As people get used to working from home, new challenges keep surfacing all the time. Whether you view it as a privilege or a necessary evil, one thing remains – it’s important to stay safe and adapt to the new landscape all while staying safe. To dissect the subject better, we’ve prepared a list of easily-digestible Dos and Don’ts that address the industry’s most important concerns.
Dos & Don’ts for Working from Home
Do: While Working from Home, Implement the Changes in a Gradual Manner
While this may not always be possible due to the ever-changing local conditions, in an ideal scenario, you should strive for gradual implementation rather than dropping the new system on your team members like a sack of bricks. This will allow them to get comfortable with it and resolve any questions as they appear without sinking into chaos.
Don’t: Mistake Time Tracking Software for Control
For the most part, time trackers come with built-in automatic screenshot taking. The purpose of these is to prove an employee has been working on work-related matters instead of hobbies or personal affairs. However, do not use it as a tool for fear-mongering and control. Otherwise, your employees are likely to put up resistance. Instead, explain why such a measure is important from the company’s perspective and educate them on how they can measure and improve their own productivity. Also, be sure to mention how time tracking software functions as proof of their contributions.
Do: While Working from Home, Implement the Proper Cybersecurity Measures
Working from home is convenient, but maintaining proper cyber hygiene should always remain a priority. To ensure that only the authorized personnel can access an online account, we recommend turning on 2FA. To secure the account even more, a password manager allows you to keep passwords long, varied, and complex without them being a burden on your memory. In cybersecurity, education goes a long way. For instance, you should train every employee to recognize the signs of a phishing attack.
Don’t: Expect Your Employees to Be Present All the Time (Unless Otherwise Agreed Upon)
Remote work brings its own set of challenges: keeping work organized when collaborating with people who may or may not share the same timezone with you. In other words, the expectations need to be clear about deliverables, schedules, and whatever applies to your line of work. While it’s within your discretion to hire the local professionals exclusively, realize that you may be missing out on the world’s top talent by doing so.
Do: While Working from Home, Provide a Reliable Communication Channel
Recognize that communication is key to accomplishing the objectives and keeping things running smoothly. Therefore, you need to find a proper communication channel through which the objectives will be communicated. You could opt for Zoom or another modern virtual conferencing solution, but the gist of it is to find a channel that suits everyone’s needs. You should also consider whether it makes sense to use additional communication channels and collaboration tools in conjunction with it. For example, Slack is widely used for written communication.
Don’t: Micromanage Your Remote Workers
Micromanaging feels like watching over someone’s shoulders, which translates to a lack of trust. As it goes without saying, this is not a good thing to keep the mutually-beneficial work relationship alive. Instead, give your remote workers a list of objectives as well as the tools necessary to complete them.
Do: While Working from Home, Know How to Define a Task
Stating that ‘person X should code the login page’ doesn’t tell the whole story. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- When do you expect the work to be done?
- What to do in case obstacles get in the way?
- Do you expect the coder to track individual steps?
- Who will take care of the communication between the company and the clients?
Unless these are laid out in a manner that’s crystal clear, the kind that leaves as little as possible to interpret, you are likely to encounter trouble. Therefore, dissecting the task into smaller segments and envisioning what lies ahead is instrumental in providing the proper guidelines that take the above into account.
Don’t: Leave Your Team Members in the Dark
It’s essential to be there for your team and offer support when they need it. At the same time, make sure to communicate this on your end, as no one wants to appear bothersome. Asking your team members how things are going and whether they need any help should be done from a guidance and aid; not micromanagement and control. Be open to suggestions and criticisms. And if one of the team members brings up a clever way of addressing an issue, start brainstorming on how to implement it (or bring it up to someone who can).
What to Keep in Mind When Working from Home
Working from home is a relatively young concept, so certain bumps in the road are to be expected. However, the great thing about this new normal is that most of these, if not all, can be addressed in a manner that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved. In the end, it’s the forward-thinking environment that modern technology allows us to create. And this is something to be embraced.
About the author:
Henny Kel is a digital marketer, brand consultant, and business strategist with Designhill, a reliable marketplace for logo design, business cards, web design, T-shirt printing, and other graphic design products. With extensive experience working both client side and within the agency environment, he has authored several articles on topics related to digital marketing, business strategies, and content marketing.