A few months ago less than 5 percent of the American workforce worked from home. Today, COVID-19 has made the arrangement a necessity for many as the businesses they work for aim to stay open amid shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders.
If you are an employer facing this new reality, your to-do list probably includes one urgent item after another. Ensuring that your employees thrive in a remote environment being at the top of the list.
Then you can address “the fun stuff,” explaining how making even a modest investment in office furniture can make a huge difference in how comfortable and productive they feel.
Put IT first
Like most businesses, we are reliant on technology to function properly. This reliance may take on an entirely new meaning with a mostly remote workforce placing new and usual demands on your computer system.
Since working remotely is not a possibility without a robust and reliable infrastructure, put “testing” on the top of your to-do list. Now is also the time to ensure that ancillary apps and software are installed for the people who will need them.
Some employees may not know what they will need. They may discover a more efficient method as time goes by. All employees working from home should have access to company email and teleconferencing technologies.
Cover the work bases
Fortifying confidence in your computer network can be a huge relief and allow you to move on to some important next steps, including:
- Assembling and distributing an employee contact information list. It should include work email addresses and personal cellphone numbers, too.
- Distributing the physical documents and materials your employees will need to work remotely.
- Conferring with each and every employee—or, in bigger companies, teams of employees—to ensure they have what they need, understand what is expected of them and know exactly who to consult when (not if) questions or problems arise during the work day.
For now, you may have no idea how long your company’s remote work model will last. Some companies are even using the experience as a test run, leaving open the possibility of offering remote work schedules after the current health crisis has passed.
No matter how long remote work drives your business, management experts agree that when employees are comfortable, they are happier. When they’re happier, they tend to be more productive. While you cannot mandate where your employees set up their remote work station, management experts say you can encourage them to:
- Designate a workspace outside of a typically busy room like the kitchen or family room and claim it as their own.
- Eliminate distractions (such as a TV) and improve necessary features (such as lighting).
- Invest what they can in making it comfortable—a chair and desk are office furniture necessities that most employees need to log a productive work day.
Like you, your employees may find themselves in unchartered territory. In this case, the design experts at Rightsize Facility can help. Call us for a consultation and we will help your employees set up an organized, remote office outfitted with office furniture that will help them equate WFH with their wonderful, functional headquarters.
Contact Rightsize Facility here.