Remote work is the new normal for many of us. And a lot of us have had to make the most of our new home office situation. For my personal work-from-home setup, I’ve got to be honest – I was initially concerned that it wouldn’t work out. I didn’t have a desk, I didn’t have a chair and I didn’t have the monitors I was used to. Having worked remotely for about a month now, with only my laptop and a $50 desk from Walmart (pre-shelter in place of course), I’ve actually been able to be just as productive by solely using my laptop screen. But I get that not everyone has a role that can operate with the bare minimum.
So what do your employees need? And how can you enable them?
Not every family home has a desk. And, if they don’t currently have one, they’ll want one. Sharing the kitchen table may mean more family distraction, reduced productivity.
And the couch might be an alright work spot for a few hours in the day, but an hour or two after lunch, dozing off is as likely as breathing. The proper desk chair can provide them with the cushion and support a kitchen chair might not, but without being comfortable enough to coax your employees into a nap.
Ever been on a video conference with someone who had a poor connection? It’s… not great. You miss information, they miss information. It’s the spinach-in-your teeth of remote work first impressions. It’s not their fault, but it’s something you don’t forget right away. And first impressions are only part of the problem. It’s hard to stay productive when your connection can’t keep up with the work you’re trying to complete.
Out of office, your employees still need to make calls. So what are they using? Video chats are great for internal communications, but when it comes to outreach, emails can only be so effective. If they don’t have a company provided phone, can you enable them to use the device they currently have?
Multi-tasking has its time and place. An extra monitor or two can help with anything from multiple spreadsheets to comparing separate articles, complex editing to simple copy and pasting. I can admit, I’ve found ways to stay productive without my extra screens. But I know that may not be true for everyone working from home.
Whether it’s outlived its usefulness in the home or owners just got sick of replacing ink, the printer machine has mostly been relegated to schools and office buildings. Now that your employees are working from home, those in-office printers aren’t doing them any favors. If printed documents are a mandatory part of the company process, how can you enable your employees to fulfill their role?
You have to look out for your employees. How do you ensure they have the tools they need to be successful working remotely? Start by trusting them to know what they need. Consult with managers, take note of the items being requested and for what roles.
When you have that information, consider implementing a reimbursement program. Enable your remote employees to purchase the things they need– things like mobile devices, Internet and other home office expenses. Then, reimburse them fairly and accurately for their home office expenses. Why, you might ask? Because states like Massachusetts, California and Illinois (among others) require companies to reimburse their employees for all necessary business expenses, regardless of wage.
At Motus, we’re helping companies solve this challenge with our Remote Work Reimbursement solution – designed to help your business navigate the new normal of a fully remote workforce.