Please see our Work from Home guide for you to share with your teams. We hope you find this useful.
As society enters yet another phase of a global pandemic, professionals and business owners are still learning to effectively work, live, and adapt to this new environment. As a business owner, you have been forced to navigate an extremely unprecedented time, while considering your future, your employees, and your business.
Although this is all still very new and overwhelming, it’s important to recognize that your perseverance has allowed many people to continue to get paid and support their families while you continue to reach your professional goals. By taking some time to review these tips, you can continue to find ways to prioritize the health and wellbeing of your employees, which in turn, will foster a team structure dedicated to helping your business grow amidst this difficult time.
- Allow for Schedule Adaptations and Flex Work Hours
Adapting to a work from home setting might sound initially convenient, however, the reality is that many professionals find it difficult to remain engaged, productive, and free from outside distraction. While in an office setting you can typically focus on your tasks with minimal interruptions, working at home might welcome slight distractions such as kids asking for help, phone calls, maintenance issues, noisy neighbors, and general concentration issues.
Allowing your employees to decide when they can be the most productive can allow for them to be happier and more on task when they are working. Parents for example might have extra time early in the morning before kids are up and late in the evening during homework time to catch up on some extra work. Others might prefer to stick to their normal routine and get a majority of their work done from 9-5 as they would in the office. Especially in a fully remote work situation, if you don’t adopt this style of flexibility, you are actually going to be missing out on major benefits from your employees due to the rigid work structure that might not be conducive to all employees. Although the communication between employer and employee might require some alteration for a flex schedule, this trust and convenience given out will likely show in the quality of work your employees are able to produce.
- Suggest Employees Designate Specific Work Hours
With a flexible schedule comes the idea that there should be some structure when it comes to working hours to avoid overworking your employees or requiring them to be “on-call” at all times of the day. One way to respect this type of schedule is asking employees to submit their business hours at the beginning of the day or week so everyone at the company, including yourself, knows when they are on the clock and when they are off. In addition, if you have a company chat system you can encourage employees to set their status to designate when they are available for conversation, when they are in meetings, and when they are attending to personal matters.
- Encourage Future Protection and Financial Security
This period of uncertainty has promoted many individuals to look ahead at their future and get a better handle on their financial situation—if that was not already a priority before the pandemic. One way to show your employees that you care about their future is to encourage them to review life insurance policy options and select a plan that can protect them in the case of an unexpected circumstance. During this time when individuals have so little impact during something like a global health crisis, controlling variables in their own life is more critical than ever. Taking the time to provide resources to your employees to help them protect their family and loved ones will go a long way in their trust, appreciation, and dedication to you as a business owner.
- Provide Continued Education for Career Goals
As employees adapt to working remotely, there is a chance that professional growth is slowed due to the lack of personal connection and opportunities for advancement. In order to keep your employees motivated and excited to grow with the company, you can provide continued education opportunities and online training programs. Support collaboration across teams that can help grow certain areas of the business as well as streamline common practices.
Consider having managers and senior personnel speak or record virtual learning sessions for the rest of your employees to watch. Along with that, you can be transparent with your employees when it comes to their value and specific talents that might help direct their career path. Given the right information and tools, your remote workforce can thrive and feel more connected with a sense of purpose in the profession.
- Create Groups for Hobbies & Interests Outside Work
One way to encourage internal connection and communication within your company is to allow your employees room to bond outside of just work conversations. Supporting employees in their hobbies, family, and passions outside of their work can promote a healthy work-life balance and help employees feel confident to share more of themselves with the company. By creating groups dedicated to certain activities or interests, you can encourage employees to connect on a deeper level. Allowing them this space to grow and bond will benefit your overall company connection and support a great sense of team.
- Support Company Health and Wellness Opportunities
Health and wellness topics have become much more of a priority over the last few months compared to ever before. It’s likely that you have made some changes or taken measures to support the overall health of your family and loved ones. This lifestyle change might include regularly cleaning and organizing your home, doing more outdoor activities, trying virtual workouts, family bonding, self-care, and more. Once again, as a business owner, you can impact the lives of your employees by encouraging them to partake in regular activities that support their emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
You might even promote positive mental health habits by suggesting your employees take mental breaks during the day. This might include a walk, yoga, time to make a nutritious lunch, or simply take some time away from screens. Burnout is real and can happen even when employees are working from the comfort of their homes. Due to the stress and pressure of this time, employees might feel the need to push past their mental limits in order to produce—hindering their work performance and health in the long run. Setting an example as a business owner of what it means to maintain work-life balance and encourage healthy habits during the workday will help your employees adopt similar practices that work for their lifestyle.
As the world continues to take on this new version of normal work and life, there are ways to continue to grow your business and employee base personally and professionally. As a business leader, you have the ability to encourage positive change, habits, and future planning for your employees. Doing so will help promote a successful workforce of satisfied employees learning to navigate work and life together.
Feedback and comments are always welcome. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also connect with me via LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/jpodonnell2.
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