Working from home. For so long, it was the dream that many office workers aspired to. No morning commute, a better work/life balance, the ability to shape the working day.
Now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, millions of employees are being forced to work from home. But as the initial novelty wears off, is working from home living up to everyone’s expectations? And crucially, for businesses, are staff as productive as when they worked in the office?
As the need to work from home is set to be with us for some time, it’s vital that businesses ensure their remote teams can work happily and productively.
When it works well, working from home can provide big benefits for a company. Staff morale is improved as people can more easily juggle work alongside other commitments. Stress is reduced with no morning commute. And many people report being more productive working at home, without the distractions of a busy office environment.
But for others, working from home can bring its own problems. Staff may feel lonely and isolated without the company of colleagues. Without regular feedback, some employees may worry about the quality of their work while others might be confused about responsibilities, deadlines or actions.
From a practical perspective, people can lose hours of productivity if they can’t access a particular document or find information. This is exacerbated when people are working from home, particularly if they can’t easily log in to systems or quickly ask a colleague for the information they need.
But it’s not just employees; business owners face their own anxieties when allowing staff to work from home. When people are not physically in the office, it’s more difficult to oversee who is doing what and it can be hard to feel confident that actions are being completed properly and deadlines met.
To ensure that staff are being productive and working on the right tasks throughout the day, it’s essential to put processes and tools in place to keep everything on track. The best way to do this is with a work management platform.
Here are just some of the benefits a work management platform can offer teams working from home:
- Lets people see clear deadlines, actions and responsibilities
- Gives managers and directors a clear overview of the status of any project, in real time
- Highlights potential issues before they become a problem
- Makes sure people are working on the most urgent tasks
- Gives individuals a feeling of belonging as they can see their role within the context of the wider organisation
- Unites people from across different locations, in one place
- Stores all the information needed to work on a project, making everything easily accessible from wherever your teams are working
At Cheetah Transformation, we help companies boost productivity by integrating the Smartsheet work management platform into their organisation. Here are just some of the ways you can use Smartsheet to help teams working from home.
- Create personalised dashboards to show colleague the tasks and activities they need to complete to ensure project timelines are kept
- See updated calendars in real time, highlighting key milestones for various projects
- Store all the information needed for a project in one place
- Give managers and directors an instant, real-time view of the status of all projects
- Allocate tasks and responsibilities to staff
- See which team members are available to take on additional work and spot those who may be struggling with too much
- Improve visibility so staff working from home no longer feel they need to ‘prove’ they are hard at work
- See how timetable changes will affect a project – this is useful if people suddenly need to juggle childcare or other responsibilities when working from home
- Collaborate with colleagues on projects to give a sense of belonging and help avoid the isolation of working from home
- Generate reports – therefore avoiding lengthy video calls for status updates
These are just a few of the benefits Smartsheet offers to teams working from home. If you’d like to find out more, I’d love to show you a demo. Get in touch to book your free discovery call and I’ll show you how Smartsheet can help you boost productivity in a work from home culture.