With all of the increasing regulations and precautions surrounding COVID-19, you might be wondering how to handle your recently reorganized remote working staff. Managing a virtual team is quite different from overseeing employees in the office, but you can still ensure a smooth transition for yourself and your staff with the right steps.
Use this guide to help everyone get acclimated to their new remote roles in the ever-changing workforce.
Before you move your team online, it’s important to understand a few of the major changes you’re likely to experience. Telecommuting has a few basic requirements, so employees and managers will need to be flexible when it comes to the equipment they use and how their workday is organized.
If you’re uncertain about your team’s capacity to work from home, you’ll be pleased to know that most things can be transferred from the office to their home office.
If an employee cannot bring their office setup home, determine if their work can be completed using personal devices. In many cases, using a secure remote desktop environment is sufficient and easily installed.
Whether your employees are working on company computers or their own devices, ensure that their anti-virus protection and information security protocols are effective and up-to-date. Performing regular updates and using security software is key to protecting your proprietary company information from unsecured wi-fi networks, unauthorized users, and infected links.
Employees are drawn to telecommuting because of the flexibility it provides, allowing them to maintain a better work-life balance. But, working remotely doesn’t come without its fair share of problems.
Here are are a few issues you can expect to encounter during your virtual rollout, and how to handle them:
The biggest strip of red tape you’re likely to come across during your rollout will be due to the absence of any physical interaction with your employees. So, you won’t be able to “keep an eye” on them as easily as in the office.
Fortunately, technology provides a few different solutions for that major problem. With employee monitoring software, you can watch employee activity in a different way – while still achieving similar results as with in-office methods.
Browser monitoring and web page blocking is an effective way to reduce distractions. Tracking employee behaviors online and through internal communication channels can also help to prevent issues with morale and attitude management – which can even affect virtual workers.
As a result of the lack of supervision, you’re probably worried about keeping your employees on track. The comfort of being at home plus the new distractions that are about to be added into their daily routine could equal a big shift in production and productivity. But, it doesn’t have to.
Implement a new system that will allow you to check in regularly with your team, either by chat, video conference, phone call, or email. Determine what works best for you and your team, and try to be as relaxed as possible. Your employees will already have to adjust to this new work structure, and you don’t want to seem like your only concern is spying on their online behaviors.
As for any reputable business owner, the wellbeing of your employees should be your top priority. This includes their mental state, which can be greatly influenced by their individual work environments.
For many people, the freedom and privilege of working remotely come at a cost. Spending too much time alone can cause a variety of problems, from reduced concentration to emotional instability.
To prevent your teammates from falling into a solo slump, make sure everyone is staying connected throughout the day. Using communication tools like chat, email, and video calling will help everyone stay present and on the same page.
Don’t forget to spend some time talking about off-hours topics, since telecommuting eliminates your ability to chat with your coworkers and blow off steam throughout the day. Adding some layman language to your group chat can also help to boost morale while reducing the level of sterility that’s often seeping through work emails.
Working from home poses another question for managers: How can you prevent employees from getting distracted?
For workers who are typing away from their couch or balcony, it can be all too tempting to venture off to that load of laundry or focus too closely on the TV that’s playing “in the background.” Distractions are inevitable, but they can be mitigated with the right tools.
If you haven’t already, set up keystroke monitoring, so your employees know from the beginning that their work is going to be monitored. Set guidelines for checking in, touching base, and providing updates about pending projects. This keeps employees focused on the task at hand, since they’ll need to comply with established timelines and due dates. This also helps you stay organized and updated on current work objectives. Just remember that communication is fundamental, and you’ll need to provide support to help your team get started with any new process or system.
One of the primary concerns that managers face when considering a work-from-home scenario is their ability to gauge worker productivity and accountability. Working from home is full of distractions that aren’t present in the workplace, so it’s important to make sure that employees are spending their time wisely on the clock.
Employee monitoring software is a simple, easy-to-install solution that allows you to oversee a wide range of data points regarding worker efficiency and production. Typical features include:
Overseeing what your employees are doing during work hours will help you resolve many of the common drawbacks that come with working offsite. You can still boost morale, review production metrics, gauge productivity, and enforce accountability from your laptop.
Making the shift to a remote workplace is a major adjustment, but your team will be up and running in no time with our cutting-edge computer monitoring software. Try it for your team today!