just as workers.
Ensure they have an ergonomic and effective at-home set up.
Nothing gets in the way of effective work more than a sore body from bad computer posture. Make sure your team have the equipment they need (chairs, foot rests, screen risers, plug-in keyboards etc that make working at home safe and comfortable. Also, if staff need extra cables, extension cords or double adapters, it can be a great gesture to offer to purchase those for your staff. You’re likely saving some money on electricity in your office, so this can help offset the cost.
Be generous to your staff.
However well they’re coping, staff are adapting to this change to keep benefiting your business. To that end, be generous with your staff. We sent various hampers and gifts to our staff through the first lockdown, to help remind them that they’re cared for and to ensure they don’t start working longer hours, just because they’re at home. We want our team to enjoy healthy work-life balance.
Discuss lockdown coping programs
If your team find it hard to be alone or cooped up in the house all day, spearhead daily team exercise challenges – a half hour walk at lunch time, a weekly commitment to doing an online workout or yoga class. Give people check-in buddies to report that they’re sticking to goals they’ve set for themselves.
Make sure your team have access to the business information they need to succeed
If you’re struggling to move your business to the cloud, or work out safe file storage for staff, it’s worth getting experts to help you. Moving to this modern way of accessing information is likely to be necessary in your future, so take this opportunity to really set your business up for a strong future.
Enjoy monthly team in-person days
While our team has continued to enjoy working from home, we do have a monthly team day in person. This enables everyone to stay connected, enjoy a lunch together and is really helpful for planning and review meetings.
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