As more people in the workplace have transitioned that workplace to home, managers are adapting to the best practices for remote work and how to support their employees. McKinsey reports that 50% of individuals intend to continue either remote work or hybrid work. So what are the best ways to support remote workers? The following tips should help.
1. Give your employees office equipment
This may not have been a top priority if you sent employees home in 2020 expecting for it to be for a couple of weeks, but at this point in time it should be. To be productive and successful, you need the tools to make work comfortable and accessible at home. Providing an employee stipend for them to furnish their office or get things like a monitor, keyboard and proper lighting will go a long way in how an employee feels when working, and certainly you don't want them to feel as if they're just lounging at home.
2. Check in and Review
Provide your remote employees a chance to voice how working from home is going. Are they finding it difficult to stay motivated? Are they feeling left out compared to the in-office employees? Do they feel like it's hard to compete or stay on par with the employees who do come in? Or are they absolutely loving it? Do they feel like it provides them with a better work-life balance? If you don't ask them how it's going, you won't know what to change or continue with. To be a good manager, you want to be able to support employees however they need. You can ask them in a meeting or you can use an anonymous survey.
3. Don't watch the clock
When it comes to remote employees, do yourself and them a favor and allow for some flexibility. Are they being productive? Turning in assignments on time? Going above and beyond? Then don't worry if they take a bit longer to get back to your email or if they don't clock in a strict 9-5 schedule. A major benefit of working from home, according to The New York Times, is that workers feel a sense of autonomy. They can go to their workout class in the middle of the day and still finish up their work on a high note. They can work around meetings, throw in a load of laundry, and pick up their kids from school. This might mean they work longer hours sometimes, but as long as they're producing, you shouldn't require strict rules.
4. Provide the opportunity to communicate
In the world of remote work, email isn't sufficient. Employees should have access to an instant messaging platform that allows for less formal conversation like Slack or Zoom chat. You can keep the number of emails to a minimum without losing the ability to chat, like in the office.
A supported remote employee is a productive remote employee. By following these steps, you can help them find success.
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