COVID-19 lockdowns in various communities across the U.S. have been in place off and on since March. Many businesses have adapted to these measures by setting up remote work for employees.
While this has been effective in keeping businesses both open and safe, it has also largely been a slapdash effort, filled with dysfunction and interrupted workflows.
You and your management team have likely worked to create lines of communication, check-ins, and other meetings. Your team members probably have a routine in place to manage work, childcare, and space challenges in a way that works best for them.
Now that your team has a routine in place, the next step is discovering the best way to move forward and support company growth – even if your whole staff continues to work from home.
Best Practices for Managing a Stay-at-Home Workforce
You and your team have a routine in place. The question now is, is your routine working? And, if it is, have you documented the routine so that the workable process can be repeated?
If you have been running in place, just trying to keep up with the changes we are all experiencing during this time, then this article is here to help.
Here is how you can establish best practices and essential policies for managing your remote workforce:
1. Talk to your team about the current routine.
Does your existing routine provide effective communication and coordination among team members? Are there team members who feel out of the loop or have difficulty doing their jobs because of the routine?
These two questions will provide insight into what changes should be implemented so that the whole team is on the same page, day in and day out.
2. Decide how to measure success in a daily routine.
Many factors show whether a routine is working or not. Employee satisfaction, productivity, and company viability are all metrics that should be examined. You may also want to track metrics that measure the productivity of specific areas in your company as well as customer satisfaction.
Work out which metrics will show that your routine is working – and make sure to track them.
3. Conduct an analysis of completed projects
It has been months since most companies have begun operating remotely. Therefore, you likely have completed projects that you can analyze and decide what worked well and what hindered project completion.
It may be that some software needs to be replaced with a better system – or it could be that all customer calls need to be scheduled at a particular time to support the childcare challenges faced by employees. You may need to start tracking new statistics and metrics so that management can catch trouble spots earlier, or it’s possible that a planning email needs to go out each night to summarize what has happened and provide the next steps.
There are many ways to manage a project. Analyze what has been working for your team – and what has not.
4. Document what is working – and what is not working.
It is absolutely vital to document the routines that work so that they are duplicable as new employees join your workforce.
It’s also essential to document what isn’t working so that your team does not repeat mistakes as times change and routines get modified.
This documentation step will help your team to reinforce workable solutions while rejecting unworkable routines.
Remember, none of this work needs to be done by you and you alone. Delegate tasks to your team and get them all on the same page. After all, evaluating, improving, and documenting your daily processes will benefit every employee’s workday.
Organize for Long-Term Remote Business
Many businesses provided remote options for their employees with the thought that offices would be open again in a few weeks or a couple of months. Because of that, quite a few did an initial scramble, then tried to ride out the following weeks or months.
As of this article’s publication, it looks like remote work is here to stay for most businesses. So, now is the time to organize and plan for the long term to keep your business growing throughout 2020 and into the future.
The first step in this organization will be to establish and document policies, processes, and systems for remote work. This is vital whether you are a sole proprietor or your team manages hundreds of employees.
Taking a step back to rework the fundamentals your company is based on will help your company move forward and grow in this new climate.
If you are ready to take this step, but need guidance, we would be happy to help. Business Success Consulting Group is working with businesses across the U.S. so they can thrive in any environment.