Working from home used to be a luxury only a few could enjoy. The pandemic changed that, and remote work is here to stay for many. Businesses should accept this reality and work towards making it pleasurable for employees to succeed. Here are a few ways you can make remote work work for your business by utilizing technology.
Motivate your employees to create a productive workspace
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could be something as simple as converting a spare bedroom to a home office. However, the most important thing is to make sure their work area is peaceful and quiet.
This is where noise-canceling headphones are a huge advantage. It’s important to choose headsets that also provide a better audio experience for video calls.
By reducing environmental distractions, headphones will surprise employees with their productive results. Hence, it will allow them to focus more on the day’s work activities.
In order to stay productive, the work environment must be motivating as well. If possible, choose a location that has direct sunlight and the ability to see the world around you. Staring at the same, enclosed four walls can break your spirit and motivation.
Set up appropriate work technology at home
Obvious items like a reliable computer come to mind, but there is other technology you need to have at home to be productive. You and your employees may take some of these for granted because they’re usually in the office. However, working from home means employees have to take care of these items by themselves:
- Battery backup: Offices usually have a means of maintaining an uninterrupted power supply. If you don’t want to lose unsaved work while working from home in case of an unexpected power outage, then you need to invest in a battery backup. Ideally, buy the type that will hold power for at least 30 minutes.
- Wireless Access Point (WAP): The advantage of having a dedicated WAP, that is separate from your router/firewall, is that it allows you to extend the range of your WiFi reach. Therefore, you can move around freely in your home and work from whatever room you choose to.
- Firewall: Not mixing business with pleasure also applies to your home and work devices. A separate work firewall will help you separate your official work devices from your home ones on your network.
- Cloud services for remote desktop access: While working remotely, you might need to have access to files stored on local office computers. Ensure your employees have tools that can grant access to any workplace desktop using any device, or the appropriate means to access files stored at the office.
Make sure your team has the right tools for security
Having an internet connection is important. However, it isn’t enough to be productive. You also need to make sure your employees have safety protocols to follow and secure technology to use.
Your company communication must remain safe, but in this work-from-home environment, your team is spread out everywhere. So, it’s wise for companies to use virtual private networks (VPNs). These provide protection for employees through encryption.
The right resources will help your team have a better work-from-home experience, and they’ll be more focused and productive when they know their data and communications are secure.
In addition, the appropriate anti-virus software must be used and the Windows Updates need to stay up-to-date in order to patch vulnerabilities.
Encourage your workers to get a routine
Most people are creatures of habit, so try to have meetings at constant times. You may also suggest digital voice assistants to help them with working from home. Your employees can use them to remind them of upcoming events on their schedule. Even creating a to-do list and storing it in digital calendars can be effective.
By establishing a routine and using technology to keep up with it, your employees can feel like they are on a more normal schedule, allowing them to find their working groove and be productive.
Stay in touch with them while working from home
Out of sight doesn’t have to mean out of mind. Communicating with your people is important to give them a sense of belonging, especially now in this distanced environment. The good news is that there is now a lot of technology that helps bring people closer together.
For instance, it pays to invest in reliable video technology with all of the virtual meetings you have to schedule for your team.
Video conferencing systems let you maintain “face-to-face” interactions that help your employees feel like part of the team.
Virtual hangouts are also ideal for connecting through fun and celebratory events. You can use this technology for virtual happy hours to give everyone a sense of belonging. Casual drinking and playing games can happen via virtual hangouts to maintain a spirit of office camaraderie.
For other daily communication that doesn’t require videos or official meetings, you can invest in intranets where staff members can post messages, share files and goof around once in a while.
A simple, free tool like Microsoft Teams allows individual and group chat, voice, screen-share, and video conferencing.
Break time is important
Taking a break is crucial. It enables your staff to recharge and put things into proper perspective. Tell them to use their breaks to get away from their desks and work computers to prevent burnout. Also, regular breaks help avoid computer-related injuries like eye strain.
For the workaholics among them, you can invest in technology to ensure they take their breaks in their entirety. For example, there are apps that can lock your employees out of their computers for 60 minutes.
Consider making it a policy to use time management apps
This doesn’t have to be a company-wide policy, but you should consider it for employees who struggle to stay on task while working from home.
There are some great productivity apps that help people track the amount of time spend on a task. Some also contain features that minimize distractions by blocking social media.
If your employees are spending too much time on repetitive tasks, then it might be time to consider using some automation tools as well.
Working from home: The takeaway
Remote work has now become critical to business success. Therefore, you need to find ways to make it as smooth for your workers as possible.
Contact IT Architechs to learn more about how we can help you boost the productivity of your workers and help them have a better work-from-home experience.