Telecommuting is a unique work plan that allows employees to perform official tasks remotely, at home or anywhere outside of their offices. Also known as e-commuting or teleworking, this work from home approach does not require commuting to a common workplace with distributed network and equipment. Rather, it requires the usage of more personalized resources such as a centralized network, a laptop, the internet and a telephone among others.
This implies that you can easily manage your work role even when you are outside the office premises. Most of the organizations provide the option of working from home to their workforce as an added benefit and compensation, a company policy or an employee engagement technique. It is out of concern that employers offer this kind of job flexibility and comfort in cases of health emergencies, transportation and other issues.
But sometimes, it comes at a cost and doesn’t turn out to be such a good idea! Problems like lack of communication, low accountability and security concerns are likely to come along as uninvited guests with telecommuting. One prevalent drawback of this thoughtful initiative is the hampered productivity that almost every company tries to fight. However, steps can be taken from both the ends, the employer’s and the employee’s, to make things work.
In this article, we will talk about 5 effective tips to conduct work from home without hampering productivity:
From An Employer’s Lens
- Plan the implementation beforehand
Don’t expect it to be a smooth ride if you are not prepared well enough! You need to do the planning in advance for obtaining the required output such as providing the necessary devices and credentials for login/ access, integrating an HRMS Software to mark attendance, installing tools to assign and track deliverables of the employees and so on.
- Select mode of communication
Apart from direct calls and messages, set up a centralized network shared with all the team members for a common point of contact. Now, be it conference calls or group chats, ensure that the ideas are easily shared and discussions are smoothly held on the chosen platform.
- Ensure security of device and data
Since reliability is a big issue in such cases, digital security is a must in telecommuting. So, make sure employees do not use their personal devices for official purposes. Also, keeping firewalls, internet protocols, restrictions, security guidelines, antivirus, encryption and other levels of software protection in place can avoid security issues.
- Take note of the expenses
At last, do not burn a hole in your pocket at the cost of your employees’ happiness! Ensure the implementation of a cost-effective HR software, low-budget devices and services used to orchestrate the work from home facility, of course without compromising productivity.
From An Employee’s Lens
- Pretend like you are in the office
Make arrangements as if it were a role-play and you were playing a working professional’s part for the time that you are on WFH! This means you need to get up, dress up, prepare an office bag and set the perfect mood to go to the office right in the morning.
- Choose a WiFi-enabled establishment
And then, don’t actually go to the office! But try to not remain indoors either, if suitable. Step outside and choose a coffee shop, a library or a coworking space that has good lighting, a positive environment and most importantly, a Wi-Fi connection (preferably free)!
- Define personal targets to meet
Apart from the daily tasks assigned, you should organize your work on a personal level too. With the intent of promoting employee engagement, employers sometimes go too easy on the targets. But, you must always keep the bigger picture in mind and try to push your limits every day to maintain good performance.
- Steer clear of distractions
While you are away from the office, you have to be your own boss! Keep track of time and try not to get swayed by external distractions. Decide on and follow short breaks, avoid using social media too much and don’t get into the trap of that ‘one quick check up on a friend!’ Or you will end up making a holiday out of the work from home opportunity.
So, the bottom line is, if you know your responsibilities well, both as an employer and as an employee, productivity won’t be a problem. You might as well bring better results to the table while enjoying the whole work from home experience.
Specifically in situations like the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, it is better to provide work from home facility to your workforce. In case it is not feasible, the need of the hour is to take strict precautionary measures at the workplace. See how: Corona virus Precautions.