There are many advantages to working from home, but settling in and figuring out how to stay productive remotely can take a bit of getting used to, both for you and your team. That’s where providing guidelines and a work from home policy comes in handy.
Investing in a reliable remote working communications platform will also help make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Because while every business is different, most share one common factor – they rely on effortless communication. We know that working from home removes the ease of turning to a nearby co-worker and asking them a question.
So in this article, we take you through the steps to recreate that connection remotely. Keep reading for work from home ideas that’ll get your team ready to leave the office behind.
Why are work from home policy guidelines and tools essential?
Almost overnight, the impact of COVID-19 restrictions meant remote working went from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘need to have’. Given how quickly businesses had to adapt, it’s not surprising that many Australians have struggled with some aspects of their new work from home jobs – around half of the respondents in one report said their biggest concerns are technology and lack of team culture.
By implementing work from home agreement guidelines, along with the right resources and technology, you’ll help prepare your staff. Your guidelines form the foundation for communicating how to work from home effectively, enabling your team to navigate the pros and cons, making the most of their new setup. It can include anything from setting core business hours to work from home ergonomics; it’s all about finding the right way of working for you and your staff.
Here are just a few benefits of setting guidelines through a work from home policy for your team:
The tools to communicate virtually
Recreating a sense of office culture at home requires reliable communications that allow you to chat easily with colleagues. When establishing a work from home policy for your business, think about the tools your team members need to do their job.
Options are endless when it comes to communications technology, but using multiple platforms to engage virtually can often hold up the natural flow of work. It takes time for people to familiarise themselves with new software. Remembering to check for notifications across various different portals and apps can sometimes mean things are missed or forgotten.
In one simple and secure solution, RingCentral’s suite of communications tools offers you all the work from home essentials. From instant messaging, video conferencing, and phone calls to a digital engagement platform and apps, RingCentral gives you all the tools you need to work together, from anywhere.
Support for families working from home with kids
Traditionally, one of the most common reasons to work from home was caring for young children. The option to work remotely allows parents to be more flexible with their hours and balance childcare with work obligations more easily.
Setting core business hour guidelines helps work from home mums and dads understand when and how they can be flexible with their workdays. For example, if core work hours are 10am-3pm, parents can opt to start earlier and finish in time to pick up their child from school.
The health and safety of employees
Making the move from office to home comes with considerations around your staff’s health, safety, and wellbeing that you may have taken for granted before.
The first one being a proper desk setup. Offices are usually equipped to support the correct posture for working at a desk. However, with your employees working from home, you won’t necessarily know what their desk space or seating looks like. With clear work from home ergonomic guidelines your staff will be armed with the information they need to minimise the risk of injuries, or to let you know if they require additional support.
Another important consideration is how working from home affects mental health. Many Australians have found it hard to switch off while working from home, as the line between their personal and work space is blurred.
When working remotely, it can be difficult for employers to see if staff are struggling. That’s why it’s worth including regular, informal video meetings in your guidelines. Video meetings let you recreate face-to-face contact between team members, as well as managers and employees. Not only will it help maintain team bonds, but it creates an opportunity to check in with staff to see how they’re doing. For more tips, read our work from home mental health survival guide.
Download our tips for creating work from home guidelines
Whatever industry you’re in, and whatever the size of your business, there is a cloud communications solution to transform office-based roles to work from home jobs. With everything you need in one beautiful, easy-to-use app, RingCentral reimagines business communications, empowering people to work more efficiently wherever they are based.
In our guide, we’ve looked in more detail at multiple ways to prepare your business for the challenges of working from home and provided tips to help you get off to the right start, including:
- Four steps to getting set up with remote working
- How to activate a remote team overnight
- Transitioning from in-office culture to remote culture
- Eight working from home hacks for employees
Why every business in Australia needs to be work from home ready
Australians are no strangers to the idea of remote working with one in five employees working from home regularly even before the pandemic. But now so many more people have experienced the benefits firsthand, it’s not surprising that interest in work from home jobs is on the rise.
Over 80% of respondents to the Life after lockdown survey said they think employees should be allowed to continue working from home post COVID-19. In another survey, 75% of workers stated they believe employers will support future work from home opportunities.
With many compelling reasons to work from home, including productivity being positively affected in many cases, businesses need to shift their model to incorporate a work from home policy – or risk being left behind. As expectations among the workforce change, businesses that don’t offer the flexibility of work from home opportunities could see the best talent pass them over for competitors who do offer remote working as a key benefit.
With many compelling reasons to work from home, including productivity being positively affected in many cases, businesses need to shift their model to incorporate a work from home policy – or risk being left behind. Click To Tweet
If you want a hand getting your teams set up with the tools and software they need to work seamlessly from home, just get in touch – we’re here to help.
Originally published 19 Mar, 2020, updated 29 Apr, 2021