<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Search
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

Tips for Business Owners and Employees Working from Home

Mar. 18, 2020 | Posted by The Alternative Board
working-from-home

The Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has changed virtually everything about the way business is conducted right now. For the vast majority of businesses across the U.S., this means shuttering workplaces and directing employees to work remotely from home.

Of course, the trend towards remote work has increased steadily over recent years. But the abrupt transition from office or warehouse to working from home has the potential to cause a slowdown in how business gets done—a genuine threat to a company’s livelihood during these uncertain times.

Here are tips for employers on how to ensure that their teams remain productive and that morale stays high:

Understand the challenges your employees face.

Managing remote workers is a lot easier if you understand the challenges your team members face. These include—but aren’t limited to—the following:

No face-to-face direction. Over time, without in-person interactions, employees can get the sense that their supervisors (also working remotely) aren’t on the same page as them, with respect to work expectations, deadlines, changes in processes, etc.

Hindered access to information. Obtaining information needed to move a project forward was often a simple process. Now, under remote working conditions, more time and energy may be needed to access critical information.

Misreading interpersonal communications. Employees in a shared workspace can sense (and work around) an individual who’s experiencing a difficult time and “will view a brusque email from them as a natural product of their stress,” as Harvard Business Review notes. Now, receiving such an email from a remote colleague, “you are more likely to take offense, or at a minimum to think poorly of your co-worker’s professionalism.”

Want additional insight? Download Productivity Hacks for Business Owners 

DOWNLOAD

Offer guidance about work-at-home challenges.

Sometimes employees are sent home with insufficient guidance about how to do their work remotely. It can be immensely helpful if you offer some guidelines about what to do next. Suggestions include the following:

Establish a dedicated workspace. Distractions can be a major threat to productivity in the home setting. Employees with children, for example, have to grapple with locating sufficient daycare (a real challenge these days). Recognizing this, employers should be understanding about the problems their employees face, but also encourage them to designate a specific area in their living space to work in order to minimize distractions. Obviously, this situation will differ from one employee to the next.

Support regular communications. It’s up to employers to leverage the power of digital technology to support ongoing communications. Mobile-enabled messaging is available for daily, informal communications; but just as importantly, managers should establish regularly scheduled contact with their team members. Text messaging, videoconferencing, and other tools can be used to:

  • Help work projects move forward.
  • Decrease employees’ sense of social isolation.
  • Generate time-sensitive solutions to problems as they occur.

Managers and employees should generate an agreed-upon set of communications rules, so as to reduce confusion or misguided instructions.

Encourage breaks from work. Your hard-working employees may need encouragement to take breaks in their new work environments. Motley Fool advises managers to tell employees to “get out of your workspace at times during the day.” This is more challenging in a time of widespread contagion, “but even a few breaks each day to take a walk around the block can make a huge difference to your attitude.”

Pay close attention to cybersecurity.

As if things weren’t difficult enough, “nasty opportunists are already using the Coronavirus as subject matter for their phishing scams,” notes ZDNet. These phishing schemes “try to create an impression of urgency in order to panic you into clicking on a link”—precisely the wrong thing to do under suspicious circumstances.

Here are some additional work-from-home cybersecurity measures to employ:

  • Instruct employees not to open any email attachment that looks suspicious.
  • Make sure security software is updated and strict anti-virus measures are taken.
  • Require employees to routinely backup their work (ideally, several times a day).
  • Offer as much offsite IT assistance as your resources permit.
  • Tell employees what to do in the event of a security breach.

No one needs reminding of the challenges we all face today. But by working together, employers and their teams can keep businesses going until our life/work conditions improve.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

When It’s Time To Sell Your Business
Jul. 15, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
After all the hard work that goes into starting and maintaining a business, deciding years later to sell that business can be among the biggest challenges in a CEO or business owner’s career. You’re...
A Guide For CEOs —11 Ways To Make An Impact In Your First 90 days
Jul. 13, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Your first 90 days as CEO will set the tone for your entire tenure in the organization. Therefore, this is a crucial time, and the goal is to establish your credibility and trust, so the team and the...
5 Ways To Keep Virtual Employees Motivated
Jun. 30, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The pandemic has created a new work order. Remote work is no longer considered uncharted territory. As companies worldwide are moving toward a virtual work environment, they are also struggling to...
Use Your Company Culture as a Competitive Advantage
May. 18, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Every business needs a competitive edge, whether it’s in the quality of their products or services, their dedication to customers, or some other aspect they can leverage to outdo their competitors....
How to Sell During Times of Uncertainty
May. 6, 2021 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
If your business is struggling right now, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to improve your sales. While there’s no guarantee that any specific strategy will accomplish this during...
Managing Family Business Conflicts
Apr. 29, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Small business owners and CEOs have plenty to contend with as part of their normal daily operations. When the business is family-owned, a different crop of challenges may emerge. That’s because “the...
Tips on Effective Business Succession Planning
Apr. 27, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
With many family businesses, the time to think about succession planning starts on Day One. It’s a complicated subject, sometimes fraught with emotional baggage, but is critically important,...
6 Tips on Making a Family Business Partnership Work
Apr. 20, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
We often hear stories about the difficulties of making a family business partnership successful. Yes, there are unique hurdles that differ from other types of business models, but with the right...
Time-Saving Tips for Hyper-Busy Business Leaders
Apr. 13, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
There may be only 24 hours in a day, but with effective time management, business leaders can get a lot done within that limited timeframe. The key is taking steps to eliminate clutter and...
How to Build Employee Culture with a Remote Team
Apr. 6, 2021 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
Whether your staff have been working from home for the past year or rotating between home and the office, there is no doubt that for most of us there has been a change in our working environment....