It was either held by the business elite or millennials who seemed to have culturally hacked blogging and Instagram. It was seldom seen as a viable business option – and was even considered a laughable one. It seemed too easy. The popular notion of working from home was lounging around the house in pajamas and streaming TV shows all day.
However, working from home now is not only an option – it is essential. In 2020, working from home is an evolution similar to the shift office culture had to endure when office computers began having access to the internet in 1991. While it may have seemed to be a luxury to have a personal computer with the internet, we cannot function without them now. Also, just as offices had to adapt then, we must adapt now.
This does not mean the change is easy. Today, business owners must learn how to organize employees, workplace tasks, and commerce online as well as how to personally conduct themselves in the absence of in-person office culture.
Many businesses this year were thrust into sending a majority of their employee’s homes to work from their personal computers and still find ways to manage workflow, meet deadlines, work with clients, and keep communication flowing. What many business owners learned initially was that technology was the first hurdle they had to overcome. Here are some tips that some companies used during this time to adjust to working from home.
For example, you need to consider how secure your devices are for conducting business. In order for employees to be able to work securely from home, the correct infrastructure must be in place. This means creating secure network access to files. Some workplaces used Google drive and its other cloud services to find secure ways to share documents and even hold virtual meetings with their team, partners, and clients. What a great option for small businesses that do not have a budget to create a robust network to house company information.
For your employees, adapting to working from home means finding a quiet place to work. Start by advising employees to set up a separate area where they can work without loud distractions this will permit them to work more efficiently especially if they must discuss important work details and client information. Also, advise employees to check what their current internet access and speeds are as well as ensuring they have an access key set up to enter their home Wi-Fi network.
Finally, for managers and employers, this may mean consulting with their human resources manager or contacting a specialist to update their employee guidelines to account for new work from home conditions while also abiding by state and federal work laws. Employees must set limitations to personal activities that conflict with being on company time. This may be the hardest thing to overcome initially but keeping communication lines open and having frequent virtual meetings can help.”
“Business Tips” was written by Alejandro Castañon, Certified Business Advisor of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact him at Alejandro.Castanon@angelo.edu.