This pandemic has changed our lives significantly. No one had ever imagined that they would be caged inside for months and do all their work from home. The caging thing apart but if we talk about the things from a corporate perspective, then none of us would have thought that the firms would consider permanent or even long-duration work from homes. However, things have changed now and whether we like it or not, work from home has become the new normal for most of us.
However, work from home has its own set of benefits and disadvantages. One can work productively while giving full-fledged time to their family and home. A work from home model also saves time and stress of commuting to the office. One can spend more time with their family. It helps in focusing on the work properly as it avoids the distractions that are faced in the workplace. Ideally speaking, the entire work from home idea comes with a lot of benefits
But it comes with its set of challenges too. Let us look at a few of them.
A Few Challenges
Working at home might solve the problem of workplace distractions, but the place where the employee is working can be a big distraction too. There may be disturbing noise of the children or people at home. The sound of the TV or other home appliances can also be disruptive.
Another challenge is that there are no specific working hours for the employees. So, they work as per their convenience and comfort, which poses a problem for the employer to keep track of the work and reduces efficiency.
Being away from the workplace can erode the relationship between the employee and the employer. This reduces productivity and leads to trust issues.
It is therefore imperative that such routine and policy should be adopted by the employer so that they can maximise the benefits and minimise the challenges rising from work from home which helps the employees to be as productive and efficient at home as they were at the workplace.
The employers, therefore should think of ways to keep the employees connected and also increase employee engagement- even more so now since they aren’t physically connected as much now. Let’s discuss some of the ways that the employer can adopt to keep the employees productive while working from home.
The Key Things to do
1.Maintain separate workspace at home
The managers should encourage their employees to set up a separate workstation at their homes for better productivity. They can make use of some free areas like a storeroom or rooftop where they can work comfortably. Having a different workspace helps the employees in concentrating on their work entirely and also avoids any kind of distractions at home. This promotes increased productivity among employees.
2. Staying connected and keeping track
It becomes quite difficult while working from home. The managers should analyse this situation and equip the team with technology and productivity tools, Giving them access to project management tools so that they can work effectively is one way to go about it. Ensure that the computers are in a working condition if the employees want to bring them home for work. Many firms like TCS, Amazon, Infosys etc have actually helped the employees have a dedicated workplace at their home.
It needs to be seen that there is a proper internet connection with good speed as well so that work can be carried on smoothly without interruptions. The software should be up to date, and adequate training should be provided to employees to understand the working of the same since there will not be the IT team helping them out all the time.
3. To keep track of the daily work
Regular check-ins must be done via productivity tools and apps. This can be done by connecting with the employees over a video call, messenger, or chat is essential to ensure belongingness at the workplace. Virtual office hours can be set where the employees can connect with the manager and report the working for the day. To maintain a personal touch, weekly meetings can be conducted through google meet, zoom or Skype.
4. The employer should place their trust in the employees
They should have faith that the work given to their employees will be done efficiently. The employer must communicate and keep a track so that both of them are on the same page. But it should be done in a very sophisticated and calm manner. Employees should not feel that they are being monitored continuously or scrutinised for their work. As an employer, they should build trust in their employees to help them be more productive.
5. The employer should be flexible with their employees
Apart from giving them the facility of work from home, giving them flexible working hours to complete their work. Apart from the 9 to 5 office routine, they should be trusted on completing their tasks outside of this standard time. This will ensure better employee engagement and productivity.
6. Ensure proper traning
Working from home doesn’t mean that the employees will not be given an upgrade in their skills or provided training. The employer should ensure that they are getting opportunities to upgrade their skills for career development and growth of the organisation. It is the responsibility of the employees to keep their employees informed about their performance, so that they can improvise upon it and strive to do better.
Appreciating your employees for the tasks allotted to them will help in building an excellent reputation of the organisation and encourage the employees to be more productive and happy. The appreciation can be done by sending a mail or a letter to the employee for their excellent performance.
At times when we are all dealing with anxieties and ups and downs because of the pandemic, it is essential that employees feel safe at their workplace. Although work from home is the new normal, it is vital to keep the employees happy and pleasant at their workplace. We are sure that this blog piece helped put in perspective some ideas that can help the employer to ensure that work from home also becomes as productive and fun as the office was before this pandemic.
See Also: What Should HR Know About Mental Health?