How Small Business Owners Can Stay Productive Whilst Working from Home
COVID-19 has definitely impacted businesses and industries all around the world, with some even being forced to shut down or slow production. Most businesses have asked their employees to start working from home to prevent the spread of this virus and keep the company functioning.
A lot of people may have enjoyed working from home as it provides them the flexibility they are looking for, whilst having the comfort of their own space. According to a survey, 77% of remote workers improved their productivity whilst working from their home, and 30% said that they accomplished more in less time.
Despite this, most businesses do not have policies in place for remote work, meaning they may have been ill-prepared when the pandemic struck. Perhaps large-scale enterprises can survive through this economic downturn, but it is the small business owners that are bearing the brunt of the virus.
How can a small business owner salvage their business whilst keeping their employees safe? How can small business owners and their employees stay productive during social distancing? That is exactly what we are going to find out in this article, whilst providing focus and clear advice for those who have been working at home for months already.
Choose Your Work Space
Start off by choosing a comfortable spot in your home that enables you to work remotely without any distractions. Not only can it isolate you from distractions, but it can also prevent intrusions from other family members. Once you’ve found that area that fosters productivity, stick with it. You may feel the need to switch it up in different rooms of the house for a change of scenery, but this isn’t always the most effective solution.
Matt Haughey, creator of a popular community blog shares his experience when he said, “I started doing this kind of work sitting at a desk in the middle of my living room… and it was a pain to stay on task and not get interrupted.” After setting up a home office area, he realised “It definitely helps if you have a dedicated space for working from home.”
Plan and Prepare
If your business lacks remote working procedures, then you should create them. When working from home, creating a structured daily schedule is critical for success. Think about the roles that can be partially or completely remote, and whether you have access to tools and technologies in order to complete tasks efficiently.
This can be a computer, software, and apps or a high-speed internet connection which is pivotal when you are working from home. The easier you make it, the smoother the transition will be.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Just because your employees are working remotely does not mean that you should not communicate with them. In fact, you need to communicate more often, replacing face to face interaction with video conferencing tools such as Skype or Zoom.
Most modern communication tools allow you to communicate in real-time. If the number of employees is lower, schedule calls with line managers to review progress. This will make sure that your projects stay on track and don’t get derailed.
Establish Trust And Accountability
Organisational culture plays an important role because when you start working remotely, you can distance yourself without even noticing. There is a big difference between working in your office and working from home. Not only are your employees communicating and collaborating virtually but they also feel more liberated.
That is why it is important to build trust. Managers should trust their team members to do the job and avoid micromanaging as it can be counterproductive. Once your remote workers trust you, they will present themselves for accountability.
Take Some Time Off
According to a survey conducted by Airtasker, remote employees tend to work 1.4 more days every month than their office-based counterparts. This might not seem that much of a difference but when you see it on a yearly basis, that totals three additional weeks per year.
Moreover, 29% of remote employees said that they struggle with maintaining a healthy work-life balance. That is why it is important to take some frequent breaks throughout the day. Take a 20-minute break after working for 90 minutes. This will recharge your batteries and help you stay focused.
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