How to support employees working from home

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As the year goes on and we are nearing the end of 2020, it’s safe to assume many employees will continue working remotely. As a business owner, it’s within your best interest to make sure you know how to support employees working from home.

Unfortunately, some businesses have had to lay off employees who weren’t able to work remotely due to not having the necessary technology & resources. In this article, we’ll provide a few helpful tips and ways you can support your employees while keeping a strong and trustworthy business relationship.

There are plenty of resources out there to make remote working successful and productive for you and your team.

1.      Make sure everyone is set up with the right technology and resources

Having the required technology to run a business and manage a team from home is essential. Check that your employees have what they need. You can help by lending them spare office equipment to use while working from home if they do not have their own. After all, if no one is in the office using it, why not set up your team with existing, reliable resources rather than losing an employee altogether.

Work with IT leaders who can assist in providing resources. 

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2.      Schedule video conferencing team meetings

Team meetings should remain normal. Having one-on-one discussions with your team keeps things running smoothly and opens a door for them to express any difficulties they may be facing. For the employees that struggle to make decisions on their own, use this as an opportunity to be there for support but also don’t overdo it and encourage them to work independently without much guidance and it’ll boost their confidence!

Platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Google Meet make video conferencing with multiple users easier than ever. 

3.      Communication is key

If you have any employees who are quite dependent on your guidance and need a bit of “hand-holding”, keep an open communication option such as a team WhatsApp group. However, encourage them to only reach out if it’s really necessary. It’s also beneficial to get coworkers to work together and communicate to solve problems rather than quickly come to you.

4.      Set boundaries

This is a very important one. Setting the boundary between normal work hours and home life may be a struggle in the beginning. It can be tempting to message your employees and ask them to “quickly check and respond to that customer email” because you know they’re online and have access to their pc and internet. Don’t do it! Building a comfortable work from home environment for your team means no overstepping work hours into their and your time! 

A flexible schedule is beneficial for your whole team. According to a report by Buffer on the state of remote work in 2020, 32% of people say having a flexible schedule is the biggest benefit of working remotely. 

5.      Be lenient and understanding

Remote working includes a set of distractions or interruptions you wouldn’t have in a working office. Think curious little minds wandering into the room while mom or dad is in a video meeting, or a pet crying for attention in the background. Whatever the interruption, be understanding with your employees. Encourage them to take a 15-minute break to check on family members or go outside for some fresh air. If an employee needs to run out for a family emergency, understand it could happen to anyone at any time.

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Conclusion

There are numerous ways to successfully support employees working from home. First and foremost, make sure your team has access to resources, docs, cloud folders and all equipment necessary to get the job done without setbacks.

Communicate with your team frequently. Make use of platforms such as Google Meet, Skype, and Zoom to have virtual meetings, discussions, work feedback and training sessions.

Trusting your employees and not overstepping the boundaries is the key to successfully supporting remote working employees.