How many times has an employee shown up on a Zoom call in less-than-professional attire? Do you feel like the professionalism of your teams is slipping just because they are working from home more regularly? Don’t worry, you are not alone. The latest PwC polling shows most employers are planning to keep remote work long after COVID is no longer a concern. So, how can these employers help their employees remain professional even when working from home?
Give Your Employees These Tips on Professionalism
When it comes to office professionalism with remote workers, managers can and should lead by example. Talk with your leadership teams about increasing the professionalism of your remote workforce. Set some ground rules and suggestions to up the ante on the appearance and professionalism of your workforce. Some of the best tips you can give managers and staff include:
Dress the Part
Dressing for work probably seems like a simplification, but we’ve found a mindset difference when the at-home employee takes the time to reinstate a routine similar to what they had when they worked in an office. Changing clothes signifies that it’s time to get things done, and it certainly changes the appearance of the person on your video chat. Taking a shower, dressing appropriately, perhaps even putting on makeup, or whatever the employee did in their “normal” schedule will increase the at-home worker’s professional appearance and mental sharpness.
Find a Designated Workspace
Talk with your employee about designating a workplace in their home. If they’ve been working from the kitchen table, it’s easier for children, spouses, or dogs to disrupt a video conference. Draw the line over when work starts and ends and use that time to work from a space that is dedicated strictly to working. The goal is for the employee to recreate what they had when they went to an office. This will cut down on unnecessary interruptions and help reset the mindset of the employee at home. If it helps, the employer should offer to purchase any necessary equipment the employee needs, whether it’s a new office chair or better lighting.
Clearly Define Working Hours
Establish clearly defined working hours and stick to them. An employee can more easily burnout if there is no delineation between work life and home line. If it’s supposed to be a 9 to 5 job, set that expectation with your employee. In the same way that the employee should have a designated workspace, they should have a set number of hours. But if you set these rules with employees, just remember to honor them yourself.
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