TOP 6 TIPS ON HOME-WORKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
- Focus on outputs rather than hours
For most people setting up a temporary home office arrangement will be, by definition, temporary i.e. working on the kitchen table, in the corner of the lounge etc. They are also likely to have interruptions such as children, students and others who may also be in the house working from home. Sitting down at a desk from 8.30 to 5pm Monday to Friday could often be impractical.
As such focus on outputs rather than hours of work e.g. Make X number of calls per day, process Y number of invoices, call back within Z timeframe
Some members of your team may find it easier to work in the evenings (which can be a quieter time with fewer interruptions), but others may prefer to aim for working set hours.
- Respect down-time
Try to get a handle on your teams likely work times at home and have a team email outlining best times for colleagues to call. Respect your workers need for their personal time after work to avoid them feeling that they are “on-call” 24/7
- Schedule regular catch-ups
Keeping in touch is critical during this period. Group conferences by phone or video conferencing are ideal, though not always possible. But touching base on a daily basis with every member of the team will help
- a) the business owner feel reassured that things are on-track and
- b) the employees feel they are valued
- Learn as you go
This is a time of adjustment for everyone, so take on board ideas and feedback from your team. What are they struggling to get access to, and can you make access easier? What challenges are individuals facing, and can you resolve this? Some simple examples may be:
- Physical file access – can these be made available on-line? Can you utilise cloud-based sharing such as dropbox/Sharepoint with access to these from their home computers?
- Printer access – if they don’t have a printer at home, can you buy them one? A quick google search shows they are as cheap as $40
- Talk to your IT person, they will probably have some ideas about how to adapt your current systems to facilitate work from home arrangements.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This is probably the most critical point, E-mail communication is best for basic work communication, but you lose many of the nuances of face to face communication, so utilise phone calls, Videoconferencing (Skype/Zoom etc)
- Ensure staff are informed correctly about COVID-19
Following The Prime Minister’s address to the nation Saturday 21 March, ask all staff to refer to the government information website: covid19.govt.nz for all the information and advice from the Government regarding COVID-19 and how it will affect New Zealanders, and keep informed of any escalation of the COVID-19 alter system, and what is required.