6 ways to make telecommuting more suitable for your small business

6 ways to make telecommuting more suitable for your small business

6 ways to make telecommuting more suitable for your small business

Telecommuting after the office reopens after COVID-19 restrictions sounds attractive, but is this suitable for your small business? It depends on the business. Recent data obtained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Industry indicates that “63% of U.S. jobs require a lot of field work. “This means that if your business is primarily service-oriented (retail, hotel, trade-related, etc.), most of your employees may not be able to remotely work for a long time.

Fortunately, the remaining 37% of the work is fairly remote-friendly. For example, if your company provides professional services or hires people for administrative positions, permanent telecommuting is a very viable option.The key is to make it applicable not only to your business, but also to good For your business.

To recognize this year’s telecommuting staff thanks week (March 1Yingshi Until March 7th-this holiday is celebrated in the first week of March and coincides with March 3rdroad Alexander Graham Bell’s birthday) Here are six ways to make your small business better telecommuting.

Develop a remote work policy

The company’s CEO Laurel Farrer said that before you let everyone go home with a laptop and get permission to work in pajamas, it’s absolutely vital to develop a set of remote office guidelines. Everyone can reach a consensus. Distribution consulting, A remote work consulting company.

She said that this policy is a mutual agreement between employers and employees that clearly states what needs to be done to make remote work successful. Although policies are tailored for each company, they usually include things like communication expectations, working hours/meeting attendance, the type of office supplies and equipment on hand, and where to ask for help when technically difficult. The policy also provides opportunities to address topics such as work-life balance, sick leave, and the intersection of childcare and telecommuting. Take care of children).

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Did you sit down and write the policy yourself?No, Farrer said-you have to solicit suggestions and feedback from members of the telecommuting team because they have a vested interest in ensuring that the policy is feasible and sustainable (for business owners who need help formulating policies, Distribute provides Free downloadable list Let you start).

Avoid micro-management of remote workers

When your employees are working remotely, resist the urge to watch them work on a webcam to make sure they don’t take too much breaks and scroll Instagram at work. Likewise, don’t ask them to contact you multiple times a day or fill out lengthy status reports.

“Micro-management will only reduce productivity indicators and create a toxic culture,” Farrell said.

Instead, focus on the results, she said. Provide them with projects with deadlines—and the autonomy to meet those deadlines. Let them know when they need to provide updates (once a day is fine), and allow them to seek feedback or help when needed. You are still monitoring productivity, but in a non-mandatory and supportive way.

Join a team building event

Socializing in the lounge is an important part of office culture, and obviously if everyone works from home, this situation will disappear. But Farrell said that even if everyone is working remotely, friendship is still important.

“If you can’t talk about puppies, you can’t talk about profit margins,” Farrer said, explaining that when it comes to high-pressure topics, the ability to discuss low-pressure topics gives way to more effective communication.

She recommends devoting the first 10 minutes of the Zoom team meeting to small talk, or, if you use tools such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, create an “entertainment only” channel where employees can share their favorite recipes and talk about their weekend Plan or discuss the books they are reading (for example). You can even host virtual games such as trivia or bingo through Zoom, or have a team picnic in a local park (when/if outdoor group activities in your area are safe).

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“You give people the opportunity to become people, not just workers,” Farrell said.

Standardize technical tools for all telecommuters

Farrer said that when it comes to Zoom and Slack, if your team is remote, then all team members must use the same software and the same web-based tools for the same purpose.This means you actually need Tell What your employees need to install and/or download, and provide them if necessary. Do you have to go out and buy the latest and greatest software package for your industry? Absolutely not-many businesses can function normally by using e-mail and other basic tools. However, if team members do not use technical tools in a consistent way, your team will not be efficient. Even if some employees experience a learning curve in the beginning, your entire team will benefit in the long run.

In addition, please note that as a business owner, you are responsible for providing remote employees with the tools they need to complete their work. Therefore, if you decide that you need high-speed internet or a specific printer, be prepared to pay for it. Despite the cost, this will make telecommuting better for your business as a whole, because a) everyone will be able to work effectively and b) employees who work from home will feel valued (because they do have the ability to succeed).

Prioritize mental health

Although telecommuting has many advantages, there are also some disadvantages. For your employees, one of the main issues is the stress associated with social isolation (not to mention burnout-research shows that remote employees have been working a lot, and now they are investing more time than ever).

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As a small business owner, you can make your small business better telecommuting by recognizing the importance of mental health and encouraging your employees to take self-care, say Melissa Smith, remote work consultant and CEO of Virtual Assistant Association. She recommends providing benefits for your telecommuting staff, such as online yoga classes or subscribing to relaxation apps.

Providing mental health days from time to time, especially on Friday or Monday, is another great way to promote balance. Smith said that expressing your appreciation can also have an impact. For example, if your employees work late, you can provide a gift card for dinner, or send a bouquet of flowers just to say “thank you.”Smith explained that these gestures let your remote worker know that you saw them, even if you didn’t. Look them.

Recognize the difference between “Pandemic Remote” and “Conventional Remote”

Farrer said that in the end, it is important to understand that telecommuting in response to Covid-19 is somewhat different from normal telecommuting.

“What is happening now is not working remotely,” she said. “What is happening now is an international emergency plan for global disasters.”

What does this mean for the future of your small business? This means that at some point, things that have made telecommuting difficult in recent months (such as trying to help children with their homework while preparing important presentations) will no longer exist.This will enable you, a small business owner, to really hone the most suitable strategy yours Small business and yours people. result? Successful and efficient remote workforce.

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