As we see the vaccine roll out begin, you could feel Australian businesses take a small sigh of relief. While the battle is ongoing a small war has been won. With this, we are seeing more and more people going back to work.
After working from home for so long, some people were keen just to see some friendly faces again. Even as we are slowly shifting back to old ways, there is no doubt that there will be a much larger portion of people working remotely, working from home and generally much less time spent in the office.
The big end of town has embraced the positive press with their ability to let their workforce work flexibly. Spotify announced that they will let their whole workforce work from anywhere, forever. This is easier said than done for a lot of businesses. Especially those who aren’t as big and well equipped as Spotify.
Running your own business is hard enough at the best of times. When you factor in the challenges of allowing people to work from home it can only get harder. Here are three tips to help any business owner or manager support their people as we adjust to modern working.
- Know Your People
The most important thing to do, even before you had so many people working from home is understanding your people. Easier said than done, understanding your people is vital to support them working from home. Things you need to consider are:
- How do they like to learn new things?
- How do they like to communicate?
- How do they react to change?
- How do they like to receive feedback?
- What frustrates them?
Something to think about to help your team work cohesively and happily from home is to look at group psychometric assessments that can be done. Psychometric assessments can not only be fun for a team remotely, they can help managers and business owners learn more about their people. Something like a HBDI assessment is a very good place to start. HBDI looks at how people like to think focusing on four core quadrants, Analytical, Experimental, Practical and Relational.
Where you work has a big impact on how you work. A nulab study found that 72% of people weren’t working from a dedicated space and 4.2% even admitted to mostly working in a chair with their laptop on their lap!
While you can’t always impact this one, encourage and assist your people when you can to ensure they are working in a good environment to work.
Home is where the heart is, it isn’t and wasn’t always where the work is! Simple things like screen risers, ergonomic keyboards and mice can have a great impact quickly. Long term, having a dedicated workspace is ideal to help separate work time and life time when it happens to be in the same building.
Work gives us a lot of structure. We generally get there at the same time, leave at the same time, go to the same place every day, get coffee at the same shop, probably at the same time and see the same people. When you work from home a lot of that structure you have maintained for a long time, is gone!
While you can’t help with everything. However, ensuring you provide as much structure as possible from a work perspective you will help provide stability and predictability so your people can be more productive and enjoy working from home. A few things to bring into your daily/weekly and monthly structure are:
- Hold regular team meetings
- Ensure regular one on ones are held
- Set individual goals
When it comes to meetings, there is a balance with all things but over communicating is nearly always better than under communicating. Try and keep your meetings short, to the point with clear direction and outcomes to be achieved.
Most importantly, no matter what you do, make sure you do it! The worst thing in the world you can do is set a one on one and be late (or even worse again!) postpone.
Navigating a world of working from home is everyone’s responsibility. Do what you can to make sure you give yourself, your business and your staff the best chance of making it work!