Managing a Remote Workforce During Lockdown: A Guide

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After the year that we have had, we can safely say that the workplace’s standard and more traditional ideals have changed forever. With more people working from home than ever before, you have inevitably had to manage your workforce remotely for most of this year. For some, this was a complicated process, especially if you have never had any of your workforce working from home before.

For others, this was merely a transition and an adjustment, but one that is still ongoing; there are high levels of uncertainty regarding when workplaces will return to ‘normal.’ It can be challenging to know how to manage a workforce, especially if you do not know where to begin, but fear not, for this is where we can help. We have compiled a helpful guide of things to remember when managing a remote workforce. Have confidence in your decision making and read on for more.

Make Sure They Have the Equipment Necessary

This goes without saying, but you cannot expect your workforce to their job correctly if they do not have the right means or equipment to be doing so. For those people who have been working from home since the beginning of lockdown, they are sure to have the right equipment already. But, if you are an employer who has recently brought on some new staff, you will need to ensure that your new starters have the means necessary. Will you be purchasing and providing the equipment for them, or will this be something they will need to access themselves? This should be clear from the word go and should be explained to the new starters right from the application process. While this mainly includes the equipment itself, it is not restricted to just that; employees will also require access to any necessary software and programmes that they might need. This leads us to our next point.

Support for the Wider Team

While it can be challenging to maintain the same communication levels that you would generally have in an office environment while working from home, it is certainly something that must be kept up, even while apart and away from the traditional working environment. Ensuring that each member of your team is as supported as possible is vital for ensuring that work is being completed to as high a standard as possible. What’s more, checking in and making sure that your employee manages their workload – and other things – okay, they are sure to appreciate, mainly if they live alone and feel a bit isolated.

Ensuring that there is access to internal resources is also essential. You don’t want your employee stuck at home with a computer that won’t work and no way of fixing it; that is sure to slow down productivity levels! If you are a business owner who is implementing access to resources for your employees, consider outsourcing some of the roles to other businesses, particularly when it comes to IT support and other related things. Not only does this take the burden off you – if you were managing and overseeing this yourself – but it also enables you to save money on the equipment that you would need to do the job thoroughly. If you are in the position where you are looking to hire an external company to oversee aspects of your business such as this, consider IT support from companies like Impreza IT. They are an example of a business that provides IT support in Kent and beyond and have packages available to suit several budgets. To find out more information about how you can make their services work for you, head to their website.

Set Out Clear Guidelines

This is especially important when wanting to make sure that your employees are switching off at the end of the day, which has been made a lot more difficult when working from home. It is easy to say ‘just five more minutes’ when finishing up a report. That’s no different to five extra minutes in the office, right? While this is true to a certain degree, it is crucial that your employees are switching off and turning off at the end of the workday and that the boundaries between home and working life are respected, even when working from home. Around 40% of people working from home struggle to switch off, so ensure that your employees are getting the downtime they deserve.

Most of all, ensure that your employees are looked after during this uncertain time. With redundancies hitting a new, record high, making your employees feel valued and cared for is sure to make them feel at ease. And who is to say Zoom is just for work meetings?! Have your weekly pub social online to keep the office’s social aspect alive, and don’t forget about those infamous quizzes too! 

 

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Adam Tanton

Adam Tanton

Adam is a partner in B2BNN with over 15 years experience in the enterprise technology field.