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The challenges of working from home

Thanks to the internet, web-based applications and services we have all adapted to the new normal of remote working, but not without challenges.

With the global efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus companies have had to adapt by allowing staff to work from home. Companies around the world are making tough calls to prioritise employee safety and business continuity. Thanks to the internet, web-based applications and services we have all adapted to the new normal of remote working and embracing technology.

This did not happen without its challenges. Things like distractions, emotional challenges brought on by uncertainty, screen fatigue and lacking a routine are but a few of the challenges the remote workforce are faced with. Some of the things companies can do to assist their remote workforce are:

1. Create a work from home policy and consider some of the following factors to incorporate.

Review Operations. Determine what processes and procedures can be completed digitally. Explore alternative remote solutions for things like team meetings, data and internet security and certain departmental functions.

Evaluate Equipment. Make a list of the equipment employees need to get their work done and ensure they have all they need to work from home.

Plan Procedure. Figure out how the team will communicate with one another to stay on track to reach business goals. Think about how frequently group and individual check-ins should occur and how to monitor remote work performance.

Communicate. Let employees know about your new work from home policy and ask for their feedback. Employees want to be involved in organisational changes and involvement creates a feeling of shared ownership.

2. Emotionally support your staff by communicating some tips on how to cope with this new hybrid way of working.

Keep the Routine. It’s important in times like these to keep certain routines to minimize stress and maintain a sense of normalcy. It’ll also be easier to monitor remote work performance if employees are expected to be online during specific hours.

Open Communications. More than half of remote workers feel lonely. Checking in with colleagues, asking them how they’re doing with everything going on, sharing general information, asking about their families and hobbies, all of these things can increase social connectedness and stave off loneliness. Create WhatsApp groups for specific departments and use this tool to stay in touch or for quick group communication.

Encourage Work/Life Balance. Recommend that employees get ready for work like they would on any other day. Encourage them to designate a space for work and take breaks at regular times to get in the working mindset. It can be nice on occasion to work from bed in your pyjamas, but it’s not good for productivity or mental health to continue to do so for an extended period of time.
Let your staff know you care. Sending your staff the occasional gift to support them working from home is a good way to stay connected and show that you care during these difficult times.

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