Managing remote workers is a challenge many businesses have faced in the past 12+ months. Poor communication, decreased productivity, reduced employee engagement and increased workloads are just a handful of problems business professionals have faced since the UK was told to “work from home”.
Some of these challenges were ironed out fairly quickly, but others have resurfaced again and again. Aside from the challenges faced, working from home has been beneficial for many businesses and employees. So much so, that countless businesses are implementing a mixture of office working and remote working as the UK eases out of lockdown.
If you are one of the many businesses planning on incorporating remote working into your business model for the future, this blog will be beneficial to you.
Here, we share our tips for how you can help your employees manage their workload when working from home.
The Impact Of An Unmanageable Workload
An unmanageable workload prevents employees from having a healthy work-life balance and increases long working hours. It is one of the main causes of employee stress and has been linked to exhaustion amongst employees.
Aside from impacting employee health, heavy workloads also affect workplace morale, communication and colleague relationships. Plus, heavy workloads have been known to contribute to errors in the workplace, as well as conflicts amongst the team.
Helping your employees better manage their workload will be beneficial for the company as well as the staff. Here are our key tips:
Provide Several Communication Options
Effective communication is important for every team in every business. Without communication, it will be challenging for yourself and your team to discuss workloads, collaborate on projects and raise workload-related concerns. When your team is working from home, effective communication is more important than ever.
However, in today’s technology-rich world, email alone may be insufficient when it comes to employee communication. Instead, you should be offering several communication options for your team. Video conferencing is particularly beneficial when remote working. Telephone calls should also be encouraged.
You may also suggest instant messaging, such as a team WhatsApp group. Your employees will be able to discuss projects they are collaborating on, ask questions and chat about work and non-work related stuff.
Have One To One Meetings
How often do you or your management team have one to one meetings with staff members? If an employee is struggling with their workload, they may not feel comfortable raising the issue in a team meeting.
Having a regular small group or one to one meeting with your team members will provide an opportunity to discuss individual workloads and recognise who is overwhelmed with their workload.
Small meetings are also a great way to increase communication and create an open work environment where team members feel comfortable asking for help when they need it.
Provide Task Management Apps
When your business has a range of customers/clients, projects, deadlines and priorities, it can be challenging for even the most organised employee to stay on top of things.
Task management apps, such as Asana, Trello and Easynote are incredibly useful for workload management. Your team will be able to manage their own workload and will never miss a deadline.
Ensure Employees Can Easily Access Their Workload
When working from home, your team should have everything they need to work seamlessly. This includes quality equipment and a comfortable place to work. They should also have easy access to their workloads, files, documents and anything else they may need to do their job to the best of their ability.
Migrating to a cloud solution, such as Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace is the best way to ensure your team have everything they need. When working from the cloud, your employees will be able to access their emails, calendars, contacts, files and more, no matter where they are working from.
They will be able to communicate and collaborate seamlessly and all their work will be backed up to the cloud, so there’s no risk of losing data.
Encourage An Open And Honest Environment
Do your employees feel comfortable admitting their workload is too much? Would an employee come to you if their workload was causing them stress? When remote working, it is crucial that you are still creating an open and honest workplace that is mindful of employee mental health.
Carry out a weekly or monthly team meeting and encourage your employees to be upfront and honest if they are struggling with their workload. Demonstrate understanding, offer support where needed and praise employees that are honest about their workload. This will encourage others to do the same.
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