9 Do’s and Don’ts When Employees Work From Home

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, companies across a wide range of industries have employees working from home. In addition to being a necessary precaution for small businesses dealing with coronavirus, allowing employees to work from home can improve their loyalty and satisfaction, serve as a reward and motivation and even save you money on utilities and office space. But to maximize the benefits of remote work, it’s important to follow a few do’s and don’ts.

  • Don’t expect remote workers to be at their desks 9 to 5.

The whole point of remote work during the coronavirus crisis is to enable flexibility for your team while protecting their health. Be understanding of the fact that many employees have children out of school and range of new responsibilities to attend to at varying times.

  • Do set clear expectations for remote workers.

Remote workers should know what to expect in terms of job requirements. For instance, you may want remote workers to be available during certain “core hours” of the day to answer calls or interact with other employees and then give them flexible hours the rest of the time. Include expectations for remote workers in your employee handbook.

  • Do make a plan for regular communication. 

Communication is the key to the success of any remote work program. Choose how and when your team will communicate while working remotely. For instance, you may want to have a regular Monday morning conference call or a daily 10-minute check-in. Outside of that, will email, chat or some type of project management app be your preferred communication method?

  • Don’t micromanage remote workers.

No one likes to be micromanaged, and employees who are working remotely may feel you don’t trust them if you are always looking over their shoulders. Give remote workers tasks to do, make sure they have the tools to do them and let them handle the details of how they plan to accomplish those tasks.

  • Do occasionally assess your work-at-home program.

Don’t let remote workers drift without direction. While you shouldn’t micromanage them, you should check in occasionally to see how things are going and if they need help or guidance. Also regularly assess how well the work-at-home program is functioning, take suggestions from employees and make any needed changes.

  • Don’t neglect cybersecurity measures.

Working from home can expose your business to cybersecurity risks when employees use unsecured home computers or networks. Protect your business by making sure any cloud-based file sharing and storage apps employees use have security measures appropriate to your industry. Make your website secure, set up two-factor authentication to log in to your networks and use a virtual private network (VPN) for access to your business files.

  • Be mindful of first-time remote workers. 

This is a challenging time for many employees, especially those who are working from home for the first time. Stay in close communication with your remote workers and make sure they have the tools they need to be effective while working from home.

  • Do put the right technology in place.

From videoconferencing tools and project management software to chat apps, there are plenty of options to help streamline virtual communication with your remote workers (Zoom is one popular option). In addition to these tools, consider providing remote workers with up-to-date, appropriate hardware (such as laptops, headsets and mobile devices)—it will help boost their productivity wherever they are.

  • Make sure your website is up to date. 

Small business owners, in particular, should ensure that their website and related listings feature accurate information and function correctly. Look into upgrading your web hosting, or, if necessary, consider creating a new website that matches your requirements today.

Originally published on web.com

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