remote working

Remote working: Seven ways to adapt

The world is in the midst of a crisis, the like of which it hasn’t seen for a long while, and our ways of working as organisations are tremendously impacted.

One factor that many businesses will be struggling with right now is having their employees adapt to remote working.

With that in mind, how can your business prepare for what could be months of disruption?

Many businesses won’t be used to having their entire workforce working virtually. It may take managers – and team members – some time to adjust to the new situation, especially when they will have other concerns.

As we have a well-established process and routine for managing a remote working model, we wanted to share seven ways that business leadership and team managers can make the transition easier for everyone.

  1. Establish a set of working standards. For example, provide guidance on sticking to morning routines and getting ready as if the employee were going to the physical office. It will help people get and stay in the work mindset. A morning catch-up call over video call can help with this.
  2. Provide employees with some guidance on creating a workspace that they can use every day (and let them know what equipment they’ll need). They may have to pack everything up when it’s time for them to log off (unless they have a dedicated room), but this will help create a work-home divide.
  3. Ask them to set boundaries with loved ones around work time. But also understand that, given the situation, it’s natural for people to be in touch with friends and family from time-to-time.
  4. Model behaviour around breaks. When working from home becomes a more long-term situation, you can forget to take breaks. You can start to think that you always need to be at your desk so you don’t miss a call. Managers need to tell their teams that taking breaks is expected, and they need to model this behaviour themselves.
  5. Keep the team connected. Teams need to stay connected for collaboration, and to ensure that the company culture continues to thrive. But working from home can also be lonely for some people. Businesses should have systems in place to keep employees connected while they are virtual working.
  6. People will still get sick when they’re working from home. If they’re well enough to work, that’s great, but sometimes they won’t be. Your team needs to know that they can still call in sick when they need to; that they don’t need to tough it out. 
  7. Do what you can to keep people connected to the company and the culture. Do this by over-communicating, being consistent in the tools and processes you want people to use and follow, and by keeping managers and other leaders accessible and empathetic.  

The global pandemic is forcing organisations to change the way they work, and it’s creating other crises that organisations have to deal with. Collaboration and support throughout the company is more important than ever right now, as teams work together to overcome the challenges that businesses are facing.

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