Prepare a convenient workplace
When we talk about working at the office, it means that every employee has all the necessary equipment, and their workplace is organized according to their needs. First of all, you, as a CEO, should provide them with the same conditions for remote work as they had in the office. Make sure that every employee has a laptop or a PC, uninterrupted Internet access, a working table, a quality headset for team communications, etc.
Many companies give access to sites or tools only in the office for security reasons. You need to check whether every worker can get all the required resources from home, including a VPN setup.
Provide emotional support
Remote work could be both a way to try something new and a challenge to people. However, it puts stress twice as strong as it happens simultaneously with the COVID-19 quarantine measures. These two things, a switch to remote work and self-isolation, significantly affect emotional state and productivity. Hence it is crucial to spend more time with your employees in person and talk about the problems they face during working from home. Addressing their feelings and thoughts alleviates anxiety and allows people to focus on immediate tasks and prevent non-productive overthinking.
Tell them about your problems as well. It will become easier for them to feel that they are not alone and builds the trust you will be primarily looking for. One should also understand that adaptation to the new way of life takes some time. Getting the team back to their productive levels of work may require at least a couple of weeks, so don't expect everyone to hit your KPIs immediately.
Communicate with your team
During the isolation period, it is vital to stay connected with each other. Many companies use Slack to improve their workflows and chat between team members. It has a free plan, easy to use, and affordable. Slack allows you to create many channels for discussions, and you can separate those who do not need to be involved. Yet it creates an unnatural impression of the workflow like you are dealing with avatars, not with real people.
Therefore, it is better to use videoconferencing for meetings or just to say "Hello" or "Good morning" as if you have just come into the office to greet everyone. It might also make sense to pay attention to the informal conversation about non-working topics, so make sure that your team has enough time on this. Using a combination of Zoom and Discord would help to build team presence for the whole day.
Moreover, you can share your screen with other members. You can even leave Zoom presence open in the background to make it seem like you are in the office, working shoulder to shoulder with your mates. It creates a working atmosphere, and you can see what everyone is doing at the moment. With any voice or video conferencing tool, there is an option of voice mute so that you will not create discomfort to others. The bottom line, the more often you see each other, the easier it is to experience a transitioning period and become a genuinely remote-friendly business.
Do not forget about a daily routine
Anxiety, isolation, new place of work cause a lot of stress, and many people could even get mild depression symptoms. If you want your life to go on and stay productive during the remote period, remember that it is essential to create a working atmosphere as much as possible. One of the biggest mistakes everyone does while working at home is working from bed and staying in pajamas for the whole day. Developing a daily routine such as a morning shower, doing the hair, and dressing up differently for work helps to deal with the overwhelming exhaustion your workers would start to feel when working from home.
You may not be required to put your office outfit on, but if your team has personalized swag like hoodies with your company logo, you can all agree to wear them while you are working. These things create a productive and positive atmosphere while being fun as well. Last but not least, try to work, rest, and eat in separate places like it was in the times when office.
Set a schedule and plan the day ahead
A key to successful remote work is to stick to the working schedule. Even if your company offers flexible time, it is a common practice to agree on working hours that will be convenient for everyone, and no one will fall out of the workflow. Remote work means some freedom, but you must always consider other working factors. If you do not live alone, let your family know your working hours so that they will be more likely to respect your time.
Also, if you feel that you need a break, do the regular breaks stepping away from the computer as you did in the office. Breaks help to improve your efficiency and productivity while allowing you not to fall out of the task context.
To conclude, working at home became a big challenge for many of us. Yet taking care of your people is an opportunity to build your team as a more durable business unit. Maybe your company will even find the remote work very productive and will see the way of the working process differently once the pandemic subsides. Try to use tips you have read above as much as possible, and we hope that transitioning your business to remote work will be less stressful. Good luck!