Workplace Culture

What are some standard guidelines for working at home?

By Staff Report

Oct. 10, 2020

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Set your team up for success:

Managers should meet with employees to determine how work and job requirements can be done remotely from home either full time or certain days of the week.

  • Consider the effect of working at home on customers, co-workers and management.
  • Determine technological needs and agree on securing the tools and appropriate training to ensure productivity at home.
  • Establish measurable performance goals and expectations.
  • Discuss concerns and potential challenges of working virtually and ways to address these issues.
  • Determine a process for regular check-in meetings to discuss how the virtual work arrangement is working – for you and the business.
  • Check in frequently to discuss how things are going and determine how to overcome challenges that may be identified.

Set employees up for success – at home

Help employees set up an appropriate workspace that is separate and distinct from their “home space” and conducive to working effectively without interruptions. Make sure:

  • Employees design their workspace for efficiency, with all the documents and materials they need.
  • Urge them to create a healthy workspace – good light, comfortable temperature, standing desk, ergonomic adjustable chair, computer keyboard and mouse suited to their needs, telephone headset, etc.
  • Make sure they set boundaries with family members.
  • Ensure family members understand that although they are home, they are working.
  • Establish ground rules for work hours, interruptions, noise, etc.

Focus on performance and results

Be clear on employee priorities, focusing on the expectations, tasks and responsibilities agreed upon as measures of success.

Managers and employers should be proactive in regular communications between managers, coworkers and customers to stay connected and resolve issues as they arise.

Ensure that your accomplishments, project status, outcomes and deliverables are visible as appropriate. It’s important to avoid being out of sight, out of mind.

Invite and encourage feedback from co-workers, management and customers about how a virtual work arrangement is affecting them.

Learn more: The Workforce.com platform offers plenty of features to support remote teams.

Remote workers should be accessible, responsive and reliable

Utilize appropriate communication methods so employees can stay connected with managers, co-workers and customers.

Update their email, voicemail greeting, staff calendar etc. on a regular basis with a schedule, availability (or not) and contact information.

Checking all communications platforms and voicemail frequently is imperative.

Both employers and employees can demonstrate trustworthiness by being predictable, reliable, taking promises seriously and following through on commitments.

Managing work and preserving time for life is crucial

Remote workers should find ways to “disengage” from work and have quality personal time when traditional boundaries between work and home life are no longer clear.

Set reasonable limits to work hours and determine how to meet work requirements and still preserve personal time.

Build in short breaks and work during periods of peak energy.

For Workforce.com users there are features on our platform available to keep communication lines open during this difficult time. Chat with your staff, schedule according to operational changes, manage leave, clock in and out remotely, and communicate changes through custom events, among other things.

Source: Diane Burrus, WFD Consulting, Waltham, Massachusetts, April 4, 2013.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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