In this piece, journalistÂ Ana Steele discusses ways that organisations can help their people get more from homeworking.
TheÂ rise of remote workÂ is perhaps one of the most welcome changes brought about by the pandemic. About two-thirds of UK adults are now working from home, and it is expected that this setup will last for quite some time. But while it is indeed the safer and more convenient option for companies, it isnâ€™t always the easiest for workers to stay productive. With that, here are a few ways you can help your remote worker colleagues be more productive:
â€¨â€¨Equip them with the right tools
If your company doesnâ€™t have the online tools to stay connected and work efficiently yet, now is the time to provide them with it. SensÃ©eâ€™s LiveDesk platform, for instance, provides contact centre homeworkers with a full suite of communication and collaboration tools, enabling them to communicate with colleagues, and receive online support from managers and experts, just as they would in a bricks and mortar centre. With LiveDesk, managers can create bulletins and alerts to immediately keep everyone up to speed with important events. Polls can also be made for quick feedback regarding anything â€”Â from team satisfaction to checking if important information has been read. For project management, Asana can handle large projects and complex teams. It even utilises Gantt timelines and has a project dashboard that shows tasks by status, priority, and assignee.
Encourage them to work ergonomically
Working at home should give your employees more control of their work environments – and you can point them in the right direction by suggesting they make their work spaces more ergonomic.Â An ergonomic workspace should be comfortableÂ enough for them to work in but not too relaxing that they might slack off like they would on their couch. Aside from the usual ergonomic chairs and tables, you can also encourage them to useÂ ergonomic accessoriesÂ â€” such as the right keyboard and angled mouse to ease the tension from their wrists due to typing all day. It may seem like a small change, but it can help prevent more serious problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, which will most definitely discourage them from being productive.
Set proper work hours
A key reason many people choose to work from home is to have a better life-work balance by fitting in work around their other daily priorities. If they donâ€™t plan for homeworking effectively though, the lines between work and personal life can get blurred, sometimes leading to employee burnout. Effective planning tools are therefore essential. Homeworkers must set proper work hours to maximize their days and fully clock out afterwards. SensÃ©eâ€™s TeamTonic helps make this possible by enabling contact centre homeworkers to self-select their workday hours (within parameters set by the centre) to achieve their desired life-work balance – while ensuring organisations can precisely meet customer demand without wasting resource.
Have a virtual co-working space
With entire days spent alone and in front of the computer screen, theÂ feeling of isolation can definitely creep inÂ for many remote professionals. Creating virtual co-working spaces however can lessen this feeling of loneliness. In addition to being a platform for supporting, training and providing guidance for homeworkers, SensÃ©eâ€™s LiveDesk is also a collaborative workspace with private chat areas where homeworkers can socialise during breaks. With colleagues visible online at all times, homeworkers know that they’re not alone. Employees may not get the experience of physically working together, but they are able to get a sense of community in these spaces. Other ways to improve the sense of community is to organise virtual games nights or give virtual shout-outs, so that all employees feel appreciated.
Coping with distractionsÂ is hard enough, but continually working when youâ€™re away from your peers is sometimes harder. However, these tips can help encourage your employees to stay productive.