Small and medium-sized rental businesses across the world are facing new and unique challenges due to the spread of COVID-19. These include shipment delays, restricted travel, and of course ensuring the safety of employees and customers. This serious global health threat has disrupted millions of lives. As calls for self-quarantine continue to rise, businesses need to take measures that will minimize disruption.
The American Rental Association has created a discussion group where the equipment and event rental industry can discuss COVID-19 related concerns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted in a recent media briefing that businesses need to prepare for the spread of COVID-19 and consider precautionary measures. These include replacing in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increasing teleworking options.
Whether you are in a high impact area or one that is yet to be hit by the virus, it is important to be prepared with a remote work policy that works for your business. Here are four tips on setting an effective policy that will help operations run smoothly during this uncertain time.
1. Set clear rules and guidelines
Business owners are reluctant to offer flexible work options because they fear employee productivity could drop without direct supervision. This is possible since it is hard to hold employees accountable without clear rules and checkpoints.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to set protocols that will ensure your staff can work successfully from home. Develop a detailed remote work policy and set specific expectations.
For example, set clear working hours and breaks so your team knows their availability requirement. Tell your employees how you will track time. Will you provide them with all the required tools and equipment such as a laptop etc.? Encourage accountability by including measures such as mandatory check-ins with the manager twice a day, or an end-of-day status email.
Consider your workflows and business needs and set detailed guidelines that are results-driven. Make sure you write this policy down and give your whole team access to it. You can also include it in your employee handbook so all employees are required to read and sign off on it.
2. Establish goals and KPIs for employee performance
Once you’ve established clear guidelines for your remote work policy, it is important to measure outcome. Set clear goals and KPIs for employees who are not working in the office so they have a strong sense of purpose. Setting goals motivates people who lose interest in their work without a stimulating environment and face-to-face interaction. For example, a remote worker can be asked to resolve a certain number of customer queries within a day or close a certain number of sales.
3. Test your policy on a small scale
Test your remote work policy to ensure it is ready to be launched. Before implementing, choose a small group of employees and allow them to work from home. They can test the protocols you’ve put in place and report on their effectiveness. This allows you to fine-tune your policies before enabling them for the whole organization.
Likewise, you can also test the policy for a limited time period. For example, allow your team to work from home for a day and review the results to make effective changes.
4. Choose the right tools and technology
Equip your employees for success. Invest in technology that is designed to enable remote work such as instant chat, secure document sharing, and web conferencing tools, etc. These ensure effective collaboration and provide valuable face time which makes employees feel like part of a team.
How can EZRentOut help?
Our cloud-based rental software facilitates powerful remote management of business operations. Get real-time data and give your employees specialized access to information. Manage your items from a single source and stay informed on your business landscape at all times.
Here are a few ways you can use your online rental software to minimize business disruption during this challenging time:
- Temporarily closing your brick and mortar store? Make sure your Webstore is updated so customers can view and book rental equipment for future events online.
- Our integrated email component enables you to manage customer communication through a single portal. Customers do not need to show up physically and can access their order information through customer portals.
- Managing procurement through EZRentOut? Communicate quickly and easily with vendors to streamline deliveries.
- Carry out maintenance events through our Work Orders module. Remote employees can collaborate effectively and you can track progress as well as encourage accountability through Alerts, Work Logs, and prioritized events. Given the current circumstances, you can also attach employee health/hygiene checklists with each Work Order.
Utilize our full range of functions to minimize business disruption while observing the recommended safety measures. Please reach out to our support team with any questions. We are available to address your concerns and offer assistance so your business operations can run as smoothly as possible during these challenging times.
EZRentOut is the leading cloud based equipment rental software with specialized features to help you optimize rentals for different customer segments. Use our mobile app to create and process orders anywhere, anytime!
You can try us out by signing up today for a free 15-day trial. For more assistance, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.