How to Manage a Work From Home Environment

How to Work From Home Efficiently – And Manage a Remote Workplace

Full and hybrid work-from-home environments have been around for a while, and the pandemic created a new awareness forcing many employers to seriously consider it as a recruiting and retention tool. Some also view it as a cost-saving measure to save on office space and related expenses as well as lower wage costs for employees benefiting from the flexibility and cost savings related to work commutes.

While some suggest working from home is the future, others think it is a passing fad. Every workplace is different, and in many cases, work-from-home environments can be managed with great success. Employer Support Services recommends some guidelines and processes to help employees work from home efficiently.

[Related: Onboarding a Remote Workforce]

How to Work from Home Efficiently: Write Detailed Job Descriptions

Thorough, well-established job descriptions are always good HR practices, especially when managing a remote workforce. Good job descriptions should be detailed, flexible, and at the same time, open-ended. Communicating expectations and holding employees accountable to those expectations is vital to a positive and productive working relationship.

a happy employee who is working from home

How to Work from Home Efficiently: Establish Accountability Measures

Since your employees are no longer in the office, keeping tabs on them and monitoring their output is increasingly difficult. While online monitoring solutions might seem like an easy fix to help your staff work from home efficiently, it actually does the opposite. Remote monitoring tools, such as software to view an employee’s computer as they work, have created feelings of distrust or performance anxiety among workforces.

However, employees are less likely to oppose being supervised if you have a workplace culture that values accountability and trust and you are upfront about employer oversight. As long as you show confidence in your employees and promote a culture of accountability, you can leverage tools such as service ticketing systems, email, phone, and task logs to help them work from home efficiently without causing anxiety.

How to Work from Home Efficiently: Encourage Communication and Collaboration

Depending on your workplace, teamwork and communication can be vital to your operations. Switching to a remote workplace can be a challenging transition for your staff as they can no longer communicate as they could in the office. Thankfully, tools and software are available to keep your staff engaged and collaborating and make working from home more efficient. Programs such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Flock, and Google Workspace keep your team connected through features like text messaging, screen sharing, and video conferencing.

You could schedule regular staff meetings for company updates or feedback. This could help make working from home more efficient as employees get daily, weekly, or monthly updates about their progress and are kept up-to-date with how their department or the company is growing.

When implementing these programs in your remote workplace, be mindful of how departments and individuals work with one another. Most employees work better and are more satisfied when they are actively engaged and collaborating with their supervisors and coworkers. Some, however, prefer to work in isolation. Understand each of your employee’s preferences and encourage online interaction when it is necessary.

two employees on an online conference call while one is working from home

How to Work from Home Efficiently: Implement New Policies

Making the switch from an office environment to working from home can be a challenging hurdle for your staff to overcome. To make the transition smoother and help your team work from home efficiently from day one, you should update policies in your handbook to address expectations of remote work. These policies could include the following:

  • Whether or not your employees need to be on camera during video meetings.
  • How to use new VOIP phone systems.
  • Employer access to employee computers, email accounts, call logs, etc.
  • Safety while working offsite.
  • How non-exempt employees can log their hours.

If you need help implementing new policies for an efficient work-from-home environment, contact Employer Support Services. We have professional human resource services to provide your company and staff with the necessary tools to improve productivity at home.

[Related: Is It Time to Review Your Employee Handbook?]

Contact Employer Support Services Today for Efficiency When Working from Home

Establishing a productive remote workforce can be challenging and may not be the best option for all employers. It does not have to be – to ensure success when improving efficiency in a work-from-home environment, call Employer Support Services. Our staff can help streamline your remote or hybrid operations while you adjust. Call us today at 225-364-3000.

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