Approximately 40% of Canadian employees now work remotely, up from just 10% pre-pandemic. Whether as a temporary fix or a long-term solution, one thing is for sure: Telework comes with its share of benefits. Offering flexible work arrangements (especially in these unprecedented times) shows employees you value their wellness. It can also increase productivity. A recent study found that employees working from home saw a 47% increase in productivity. If your agency is looking to make the most of remote work, take a look at these telework best practices (and tech promotional items) to share with your team.
Best practice #1: Develop a telework policy
A policy with clear telework best practices and guidelines ensures employees know what is expected of them. Outline requirements around check-in frequency, response times, dress code and scheduling. And include technology and equipment regulations as well as privacy and security guidelines.
Best practice #2: Stick to a schedule
Maintaining a consistent routine has its advantages. It can help keep stress levels in check and improve time management. Encourage staff to get up and get ready as though it were any other workday. Whether employees work set hours or have the flexibility to set their own schedule, use shared calendars and ask that staff block times for appointments, meetings, lunches and work time. Setting and sticking to a shared schedule ensures everyone has access to their team when they need it.
Best practice #3: Set up a workspace
A dedicated workspace can minimize distractions and improve productivity. Forgo the couch and opt instead for an office-like space. Choose a room or area with good lighting, a comfortable chair, and a desk or table at optimal ergonomic height. A portable folding desk is an inexpensive option that adjusts easily and fits well in small workspaces. Set your team up for success with a combination desk caddy and USB hub.
Best practice #4: Use the right tools
Tools like email, instant messaging, video conferencing and meeting apps are a must for remote workers. Get employees comfortable with commonly used tools by providing online tutorials and/or training. Doing practice runs before a meeting is another telework best practice. A good headset or pair of earbuds are tech promotional item must-haves for at-home work. And a webcam privacy cover is essential for peace of mind when their webcam is not in use.
Best practice #5: Make time for connection
Remote work can get lonely. Make sure your team stays connected by setting up a meaningful time to engage. Organize weekly or monthly remote team lunches or coffee hours to promote fellowship. If employees are used to engaging after hours, consider a virtual game night or online movie watch party. Encourage everyone to get involved by providing fun incentives for participation. Lunch containers, popcorn and infuser bottles make great prizes.
These telework best practices will help your entire team maximize their productivity. You’re sure to get a virtual high-five from your remote crew when you share these tips and giveaways.