Covid-19 has thrown us a curveball. Suddenly, more people are working from home because of this virus and the fear of spreading it. This new "workplace" can be a challenge for both an employee not used to doing their work from home and the manager who doesn't have experience managing from afar. With some minor adjustments, you may find it to be more productive. Take advantage of the time working from home.
Over my 30+ years of working experience, I have worked both from home and the office. Sometimes it was a choice. A other times, it was forced because there wasn't an office to go to for work. Truthfully, my favorite was a mix of both. That's because I am a people person, an extrovert who gets energy from being around others. But that can also be a distraction from getting the work done.
For managers of people who wonder what work is getting done, don't fret. You'll be able to detect your workers vs. those that take advantage of the situation. In my last role at Delta Airlines, I led a global team from my home in Brighton, Michigan. There was a rep in the UK, one in Salt Lake City, and everywhere in-between. In just a short time, I was able to tell what work was getting done and what wasn't. You may find that working from home is much more productive. With some of today's technology, you can get the benefit of online conferencing for meetings and more productivity from team members working in isolation.
Tips for working from home:
- Find a place that is quiet where you can set up your home office. Your office should be comfortable with a desk, chair, computer, and any supplies you would typically need at the office.
- Keep distractions limited. Make sure that the family knows this is a workplace. Just because you are home does not mean you are not working.
- Arm yourself with the right technology. Your cell phone can easily be used to communicate and is very common, even in the office environment. A WiFi connection, something most homes have today, can keep you accessible. Utilize video conferencing software. There are many options out there. This will keep you connected face-to-face when you can't be in the same room.
- Take precautions on security. Unfortunately, we live in a world where hackers are trying to get into our computers. Many of our home devices are not secure to protect company data. Because of this, I recommend you check with your IT specialist on the best way to protect your data.
- Seize the opportunity for planning. With many people at home working and not engaging face-to-face with customers, this may result in more available time. This is an excellent time for business planning. Develop a solid plan for what you will do in the next year to recover lost revenues due to slower business or shutdowns.
Take advantage of the time you and your employees may be working from home. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. We are happy to help. Most importantly, be sure to keep yourself, your employees, customers, and families all safe and healthy.