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- 7 Ways to Help Employees Continue Working Remotely
COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn shook the world up and changed some lives and businesses forever. Many companies across almost every industry turned to work-from-home options to keep employees safe. As states emerge from lockdown, companies can get caught in transition, bringing some workers back to the office while others remain at home.
If you have employees who prefer to stay home longer, it’s important to support their decision to stay in quarantine and work remotely. As an employer, you can support remote employees in several ways that will increase their productivity and maintain their well-being while promoting a positive mindset. Here are a few of them.
Help Them Manage Finances
When times are uncertain, it can be tricky juggling your finances. It’s important to make sure you have enough to cover your monthly bills, while still saving up for a potential emergency. Help employees manage their finances by ensuring they know how to set up a budget and check their credit scores. Having good credit can help save money on interest for car loans and mortgages.
If your employees’ credit scores aren’t where they should be, make sure they know how to establish better credit. Inform employees of any incentive programs your company offers that can help them save or spend less.
Offer Emotional Support
Working from home can be lonely, even when colleagues are available by phone or email. It’s important to stay in contact with work-from-home employees to ensure they have access to the resources they need. Regular wellness check-ins are a great way to gauge their morale and overall mental state. Be sure that workers have access to mental health resources offered by your company, so they can speak with a professional if the stress of working from home becomes a challenge.
Beef Up Your Tech
Even with the best home office setups, working remotely can be difficult. Make sure you support your employees with the technology they need: from upgrading their internet speed to allowing additional hardware purchases for a comfier setup. Sometimes, having an additional monitor or an ergonomic chair can do wonders to increase employee productivity.
Being forced into quarantine can disrupt even the strongest relationships between employees and clients. Now is the perfect time to start rebuilding those longstanding relationships. Sending personalized gifts with your company’s name and logo is a great way to keep in touch. Sending a useful gift with your company’s image on it will help keep your company fresh in your clients’ minds.
Throughout quarantine, flexibility has been the name of the game as we adjust to emerging information and changing restrictions. Be sure to maintain flexibility with employees who choose to work from home. Keep in mind that many employees are trying to juggle their workloads while children or spouses are at home, too.
What might that look like? Hours may need to be shifted, conference calls may look a little different, and the workflow may need to be adjusted as employees settle into working from home indefinitely. Keep an open mind, and remember: Everything is looking a little different these days, and that’s OK.
Get a Fresh Start
Clearing out clutter so you have enough room to spread out is a great way to make sure you’re able to work productively at home, especially if you’re trying to set up a permanent work-from-home office. Many people are even turning to dumpster rentals to clear out the unnecessary clutter once and for all.
Dumpster use has become a popular trend during quarantine, spurred by hands-free rental procedures. Simply call to have your dumpster delivered, then dispose of your waste, and sit back as it’s hauled away — all without any physical contact. If your company is able to do so, help cover the cost of the rentals so your employees can start with a clean slate.
Encourage Remote Sociability
At companies where employees are still working from home, the distance and lack of social connection can be a challenge. As an employer, you can help by encouraging remote social interactions between your employees. Use one of the available video-conferencing software platforms to set up a time each week or each month for your team to get together and chat in an informal setting.
Host a virtual happy hour or simply a discussion to allow people to vent about the challenges of working remotely. You never know when one of your employees might be able to help out a co-worker who’s struggling to work from home.
No matter how you look at it, the work world has turned upside down. Companies are re-evaluating how they’ve done business in the past, including how they’ve treated and cared for individual employees. It’s important to remember that, even as restrictions are being lifted, not everyone will be comfortable returning to a centralized workplace so soon. Many employees are choosing to continue working from home for their own safety and well-being.
Helping employees with their mental health, providing technical support for their home offices, and assisting with increased technology capacity are excellent ways you can support your remote employees as they continue to work from home and contribute to the well-being of your company.
About the Author
Jessica Larson has started and run several small businesses and shares what she’s learned through The Solopreneur Journal.