4 Mistakes Companies Make with Telework
It’s Not Just Reminding Employees to Wear Pants!
We’re all working differently these days. Some of us in person. Some at home. Some of us at finding something new.
We all have our own challenges. Today we’re addressing the mistakes employers and employees can make when working disparately across locations. In this new world, we need new guidance. So here goes. 4 mistakes that employees or employers make when working from home.
Not Talking to Your Employees About Telework Etiquette
With anything new, it’s important to set expectations. If your employees are working from home, and they’re not used to it, they need to know what you are looking for.
Are they expected to be in front of the computer the whole time? Do you want them ready to meet with a client in person if necessary? Will they be providing their own equipment?
Regardless of your expectations, don’t assume you’re on the same page. State everything expressly and clearly.
Not Treating a Conference Call Like a Real Meeting
One of the first problems people run into with telework is not treating it like work. This is most true during video conference meetings.
There are a lot of embarrassing videos out there of people who obviously didn’t think about the fact that their home is about to be their conference room. Whether that means not being fully dressed or doing something publicly that should be done privately, a little preparation goes a long way. Before you begin the conference, make sure you know the cameras range. Well before the conference, find a professional spot and set up the room tidily. No one expects it to not look like a home. But make sure you don’t have anything in the background that will embarrass you and do your best to show you care.
That includes dressing professionally. Pants are not optional! I joke but…well do a google search if you’re wondering why I said it. Even if you believe you will not be fully seen, assume there may be a moment when you unexpectedly have to get up. You certainly don’t need a tux or evening dress, or sometimes even a tie, but at least look presentable. Don’t just roll out of bed and turn on your cam.
A subset of not being prepared is not having the right equipment.
Not Utilizing Video Conferencing Features
If you’re using video conferencing software, be aware of its features! It’s not just a camera that sits there and video that plays.
You can turn your video and audio feeds off and on. Sometimes you can chat. Whatever feature you have, use them when you need them.
When we’re working from home, sometimes something unexpected comes up. Your dog starts parking. Your kid needs something. The doorbell rings. Regardless of what’s going on, just remember you can turn off your feed for a minute so as not to attract the other meeting goers.
Need to remind someone presenting of something? Use the chat feature if it’s available to you.
Using the Wrong Telework Equipment
Can you use your cell phone for work calls? Sure. You can also use a pogo stick to travel cross country, but it’s not the most efficient way to get there.
The nice thing about modern telephone systems is that most of them (at least the VOIP systems) have equipment that can be plugged in anywhere and still connect back to your central office.
Why does this matter? A few reasons.
- Professionalism: It certainly comes off as more professional to have one phone number that clients can call rather than giving out different numbers to reach certain people.
- Usability: Desk phones are just plain easier to use. You can transfer calls. You can have call records (and recordings!) available. You have voicemail. It’s to imagine someone making any argument that desk phones aren’t better.
- Employee Respect and Privacy: Don’t make your employees give out their cell phone numbers. Please, just don’t. Besides it being an invasion of privacy, it also can hurt your bottom line. If someone is calling your employee off hours to solve a problem, don’t be surprised if you don’t get paid for that work.
So, as you can see most of these just take a little forethought. When new equipment is required, it’s affordable and a good purchase that generalizes out to be good for your company long past the current crises. Looking to add Telework features in Virginia or nearby? Questions or comments? You know what to do!