In this episode of PowerTalk Radio, Edward King of Alliance Career Training Covers some critical ways that business owners, leaders, and supervisors can be supporting their staff while working from home.
Listen to the full episode below:
“We see an incredible 42 percent of the U.S. labor force now working from home full-time.”Nicholas Bloom (Professor of Economics at Stanford University)
In many ways, this has made employees and staff happier and more productive than they’ve ever been. Many business owners and managers have been able to cut costs, improve teamwork, and increase efficiency across the board.
In other ways, working from home this year has presented some unique challenges:
- Blurring the lines between workspace, work-life, and home life.
- A lack of designated office space and proper technology.
- Unplanned interruptions.
- Dozens or hundreds of zoom calls in place of in-person meetings and conferences.
2020 has forced us and our families to turn our homes into multi-use spaces. Our office, conference rooms, call centers, classrooms, gyms, breakrooms, and more are now under one roof!
Why The Coffee Table Home Office Doesn’t Work for Your Staff
The coffeetable, kitchen-counter, or living-room-couch-home-office may have gotten your work from home employees through the first month or two of quarantine ––– but business owners quickly discovered that isn’t a viable long term solutions.
Consider this: What resources and equipment did your staff have in the office? What are they missing in their home office?
A powerful computer with multiple monitors, high-speed internet, work phones, ergonomic chairs, and the list goes on.
To keep your employees productive, healthy and happy ––– here are 13 Ways to Support Your Staff While Working From Home.
1. Top-Quality Desks for Working from Home
How effective do you think your staff can be if they’re working from their kitchen, living room, or bedroom?
The good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to give employees a desk they can actually work from home on.
Take a link at some of our top-rated work from home desks or browse Amazon for more ideas.
2. Invest in an Ergonomic Home Office Setup for Your Employees
Ergonomics are critical for health, productivity, and happiness. At the office, your team at least had:
Make sure they have the same while they are working from home.
3. Reliable High-Speed Internet for Work From Home Employees
More than likely, your office had unparalleled high-speed internet. It was robust enough to meet the high demands of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of employees working on it ––– simultaneously.
The truth is, your employees probably don’t have light-speed internet in their home.
What does it take to submarine your standard home internet connection?
One or two working spouses on different video conference calls while the kids use their laptops, smartphones, or tablet at the same time.
That’s all it takes.
Work from home employees NEED high-speed internet and a network they can count on. One that supports multiple users with high-demands and workloads.
4. Good Area For Cell Phone Coverage
There are few things worse than a dropped call with a coworker or client. In fact, phone service could be the difference between closing a deal and losing one.
Coverage from area to area can vary, so be sure to get your employees the best network for their home office .
5. High-Performance Computers For Working From Home
- Are your staff members working on outdated laptops?
- What kind of computers were they working on in the office?
- What performance specs do they need to get their work done?
Saving money on your office space and utilities?
Reinvest that in computers that increase work efficiency and capacity. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t skimp on, it’s your employees’ computers.
6. Using a Second Monitor While Working from Home
Recent research has shown working with a second screen (Dual Monitors) increases productivity by 20%- 30%.
Working with second screen is essential.
Having dual monitors cuts the time wasted from constantly opening and closing new tabs, windows, and programs. It makes projects that require multitasking smoother and much more efficient.
7. Invest in Your Employees Work Skills Career Training
In office, you could help your employees who need help catching fish.
Working from home has left most of them to fish for themselves.
They don’t have the ability to work over to a coworker or leaders desk for help or support. Make sure that you invest in the software and business skills your team needs to succeed while working from home.
Take a look at the full schedule of Virtual Classes and in-person career training courses we offer at ACTS. We are also offering brand new Career Development Bundles so your employees can get all of the:
In one package, with the flexibility to take them online or in-person.
8. High Quality Webcams for Working From Home
Built-in laptop cameras don’t always cut it when it comes to video-conferencing.
9. Invest in Home Office Lighting
Home office lighting is critical for having smooth video conference calls. This is particularly important if your employees are client-facing.
Take a look at:
10. Noise-Canceling Headphones for Working From Home
In the office, your team may have had their own offices, cubes, or walls.
They had physical barriers that eliminated distractions.
If they don’t have walls or a designated office area to separate them from the noisy distractions of home, they are going to need a little extra help getting into the zone.
A high quality pair of noise-canceling headphones will help, and here are some of our top choices.
11. Microphones For Working From Home
Unfortunately, noise-cancelling headphones aren’t all created equally –––especially when it comes to their built-in microphones.
A simple desktop microphone or lavalier mic can transform call audio quality from quiet or crackly to crystal-clear.
To make things even sweeter, you can find some high-quality work from home microphones for under $100 on Google and Amazon.
- “6 Of The Best Microphones For Home Offices” – Forbes
- “The 7 best microphones to help you sound better in your next video meeting” – Tech Republic
12. Standardized Hours While Working From Home
Throughout 2020, you may have found that it’s difficult to keep your work from home employees on a consistent schedule.
Obligations and unplanned interruptions at home bleed over into work hours, making it harder for employees to stick to their 8-4 and 9-5 schedules.
Flexible scheduling may be nice for your staff, but it can cause problems as well. Make sure that you and your team have established a clear and consistent work schedule that supports communication, execution, and collaboration.
13. Schedule Breaks and Lunches While Working From Home
With email, Slack, text, and your entire business network connected to your smartphone ––– it can seem impossible to disconnect.
Your employees can get overwhelmed, feeling like they are plugged-in, every waking hour of their day.
When your home is your office (and vice versa), it’s critical your employees schedule breaks in their workday.
Everyone needs time to clear their heads and recharge the batteries, throughout the workday before tackling the next big task or project.
If they had a lunch break in office, they need to block that out in their shared work calendar. This will let you and their team know when they are taking a designated break, and keep them accountable to it.
Scheduling breaks and lunches are essential for supporting the mental health, happiness, and productivity of your staff.
Why Training is Critical for Employees Working From Home
Many business owners and managers shy away from the monetary cost and time commitment of employee training.
What they don’t realize is that NOT training their staff is costing them more money and time than they realize.
Here are a few facts about employee training that might surprise you:
- Trained employees are happier and more ambitious than untrained employees.
- Training your employees leads to higher employee retention.
- Retaining employees is cheaper than hiring new ones.
- Trained employees work smarter, faster, and are more productive.
In addition, work from home employees who get the training they need are more independent and self-sufficient.
Getting help while working remotely is a challenge. Your employees can’t just walk over to you or a teammates desk when they need help with something.
Contact ACTS for Employee Training
Software and business training gives your team the skills and confidence they need to succeed while working from home.
Contact our team at Alliance Career Training today at 831-755-8200 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about software training and business skills training for your employees.