The current situation presents us all with challenges that we haven’t faced before. With the short-term switch to home office and virtual office, there are new problems that need to be addressed. With this blog post, we would like to share our very personal experiences from the last few days and give you 10 tips for working in a virtual office.
1. meet your team every day – even virtually in the home office.
The lack of social contact and personal exchange with colleagues in the office is often underestimated. Just think about how quickly people exchange ideas about current topics as well as tasks over the work table and thus find solutions to emerging challenges together.
We recommend that you meet virtually with your team every day. Half an hour is already enough for this. This routine promotes team spirit and gives each team member the opportunity to provide insight into their current tasks and issues. In addition, new impulses can be obtained from the other team members. Video broadcasting makes the virtual office meeting even more personal. So make sure that all team members have a webcam. The joint team meetings should also provide space for small talk and drinking coffee together.
The initiative should come from the team leader. He or she must find the balance between offering the opportunity for exchange, promoting the structuring of the workday and supporting the prioritization of current tasks. On the other hand, at the same time, there should not be a feeling of permanent control. So create a common basis of trust. So just order a virtual business address for your company in cyprus.
2. take time for your employees
Every employee is individual. Therefore, every employee deals differently with a home office situation. Adjust to your employees and offer regular exchange in 1:1 mode. As a team leader, you will develop a feeling for which employee needs which support and to what extent in the virtual office. Again, we recommend a virtual meeting with video broadcast.
3. make sure that each employee has the technical equipment he or she needs.
In addition to regular exchanges, technical equipment is the be-all and end-all for employees. To enable a short-term transition to home office or mobile working, a robust infrastructure that includes mobile hardware, sufficient VPN access, internet telephony and digital collaboration tools must be in place. We have already gone into this in more detail in our blog post „Working in a home office: what companies should consider“.
Since all employees had never used VPN access at the same time before, we first had to purchase additional licenses. We also set up a second dial-in server to share the load.
So don’t cut corners and provide all the necessary technology and tools to facilitate collaboration and communication. To avoid frustration, don’t neglect to regularly query whether the technical framework is sound. Your employees should not start developing avoidable workarounds to stay work-ready.
Talk to your employees to find out whether the general conditions are even in place in the private premises to work in the virtual office. Is the bandwidth and stability of the Internet connection sufficient? If not, help your employees by providing them with UMTS sticks, for example. Many mobile providers also currently offer free data packages – this can be very helpful in areas with poor DSL connections.
Do your employees need an additional monitor? Allow your employees to temporarily take a monitor from the office or other equipment home with them.
When using your own hardware, on the other hand, certain IT security risks must be taken into account. This should only be done in consultation with IT administration. In addition, data protection rules must also be observed in the home office, especially when working with personal data. However, these are similar to the rules in the office. For example, employees should lock their computers when they are absent, or keep business documents in lockable cabinets.
4. create spatial boundaries in the home office
Your employees should also try to create a pleasant atmosphere in the home office in which they can work in a concentrated manner. Try to find work models with your employees in which they can find enough time and space to work in the virtual office despite parallel childcare.
5. your employees should plan their working hours
Have your employees schedule their work hours, for example in the Outlook calendar. Especially in phases when working hours shift, it is important that all team members know when they can reach another person. At the same time, your employees should make sure that regular break times are also observed in the home office.
It is important to talk openly with your employees about how they can realize their working hours in coordination with their partner or family. If challenges arise, a solution should be found together. For example, half days of vacation can be taken. This allows them to work in the virtual office for hours at a time and take care of childcare during the other time, for example.