The covid-19 pandemic prompted huge numbers of workers to try their hands at working from home – and many small businesses are looking to allow workers to continue the practice even after the virus has gone away. Most workers report that being allowed to work from home has improved their lives. It means less time spent travelling from place to place, and more flexibility in fitting working life around personal life.
So how can small businesses adapt to this new way of doing things?
Communication is key.
Maintaining social interaction while in isolation can be difficult. This is a problem for reasons of mental well-being, but it can also limit efficacy. We can get across a lot more with a face-to-face conversation than we can with a round of emails. Thus it’s worth regularly reviewing the arrangement via a quick telephone call, and seeing whether there are any problems to be addressed.
Ensure you have the correct tech.
If remote work is to be effective, then workers will need access to all of the same tools they use when they’re actually in the office. This means a reliable internet connection, as well as any specialist hardware required for a particular role. For some workers, it might be worth investing in additional computers for remote use. Productivity apps like Trello and Slack can also be hugely useful if large numbers of remote workers are going to be collaborating on the same project – but they’re no substitute for regular meetings.
Be careful of injuries in your own home.
No-win, no-fee solicitors have claimed that the most dangerous place in the home is the Kitchen – though this could change slightly if working from home arrangements become commonplace. While it might seem like a strange concern, accidents are actually more common in the home than they are in the workplace. The average office space will generally be kept clear and free of clutter, as there will be a dedicated cleaning staff to stay on top of the problem. Accidents are statistically most likely to occur in the home, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. And this likelihood will only increase if workers spend more of their time at home. Thus those allowed to work from home should be instructed to maintain a level of housekeeping similar to that which is expected of them at work.