For many small business owners, the sudden mandate to switch from in-office to mandatory work from home has been jarring to productivity. Up until the last few weeks, the economy was humming along. Now, highways that were normally crammed with morning commuters anxious to reach their regular parking spot are all but empty. For the small business that was not used to having employees work from home, the switch can be anxiety-ridden and frustrating. This new way of working is especially hard for those small business owners who were less than, shall we say, technology savvy.
Even the NYSE is working from home. With most of New York City logging in to work from their home offices these days, it might be helpful for small business owners who are new at this to get their mind around a few things that may make the transition and the mandated home working environment a possibility and maybe a little more enjoyable for everyone.
Things Small Businesses Should Be Doing With Mandatory Work From Home
Since there is no other way to keep going, other than providing a way for your employees to work from home, let’s talk about some things that you, as a small business owner, can do to keep things afloat and feel confident that the work is getting done. Keeping up with work using technology may just prove to you how easy it is to do. Many small business owners shy away from technology-driven work, citing their under-confidence in the ability for their employees to stay productive if they are not in the office. These tips may help you feel better about the idea of workers getting work done at home.
Keep Your Schedule As Normal As Possible - It is a very nice prospect to sleep in and make up your own hours but that flexibility will eventually result in great productivity loss in a matter of days. What most veteran remote workers will tell their newly remote working peers is that keeping regular business hours as close to the normal schedule as possible will ensure the job is getting done on both sides during mandatory work from home.
The temptation to spend extra time doing other things and getting to work “later” ends up being a big mistake. Trying to get that report done at 9 PM, after a long day of being home with the family and trying to get the computer, makes for a pretty tired employee. Getting work done later just means it either goes undone or ends up being piled up on top of other things to do the next day. The rule of thumb with working during mandatory work from home is simple; do your work in the time frame you normally do it in so it gets done on time and done well.
Dress Like You Are Going To Work - We’re not suggesting you wear a suit in your home office but dressing like you are going somewhere is a great idea if you are not usually working from home. This goes to your state of mind. Being in the mindset for work matters when you work remotely. It might be fun to work in your PJs for the first week or two but pretty soon, you’ll see productivity and your mood starting to slip. If you want to be productive, you need to feel productive. Working in sweats and foregoing the hairbrush and shaving kits is going to take its toll on your outlook on life and work. Want to feel like you can get the job done at home? Dress the part.
Utilize Low-Cost And No-Cost Productivity Tools - If the idea of being disconnected from employees is keeping you up at night, look no further than the tools remote offices are already using every day. Slack is an online productivity tool that allows work teams to instant message each other, send files and connect readily so work keeps going. Instead of waiting for emails and phone calls, Slack keeps communication efficient so everyone can keep going.
Online meeting tools like Zoom have a freemium model that allows you to hold meetings for 40 minutes, although during this crisis, ZOOM is being flexible with free time. If your team needs a meeting done, and we especially recommend online meetings during mandatory work from home, you can use tools like Zoom to keep work moving in the right direction.
Keep Up With Administrative Functions As A Small Business Owner - As a business owner, now is not the time to put off the regular important things you need to do to keep your business compliant with employment law. Payroll, Insurance, Benefits, and policy is important to keep in place. Your office may be empty right now but your employees are still hard at work from home. Making sure the wheels don’t come off your bus means you need to keep up with your HR functions.
If this mandatory work from home rule has taught us anything, it should be highlighting the need for good insurance benefits for our employees. When a public health crisis arises, healthcare coverage is a matter of life and death. PEOs are a great way for a small business to provide excellent benefits at a fraction of what they normally pay for small group health plans, payroll services, Workers Compensation, and other HR functions small businesses are normally hiring multiple vendors for.
If you’d like to know more about how PEOs can help your small business keep going strong during this mandatory work from home schedule, contact us today for a free consultation.
If you’d like to find out more about how PEOs can help you provide great benefits and payroll management at less than you are paying now, contact us today for a free consultation.
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