Working from home is a big change for most of us and requires a lot of adjustment. There will be a lot of change from workload, to management, and to overall business structure. Unfortunately, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues it has become the new normal, so business owners have to find a way to make working from home easier on staff.
There are a lot of challenges working from home introduces that need to be addressed. These include communication gaps that arise, a feeling of lack of support, productivity difficulties, trouble accessing the required information and resources, and struggles with mental health. It is important, as an employer, to enact initiatives which can deal with these problems, or at least support staff through them.
Here are 5 things you can do to help your staff.
1. Get financial help
Employee retention is vital to ensuring staff morale remains high. With estimates putting job losses in Australia at over 1 million, according to Al Jazeera, having stable employment is at the top of everyone’s mind.
Fortunately, the Government has introduced a wide range of incentives to allow businesses to stay on their feet, keeping staff employed, and pushing through to get to the other side. It is within the best interests of the Australian economy for jobs to remain stable, so the Government is working hard to ensure businesses stay standing.
Seeking this financial assistance in order to retain your staff will go a long way to improving morale, productivity, and their mental health.
2. Always be transparent
You should aim to be transparent with your team through this time so they do not feel confused and left in the dark. It is important that you keep your team up to date, letting them know about any changes or developments. Your team is there to help you, they want to work with you to keep the business afloat so giving them the information they need to adapt to any changes in the future will help out your business as a whole. They may also have some good ideas that can help you adapt and stay strong.
3. Ensure your team has the right equipment
Getting employees set up right at home can help not only their productivity but their mental and physical health too. Make sure they have all the programs and hardware they need to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. Ensure they have headsets, a work phone, a laptop or desktop computer, keyboard, mouse, and an extra screen. Remember, if you have to purchase these items you may be able to claim them within the instant asset write-off which has an extended threshold to $150,000.
You should also make sure you staff are working in as ergonomic conditions as possible. This is important to their physical health and can help in reducing fatigue during the day. Encourage your staff to make sure their workspace is as ergonomic and free from distractions as possible.
4. Keep roles and routines
Having an established routine disrupted suddenly will have negative effects on your team’s productivity, morale and mental health. It is vital then, that you establish roles and routines from the get-go when you start working from home. This will make the transition far easier for your employees to adjust to.
Set up an established platform for communication like Zoom or Slack, and use a team planner so your entire team can see what each other is doing and when they are free. You should also establish lunch schedules and make sure you employees take breaks away from computer throughout the day.
5. Check in daily
As a part of your team’s daily routine you should also set up daily check-ins. This will allow a time for the team to report on any problems that may have arisen or new tasks that needs completing. The team will be able to collaborate more effectively having this time to communicate.
It will also help with team bonding, allowing them to talk and discuss what is going on around them and in their lives. To further improve team bonding and morale, schedule virtual fun times that are not work related. Host virtual trivia, games, yoga sessions and more. Having a laugh and time to unwind can help your team’s mental health.
Focusing on employee health and well being is vital to helping your business withstand through the crisis. Encouraging regular virtual contact amongst your team, setting routines, and looking for as much stability as possible during these times will help keep your team motivated and happy. Remember to work with your team to search for solutions that re best for them, yourself, and your business.
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