As a business owner, your employees’ home-office setup probably wasn’t a top priority until 2020. But one of the many things COVID-19 changed is the way we work, and that puts new tasks in every manager’s court.
Specifically, it means companies are taking more active roles in improving home-office setup. Whether you plan to allow employees to work from home permanently or just until vaccines are widespread, there are some simple ways to build up at-home employee productivity and morale.
Offer an office furniture stipend
One easy but appreciated home-office setup perk is a stipend. In order to help employees create an environment that’s conducive to work, companies are offering set funds to pay for the setup or improvement of their home offices.
Customize this solution to fit your organization’s size and budget by:
- Offering a one-time sum, an annual budget or a monthly stipend,
- Designating which items the fund can be used for (desks, chairs, computers, laptop stands, WiFi, smartphones, noise-canceling headphones, lighting, etc.),
- Outlining a simple approval/reimbursement process, and
- Announcing your plan company wide.
If your organization already has Time Tracker, use our screen announcement feature to disburse news of the fund. Employ banner messages in the app to let employees know when the offer is live, and streamline the process for HR by gathering feedback using the question functionality to determine who’s participating.
Offer aid with child care
It’s no secret that parents who work remotely are struggling. Balancing work, childcare, teaching and schedule coordination in ever-changing circumstances makes it difficult for people to do their jobs well. Depending upon your workforce, a childcare assistance stipend may be in order — in addition to or in place of a home-office setup stipend.
Allowing employees to prioritize where their extra money goes gives them control, and it allows them to create a mental and emotional home-office setup that works for them.
Schedule weekly non-working lunches
When considering home-office setup ideas, it’s important to consider morale in addition to logistics. Try scheduling regular, non-work meetings during lunch to keep people connected. With a solution like Time Tracker you can launch and schedule a virtual book, movie or TV discussion group, or host small-group lunches once a week where teams can catch up and chat.
If you want to sweeten the deal further, consider a food-delivery stipend. If your company offered free lunch or snacks pre-pandemic, it’s a relatively easy budgetary shift to go from group catering to individual delivery. Offer workers a set amount for restaurant delivery, or designate funds for meal-kit or grocery delivery so workers can make quick meals at home. A food bonus is a simple but satisfying way to show you’re thinking outside the box when it comes to home-office setup ideas.
Use reporting data to offer recognition and support
One of the biggest challenges companies face is using the data they collect in ways that matter. If you’re an early adopter who wisely implemented time-tracking software to manage accountability and productivity, you should be able to access data now to see what’s working and what’s not.
- Identify peak times for customer services representatives or sales teams so you can schedule enough employees for busy periods.
- Review the effects of longer or shorter shifts, as well as which employees are more productive early or late in the day. Once you have that data, set aside time to discuss flexible scheduling as needed.
- Identify which employees are consistently productive or complete their tasks on time so you can reward them with praise or extra benefits like added PTO.
By showing that not only is everyone on the same page when it comes to time tracking but that you’re also paying real attention to your business, you show employees that everyone is accountable and on the same team.
Try Time Tracker
If you’re just now starting to brainstorm home-office setup ideas, don’t worry; there is still time to make improvements! Start with a 14-day free trial of Time Tracker for in-app notifications, scheduling those important lunch dates and providing well-deserved recognition.