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Working remotely: some things you should consider

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Posted by Maddison Brown on 18 Mar 2020

Working remotely is at the forefront of many companies’ minds, given the current situation globally.

To start off on the right foot, you need to have a structured and shared understanding of what will be expected during this time – both for the business and for the employees. So, whether you’re new to this notion or are a seasoned expert, there are a few things you need to consider.

Equip your staff

It goes without saying that people need the right tools for the job. Now is the time to ‘kit out’ your team with the technological necessities they require to do their jobs remotely. 

For most, a laptop, keyboard, mouse, and cell phone are the bare minimum, but you may want to consider a docking station with a monitor screen. n3 Supplier Noel Leeming has all the tech necessities you need to get your team up and running. 

Your team may even want to consider a desk and chair setup. n3 Members can get a great deal online at Office Furniture Warehouse.

For a one-stop-shop for both furniture and technology, check our n3 Supplier OfficeMax, with n3 pricing available in-store and online.  

Check your capabilities

Establish which staff can and can’t work remotely. Encourage your team to consider whether face to face meetings are necessary vs those that could be a phone call. Many companies run ‘trial’ working from home days to ensure the team is prepared to work from home if required. This also gives companies a great chance to test software capabilities.

Promote ‘digital unity’

In a time of ‘dividing the physical team’, it’s essential to align team spirit from the top-down.

Managers need to be involved in the remote working process, be available to answer questions and see that their teams’ needs are still being met, despite physical distance. There are several ways to allow team culture to thrive remotely, such as implementing a ‘chat’ software such as Microsoft Teams or Slack. This allows your employees to communicate with each other from wherever they are.

Communicate effectively from the top

Remind employees of their importance in the company and what the overall company mission is. In a time that anxiety could be heightened due to uncertainty, reduce anxiety by letting your employees know it will be business as usual, just in a different office: their home. 

Encourage engagement with regular hours and give your staff peace of mind around the company and its future. Encourage authentic and trusting answers from managers, not secrecy and segregation between senior managers and the rest of the staff.

Encourage innovation

Allow for 2-way communication from your team to ensure they feel as though their wishes and ideas are being heard. They may have an innovative approach to a task that needs to be undertaken in a remote setting for the first time. Allow them to pitch in with their ideas – but also ensure you set clear protocol around how tasks need to be managed if it differs to business as usual. 

Show empathy

Encourage an environment that offers support and care. Some individuals might be more isolated than others or have other external factors that could cause additional stress on top of a change to routine. Uncertainty breeds anxiety so take care to ensure your employees feel heard and support individual needs as required.

With more people working remotely, don't forget they can still access n3 pricing at many suppliers using the n3 Trade Card

Employment New Zealand has provided official guidance on workplace response to Coronavirus.

View the Employment New Zealand flexible working toolkit here.

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