Coronavirus en_US Coronavirus has forced businesses to have their employees work from home. Here are some tips and suggestions to help manage employees virtually. https://quickbooks.intuit.com/cas/dam/IMAGE/A192G0z6V/4-work-from-home-tips-for-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus_featured.jpg https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/employee-management/work-from-home-tips/ 4 work from home tips for business owners

If you’ve always operated out of a storefront or central location, you may not be prepared to manage a remote workforce. And many employees may be unfamiliar with work-from-home practices. If you’re establishing a work-from-home policy, try these four tips.

1. Encourage workers to establish dedicated workspaces

The hardest part about working from home is finding a way to separate “home life” from “work life.” To avoid blurring those lines, encourage employees to find a space that is both comfortable and professional—whatever that means for them.

Workers who’ve never had to work from home may find it helpful to separate themselves as much as possible. That means working away from pets and kids while they refocus on their work and adapt to a work environment.

As a business owner, you may need to help your remote workers stay organized. You may need to borrow essential office or work equipment, like monitors and keyboards, to remote workers.

2. Communicate your office hours

Time can blur when you’re working from home. To make it easier, you and your workforce should create a plan for when you’ll be working and when you’re unavailable. To start, share your daily work schedule with your team and ask them to do the same.

Physical separation means team members can’t see when a co-worker is at their desk and working. If everyone communicates their office hours and availability, you’ll know how to manage your expectations, should an emergency task arise.

Communicate when you have to step away from your workspace. Whether you’re walking the dog or taking a lunch break, let your teams know when you’ll be back.

3. Encourage workers to take breaks

Working from home can affect your—and your workers’—energy levels and mental state. As you think about your schedule, consider when you feel energized and when you feel sluggish. Use this self-evaluation to adjust your schedule and workload accordingly. Work on big projects when you have the most energy and take breaks when you’re feeling low.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to schedule and take your lunch breaks. Use your breaks to get up and stretch, call a friend, or connect with your team. In any work environment, it’s essential that you take care of your body and eat nourishing food.

Finally, since you and your remote employees aren’t commuting, you can all use that time to do something for yourselves. Read a book with your morning coffee, exercise, or go for a walk. This time can help you and your remote workers adopt healthy routines.

4. Focus on team morale

Keep workplace connections strong by putting time on the calendar to socialize with your teams virtually. Grab a coffee or snack and chat about the day. You might also create a virtual water cooler with a dedicated chat or video conference link that’s live all day. Employees can pop in and out as time permits to chat with the team.

In addition, you can start fun weekly challenges that encourage employees to interact. You can share pictures of your pets and favorite coffee mugs and links to your favorite albums or playlists. Make an effort to acknowledge and celebrate birthdays and special events the same way you would at the office.

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Myranda is a content creator and researcher at Intuit. She graduated with an English and journalism degree from Boise State University and currently resides in Boise, Idaho. She’s passionate about dogs, music, and helping small businesses succeed. Read more