Three things to avoid when switching to remote working in your home care business

4 minutes

The coronavirus pandemic has propelled all of us into fast-track action, with entire businesses switching to remote working.

We understand that for home care staff, working out in the field, remote working isn't feasible. However for those staff who are office based this is possible and should be adopted to minimise social contact.

We’ve spoken to some of our partner agencies and gathered some top intel on the mistakes to avoid when adjusting your working processes to be remote-first, so you can make a smooth transition if you make the decision to work from home.

Not being visible to your care staff

Your care staff have to go out to work as normal. Whether you employ 10 or 1,000 care staff, it’s important to maintain a level of contact with them when you’re absent from the office.  Being visible reminds your staff that you’re there to support them, answer their questions and also reminds them that you’re still working, just like they are. One way you can do this is by sending daily updates to your staff via WhatsApp or text, a tactic that Jenny from Hasbury Home Care services explained during our live webinar on best practices

Not planning for mental health adjustments

Your care staff are risking what could be a life-threatening virus each and every day that they spend time visiting clients. If they travel by public transport, their risks are even higher. Whilst most would only suffer mild symptoms if they contracted COVID-19, their increased risk, alongside other worries like family members health, social distancing from their usual activities and an unprecedented level of uncertainty can all take its toll on their mental health. It’s important that as you increase distance, you increase resources. 

Let your staff know that you’re available to talk through their concerns and be sure to check-in on their wellbeing regularly. Beverly Sims-Manley, the Managing Director of Home Care at Medacs Healthcare, told us that she has faced a lot more questions from her staff about the current situation. Her advice was to prepare some FAQs and be sure to communicate updates and advice from trusted resources to staff on a regular basis. She’s also put in place initiatives like daily Facebook Group photos and messages of positivity to help keep staff morale.

Not testing your software, systems and internet connections

Your home internet is perfectly adequate for your day to day needs, but if there’s more than one of you at home using it for work purposes, or you have children who are now off school, it’s a good idea to check your connections before committing to becoming fully remote. 

“Internet issues at home are making it difficult to join conference calls - it’s like New Years’ Eve all day”
Beverly Sims-Manley Medacs Healthcare

If you struggle with poor connection, ordering extra wi-fi boosters is an option, or you could agree certain times within your household to reduce internet usage so you can make online calls. 

For more advice on working remotely as a home care business, click here. If you’re struggling to work remotely at present, software systems like Birdie can help. Find out more about how you could digitise your processes and keep full visibility over your care here. 

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