As more states issue stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, many businesses are trying to implement work from home programs. This will allow them to keep operations going while complying with CDC recommendations for social distancing. While there are many benefits to working from home—no commute being one of the biggest ones—there are also several hurdles employees need to deal with in order to remain effective.
The following are some of the leading difficulties that will impede the success of a remote workforce:
- Employees working too much. Work is a job without end. There is no true finish line as more tasks follow on the heels of completed jobs. When working in a typical office building, employees have clear cues on when to begin and stop working. At home, those lines can become blurred and many employees may overwork as a result, which can lead to burnout. To avoid this, employers should set clear business hours and encourage employees to create boundaries between their workspace and the rest of their house such as creating a home office space.
- Prioritizing tasks. There are significantly more distractions at home than there are in the workplace. It’s easy for employees to get sidetracked by a sink full of dishes or watching TV during their lunch break. To mitigate wasted work hours, employees should focus on their most important tasks first. Many employees find certain tasks daunting and they’re less likely to procrastinate if they tackle those jobs first thing during the workday. This can set a momentum for a productive day.
- Household interruptions. In light of the coronavirus, many parents working from home will also likely have small children or spouses home with them as well. Establishing a workspace or office is critical to creating boundaries between family time and work time. Explaining to children and other household members why it’s important to avoid interruptions as well as setting consistent work hours can help limit these kinds of disruptions.
- Isolation. Switching from a typical office setup to a one-person work environment can be jarring for some employees. Loneliness and cabin fever can derail productivity so it’s important that employees incorporate socialization into their day. Downloading video chat apps or making a social phone call during lunch breaks can help ease the feelings of isolation.
Communication will also be a significant challenge as workplaces adjust to using chat programs and making calls to discuss projects rather than stopping by a coworker’s office or cubical. Actec understands the challenges employers face ensuring their workforce is productive. Contact us to learn more about managing employee’s time and attendance while working from home.