How to help your employees work productively from home
When the Corona pandemic closed offices across the globe, many companies were forced to trial large-scale working-from-home experiments. Fast forward a few months and it’s clear that companies can still function when their employees work from outside the office.
Lots of the founders that we spoke to were initially doubtful of how productive WFH could be, but companies have since been surprised by the positive results they’ve seen.
In fact, it’s been so successful that — as restrictions lift and offices reopen — companies such as Shopify and Twitter have announced plans to allow their employees to work from home permanently. Yet while the concept of the workplace has expanded to include home offices, companies are still navigating how to support their workforce in transitioning to remote work. From monitors to desk chairs to beautiful indoor greenery, here’s how you can help your employees work productively from home.
Nailing the home office setup
It might seem too obvious to mention, but having the right remote work setup is essential to productivity — not to mention health and happiness. Encourage your employees, if possible, to have a dedicated workspace. This allows separation between home and work life and improves focus by reducing domestic distractions. Providing employees with a desk is a great way to help set the boundaries of their home office.
If you’re concerned about the negative health impact of sitting for long periods of time, you might consider providing your workforce with standing desks. Otherwise, as most of the working day is spent sitting, an ergonomic chair will help considerably.
Your employees will likely need a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, amongst other things. GitLab reimburses their workers for any hardware purchases, while Shopify gave all employees a budget to upgrade their home office during Corona. HotJar, a company that was fully remote even before the pandemic, gives each team member a 4.000€ home-office budget — allowing employees to decide whether to splash out on a standing desk or work from the comfort of a beanbag.
Providing remote workplace benefits
Workplace benefits are key to hiring and retention strategies and help develop a company’s brand. They also bring productivity gains — happy employees are productive employees. Pizza and beer on Fridays, or mountains of healthy snacks are fine when your employees are working in the office. But how can companies provide perks that attract top talent and keep employees happy when, increasingly, they work from home? Luckily there are a number of ways you can diversify your employee benefits and support your workforce, wherever they work.
Providing plants is a great way to expand your perks package and help your employees work effectively at home. Working in a space with plants around improves air quality and reduces stress — creating a calm and healthy workplace. Here at Plantclub, we offer companies a co-branded plant shop for employees, where they can purchase plants for their home office and you can give green gifts to remind them you care.
From wellness packages and snack boxes to streaming platforms and language courses, subscriptions make brilliant perks for when your employees are working remotely. While we’re sure most people would appreciate an espresso machine at home, 19grams and Fjord Coffee Roasters offer affordable subscription plans with home delivery — keeping your workforce focused with their daily caffeine fix.
Flexible working hours is one of the most popular perks a company can provide. But flexibility doesn’t begin and end with offering the possibility of WFH. Allowing your workforce to vary their hours will mean employees can fit work around childcare responsibilities, reducing stress and supporting wellbeing.
Creating cohesion and community while WFH
While working remotely, it can be difficult to create cohesion within teams, keep morale up, and make sure communication continues with clarity. There’s no opportunity to chat around the coffee machine or stop by a colleague’s desk to ask a quick question. This means daily check-ins with managers are increasingly important.
Meetings are essential to collaboration, but as video conferences take the place of face-to-face interactions, employees miss out on vital screen breaks. Encourage your workforce to take short, regular breaks from the computer — not only will this benefit their health, but encourage focus and efficiency when they return to work. Give your employees access to plants in their home office, they’ll have some beautiful greenery to admire during breaks.
One of the greatest issues with a work from home setup is loneliness, which can lead to low morale. Organizing regular virtual team-building events or company-wide meetings will keep your workforce connected, even when they can’t meet in person. Encouraging purely social meetings can counter the negative effects of loneliness, helping your employees to work productively from home.
Plantclub.io provides you and your colleagues with the benefits of plants, wherever you work. Rent office plants and transform your space into a green oasis, with flexible monthly membership options to suit your size. Diversify your employee perks with a dedicated company store, where you can give green gifts and your team can buy plants for their home office. Book a time to chat with us today.
Written by Lily Pollock.