We know many of you at our client facilities are on the front lines of healthcare, protecting the most vulnerable among us, without the ability to work from home (“WFH”). We also know that, with visitors banned and non-essential personnel limited, many of the back-office team members may be working from home for the first time – reluctant, untrained, and unsure of how to navigate these unchartered waters.
Since we opened our virtual firm eight years ago, we have learned a thing or two about how to successfully operate and work remotely. It isn’t always easy – especially when it is sprung upon you unexpectedly. But as some of your business and corporate office staff transition to WFH workforce, we thought you may benefit from some tried-and-true tips on how to navigate this transition:
- Environment: Allow your employees to work the way that works best for them. At a desk, on the couch, outside… or any combination thereof. One of the perks of teleworking is that employees can get comfortable and move around – even if their space is limited.
- Schedule: Ask employees to be available during standard work hours, but if they are energized to get some work done off hours, then embrace it. When home and office lines get blurry, it’s important to ensure balance. Don’t make the mistake of asking employees to put in too few, or too many hours.
- Connectivity: Stay connected, just because your employees are no longer in the office, doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t reach out and check in with them. Especially now – utilize email, messaging or even pick up the phone (it’s just like riding a bike) and find out how your work family is holding up. Encourage them to do the same for their colleagues.
- Communication: Communicate, and don’t be afraid to over communicate to avoid misunderstandings. We take a lot of our cues from body language and tone and working remotely minimizes the ability for us to do this. Set the tone by being more animated in your written communication with employees – as silly as it may seem emojis can help set the tone of an email (friendly emojis, that is). Encourage employees to do the same.
- Boundaries: Ask employees to set expectations in their household. It’s likely that they have other family members also at home and navigating work and family time is difficult. Encourage them to carve out some time for check-ins during the day and take a break to go for a walk outside or have lunch with their family members. It will give everyone something to look forward to daily.
- Prepare & Learn: The adaptations we are experiencing today will prepare us for the future. Consider asking your team to keep notes on what would have made their remote work more productive and evaluate your ability to implement this for the future.
- Tools & Technology: We utilize many tools to maximize a virtual workforce, and recommend you research and find the ones that work for you. Some of our favorites for employers – Zoom, GoToWebinar, Vonage, Dropbox, Bonusly and ScanSnap (scanners)!
- Grace: Above all else, be kind and full of grace during this period of transition. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to increase productivity and well-being. Most of our daily routines have been disheveled and as a result we need to adapt. While we cannot control the situation, we can control our response to it – so do your best to embrace the positive aspects of remote work and #staywell.