Working Remote for the Long Term
Article courtesy of Endorsed Partner Office Depot
Many organizations recently asked employees to work remotely whenever possible. With expectations that the workplace would reopen before too long, people set up shop at home with only the essentials from their offices in hand and got to work. The results of this unexpected shift to remote working may have a lasting effect, as many companies are opting to extend work-from-home policies for the long term. What do remote employees need to stay productive and motivated?
Businesses across the country are making plans to reopen as stay-at-home orders come to an end. During this unprecedented time, many top executives discovered that their workforces are just as productive — or even more so — when working remotely. As a result, some companies are asking employees to continue to work from home for an extended period of time — and even permanently.
At Office Depot®, we understand that transitioning large portions of your workforce to remote status requires careful planning. There are a number of scenarios to consider. You may choose to stagger employee attendance in the office to create natural social distancing. Or you might ask most employees to continue working from home. Whichever option you select, key questions need to be addressed:
- What do employees need to remain productive?
- How do you create a sense of connection to the organization?
- What guidelines are needed to standardize support for in-office and work-from-home employees?
To simplify remote worker preparations, organizations can consider their needs from four essential work-from-home categories.
CREATING DEDICATED WORKSPACES
The kitchen table just doesn’t cut it as a long-term workspace. Remote employees are more productive when they can create dedicated areas in their homes just for work activities, then “commute” at the end of the day to personal spaces.
To create a stronger connection between the home office and in-office environments, consider outfitting work-from-home employees with comparable ergonomic equipment:
- Office chairs
- Accessories such as mouse pads, keyboards and monitor stands
Think about creating a curated bundle of office furniture that employees can have delivered to their homes. Look into procuring office furniture that meets or exceeds ANSI/BIFMA commercial quality standards and state/federal safety guidelines.
EMPOWERING PRODUCTIVITY WITH TECHNOLOGY
The right technology leads the way to ensuring that remote employees are plugged in and connected in a secure manner to your organization. Employees may have been fine pounding away on laptops for the short term, but long-term remote work requires technology bundles that promote efficiency and productivity. Videoconferencing capabilities are more important than ever as a means for employees to meet and collaborate with co-workers, clients, partners and vendors while being able to see facial reactions.
Consider what combination of technology is essential to have on hand in a home workspace: :
- Docking stations
- Multifunction printers
- Web cameras
SECURING NETWORK CONNECTIONS
Making sure that network connections are reliable and secure is just as important as providing access to the right technology for remote employees. You’ll want to make sure that your team members can communicate with each other without digital disruptions or concerns about cybersecurity.
The planning process for remote workers could include the following:
- Guidelines for accessing your organization’s collaboration solutions, systems and digital tools
- 24/7/365 on-call technical support
- Dedicated network security monitoring and threat mitigation
- Device selection options and planned upgrades
PROVIDING ACCESS TO PRINT SERVICES
Although technology can offer the biggest boost to productivity for remote workers, access to company documents and print services, which is standard in the office, is also important.
Take a look at managed print services as a way to create a hub from which employees can find up-to-date forms, order printed materials and access an assortment of branded promotional items.
EMBRACING THE NEW NORMAL
Change is never easy. With the sudden shift to remote working, businesses are challenged to find ways to support employees with the right mix of tools and technology to make sure that they feel connected in these uncertain times. With proper planning, which considers these four key categories, organizations are in a better position to maintain productivity and a satisfied workforce.
Office Depot® is here for you and on this journey with you. For more information about how to navigate the changing landscape, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll work with you to help figure out what your employees need to be productive and connected when working from home for the long term.
Download the Remote Work Long Term Checklist.