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Simple Ways to Set Your Team Up for Success When Working from Home Tips, tools, and strategies for making sure employees are enabled to do their best work no matter where they're working from.
Since the start of COVID-19, the concept of remote work, or working from home, has been top-of-mind for many business owners and employees. As it turns out, working remotely has been on the rise since before the global health crisis. Over the last five years, the number of people working remotely, at least some of the time, has grown by 44 percent in the U.S., according to a recent survey. Another survey indicates that 90 percent of employees feel that flexible work arrangements contribute to positive morale.
For business owners, the key to success goes beyond simply allowing employees to work from wherever—it's about providing them with the tools they need to get the job done. Here are some useful suggestions about how to keep employees happy and working productively from wherever the Wi-Fi is strong.
Remind them to create a flexible workspace(s).
Not everyone has a dedicated office at home where they can comfortably get work done. But that's OK. As Tom Hazel, Vice President of North American Sales Carrier Solutions at Pitney Bowes said in a recent webinar, there are likely several spaces within your home where you can work. As a business owner or manager, remind your employees to think about multiple places within their homes to do their work, and to be sure to hop from space to space to avoid monotony.
"You want to differentiate your workspace," he said. "You don't want to be at the kitchen table with the kids sitting around you, if you have children at home. You don't want to be in a big, comfortable chair the entire time. You want to mix it up."
While you're at it, try working outside on a deck or porch when you can to enjoy being outside. You'll likely want to situate yourself in some shade, so find the comfiest patio or camping chair and park it under a tree or umbrella—just so long as you're in Wi-Fi range. The benefits of working outdoors at least part of the time can include improved mood, lower stress, increased wellness, and happiness. After all, happy employees are usually productive employees.
Enable communication and collaboration.
Whether your employees are working inside their homes or while enjoying some fresh air, they need to maintain communication and have the ability to work together. There are numerous tools and services that allow employees to collaborate on shared documents, provide feedback to one another, and prepare documents for clients. Many are even free to use or don't cost much to implement.
When it comes to communication, chat and video conferencing services are widely used and effective. Video conferencing tips for your employees include:
- Dress professionally. Video means you'll be seen, so look presentable.
- Test your tech. Always make sure your device's camera and microphone are working before the call.
- Mute yourself. If you're not the person speaking, muting yourself will minimize distracting background noise.
- Be mindful of your surroundings. Working from multiple locations around your house is great, but when the camera goes on, make sure your background looks as presentable as you do.
Selecting meeting times that accommodate people working in different time zones is important for managing remote teams. Also, try to make those meetings conversational, encouraging everyone on the call to participate when possible.
Centralize mailing to make it convenient and cost-effective.
It's great that technology can help keep remote workers connected and productive. Turns out, it can also make mailing simple—even while away from your office or store. Maybe you're a brick-and-mortar and you suddenly find yourself having to ship packages from home. Perhaps your office sends a significant number of letters, invoices, legal documents, or correspondence to customers.
Whatever your situation, you'll want to ensure that you and your employees have the ability to send those letters or packages efficiently. That's where a service like SendPro® Online from Pitney Bowes comes in handy. Utilizing a centralized mailing service enables you to keep your mailing list in one, safe location, make sure that everyone who mails gets the best rates, and simplifies the entire process allowing remote employees to be as productive as possible.
With SendPro Online, business owners and their remote employees can print a full address label with a tracking barcode from home, select the best rates between different carriers, and schedule a date and time for the carrier to pick up the package. Businesses that ship using SendPro Online can save as much as 9 percent on first-class mail and up to 40 percent on priority mail.
Another important suggestion when employees are mailing remotely to use the Alternate Return address feature within SendPro Online. Doing so maintains the "to" and "from" addresses on the shipping label but ensures that the "return" address is your business, not an employee's home. This preserves your business's professional image while protecting an employee's personal address.
Looking for additional tips, tools and resources for staying effective in the quarantine economy? Click here to learn more about how Pitney Bowes and SendPro Online can support you and your business in the new working environment.