Setting Up Remote Working for Your Employees in Berkshire
In a previous blog, we discussed how to create a home office from the perspective of the individual. Now that remote working is here to stay, and it’s likely more companies will look into the possibility of sending their staff to work from their house or apartment. While it sounds like a good idea – how would a business owner start setting their employees up to do it?
Camp Hopson undertook several home office set-up jobs during the lockdown, and it’s something we’re happy to continue. We can perform this duty using our range of removals and storage services, with every package being flexible and adaptable. In this article, we’ll cover the necessary information to enable you to do this task, but it’s something our team can easily take over for you.
Remote Working – Revisiting Old Ideas for Modern Times –
When we think of how a business operates, there are expectations most people assume will happen. The main one is that employees attend a set workplace to perform their duties. Some sort of manager will assign tasks; performance and productivity are monitored. Of course, these rules fall by the wayside during a global emergency like the recent pandemic, and our reliance on old working habits are no longer possible.
While many people were still travelling to work on busses and trains, it was quickly apparent that social distancing might cause issues. For various reasons, businesses in Berkshire and all over the UK were increasingly aware of the benefits of having their staff work from home. For some business owners, the costs of rent were becoming a problem during the lockdown.
Remote working isn’t a new concept; self-employed people often use their spare room as an office. You’ll find evidence going back several decades, but the recent resurgence comes with some specific aspects to consider. Technology advancements now make it possible for people to host meetings with their team via platforms like Skype and Zoom. There is an element that is a cultural shift to adapt to, but remote working presents a host of positive opportunities.
More and more companies who previously were unable to imagine using this approach are now testing it. It won’t suit every company, and some need an on-site workforce to conduct their daily workload. However, if a decent percentage of businesses adopt it, things like lower carbon emissions will benefit everyone. We’ll explore some of the practical things business owners should consider prior to having your employees work from home.
The Importance of Assessment Before Converting –
Just a reminder – we’re only looking at this from the standpoint of converting or adapting a pre-existing room, or space within one. People who are undertaking their own home office have the option of building an extension. This section aims to bring your attention to assessing whether a room conversion is the best option, or if it would be better to make some more straightforward modifications.
The first thing you’ll need to work out is whether there’s a room available to convert. The best option for those with a spare guest room would be to convert it. However, you’ll need to think about the home’s value – more on that in the next section. Alternatively, a garage or loft present viable options but will require a bit more work. This might mean additional insulation and adding electricity points.
The other possible option we suggest is partitioning a space in your employee’s house or apartment. Many people with one or two-bed flats can separate part of their bedroom or living room as a dedicated workspace. This might also be the most cost-effective choice and will cause the least disruption. Every feature will be portable, which might also be favourable.
Things to Consider Before You Start Work –
To revisit one of our previous points; you need to ensure the home office’s set-up doesn’t negatively affect your team member’s property value. A complete room conversion does result in the loss of a room, which does pose a potential issue. However, we’re not suggesting you try to determine this or commit to any decisions.
You’ll need to seek some expert advice and assistance of an estate agent. If you put together a plan of the room conversion, they’ll be able to assess the impact on the property’s value. Then your employee can weigh up the pros and cons of going ahead with the project. If this might harm the house’s valuation, we would suggest considering a different approach.
It goes without saying that you need to be careful if you’re dealing with a listed building. Even slight modifications on some properties need to have official approval before work begins. If this applies to your situation, get in touch with the local borough council and discuss the job specifications. They’ll be able to tell you if this will cause issues to avoid any nasty surprises.
Setting Up an Employee’s Office or Study –
This snapshot set-up guide outlines how an actual home office set-up entails. In this section, we’re listing the vital steps and considerations so your employees can start working remotely as soon as possible.
A dedicated workspace – a vital component for remote working. Distractions equal delays, which invariably leads to a drop in productivity. Ask your staff members to go through every room in your house to see if you can convert them into a home office. They can adapt a section of their lounge or bedroom and cordon off with a portable divider for apartments.
No TV, no Netflix, no problem – even catching up on the news can lead to bad habits. Please discuss this with your employee and suggest they consider this when choosing the dedicated work area. Remember to do this is an honest, non-confrontational way.
Selling goods and services – if your company sells goods and services; you’ll have to cover any applicable business rates. This is your responsibility as a business owner. Here’s a helpful link for you to read to understand the regulations.
Multi-purpose equipment – An excellent way to maximise a workspace is to use appliances with several functions. Examples are printers with a scanner and fax. Additionally, you can discuss the possibility of furniture which folds away if they have limited space.
Stick to the essentials – It’s possible to use these four things to create a home office: a decent chair, a desk, a computer, and an internet connection. It’s probably a good idea to invest in an office chair with enough back support. And installing fibre will help avoid any sluggish connection or buffering for your online meetings.
Camp Hopson Can Do the Work for You –
At Camp Hopson, we love seeing people make changes to how they approach their daily operations. For several years, we saw how entrepreneurs and start-ups were utilising self storage for alternative workspaces. Now, rather than people shaping innovation in the business world, an unforeseen global event made it necessary for businesses to adapt to survive.
The Covid-19 pandemic caught everyone off guard and left thousands of businesses in Berkshire and the UK with serious issues. However, out of this sudden seismic shift came something unexpected. Rather than give up, an old idea was rejuvenated. Remote working is now in the mainstream, allowing people to do their house or apartment duties.
At Camp Hopson, we keep up to date with current business trends. We do this to see if it’s possible to take our existing removals and storage packages to transfer for a new service. This is how we started setting up home offices and workspaces. Our team can collect materials, assemble office furniture, install IT systems, and make referrals to other traders.
Using Self Storage During the Process –
Before any room conversions or modifications can start, you’ll need to create more space, especially if your employees live in smaller properties. Additionally, you can save money by renting one larger storage unit and using it for everyone. By moving everything out before you start any work, you’ll speed up the process. Camp Hopson has a range of storage options to ensure their belongings are safe and secure.
Container Storage is often the choice for people who need long-term storage, and there are limitations on how often you can access these units. You’ll likely need regular access, so the most suitable choice will be our Self Storage package. We’ll assess your requirements thoroughly and advise the best storage option, as well as what size storage space you’ll need.
We have a range of storage packages to choose from, making it possible to accommodate everyone’s requirements. This applies to domestic and business customers, and we have a variety of storage unit sizes for you to choose from. And should your circumstances change, we can always upgrade or downsize your storage unit accordingly.
Camp Hopson – Supporting Innovation and Business Solutions in Berkshire –
Camp Hopson works with thousands of people and business owners every year, offering various services to match everyone’s needs. And if you’re pondering whether remote working will benefit your business, there’s plenty of things to consider. Hopefully, this article will give you some practical pointers and tips on the necessary steps.
Customer service is a massive part of our company’s ethos, and we strive to go beyond our customer’s expectations on every job. That’s why we began setting up home offices during the first lockdown, and we’re still offering this service today. Our range of removals and storage services is ideal for covering every aspect of making an office in a house or flat.
If you would like more information about creating a remote working system for your business, please contact us today. We’ll discuss how our range of services can help you set-up home offices for your team.