Who would have thought that we would be sitting here, discussing what the best at-home work policies are for business, just a few months ago? It's shocking to see how rapidly the world has changed. The lockdown proposes many unique challenges that the majority of business owners have never faced before. However, now you need to get the most out of your workers while everybody is at home in their pjs’. You will need to consider what technologies you can get employees to adopt for their laptops, tablets and mobiles. Communication is vitally important as there’s very little face-to-face speaking anymore. The chain of command must also remain intact.

Task and project management

As the business owner, how do you manage a project from your office at home? Keeping your management staff focussed on the projects at hand is one thing, but how do you know what is and isn’t feasible? Firstly you should have a meeting with your heads of departments. Ask them what they think is a realistic way forward with regard to the contingency of projects they were doing before lockdown? This will entail your management contact employees in their departments to see what their personal at-home capabilities are. Do they have the software needed to carry on working at a satisfactory level from home? Can your employees use the software they use in the office, at home on their machines? This is possible if you have cloud-based systems.

Remain in contact

Now we realize the value of face-to-face communication. Any questions we had, we could get answers to instantly and have conversations to fully understand the issues at hand. Now, however, we are left with fewer and inferior options. It's important to realize not everyone will be at their machines all day. Lockdown is tough on the mental health of individuals so they might be out for a walk or doing grocery shopping. Using group messaging services from mobile brands is a bit of an afterthought. Instead, there is a better way to do group messaging by using a specialist service. This type of platform will organize your group messages for you, so you know what groups are talking about and who is replying. You can also opt-out at any time, while still receiving the information you need. You don’t have to be part of a group to be alerted to what was said if you have chosen to be given a summary of information in the form of a list.

Chain of command

During this time, business owners will need to test their leadership skills. The chain of command is so easily broken when your management doesn't ‘feel’ your presence. However, conducting regular bi-weekly meetings via conference call software will remind employees that the show is carrying on. Ask all your management staff to buy webcams so it feels more like a meeting as everyone can see and hear each other.

These are the policies that every business will not be rushing to employ. No one really knows how long the lockdown will last, but keeping business chugging along, albeit slowly, is better than nothing.

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