Due to the spread of COVID-19, many of us have found ourselves working from home to keep business running as smoothly as possible. Although the practice of working from home may be the norm for some, it can be a challenging adjustment for others. With decades of experience as the go-to brand for small businesses and home offices, we’ve put together some tips to help you and your team stay motivated, productive, and keep business as usual during this period of change.

Managing the change within your team

As a starting point, it’s important to set expectations around hours of work with your team, as this helps to ensure that work hours don’t leech into the usual ‘after work’ hours. Not setting these boundaries can lead to feelings of being overworked, the inability to “switch off” and can impact overall team morale. One of the benefits of working from home is that (to an extent), it allows some flexibility of work hours that can have a positive influence on productivity. Whether you’re an early riser, prefer your regular nine to five, or you’re a bit of a night owl, as long as your team sets consistent work hours, communicates these with the wider team and commits to a routine, a smooth transition to life working from home is possible, without compromising on productivity.

Tools and Equipment

Ensuring your team has the right tools and equipment to succeed is crucial for them to be able to work from home effectively. If you think about working in an office, staff are provided with a comfy chair, adequate lighting, relevant laptop stands and a desk at the correct height. Make sure you check in with your team to ensure that they are replicating this environment the best they can so that they can maintain a comfortable working environment and any potential strains or fatigue can be avoided. In conjunction with this, ensure your team have a designated room or space within their home that is strictly for work-related tasks only – perhaps a desk in the corner of a room or your dining or kitchen table. Everyone’s home is different, so ensure that your team is utilising the resources they have available to them.

Above all, encouraging a positive mindset and showing empathy towards your team is paramount in ensuring everyone is feeling empowered to conduct business as usual, and that more than likely – most of your colleagues are struggling with the same adjustments that you are. Be patient with your team and remember that everyone is going through a period of adjustment and recalibrating to a new way of working.

Selecting the right device

If your team is working from home, you need quality technology that you can trust. Technology that is easy to install, operate and connect to your existing devices within your home encourages a smooth transition from the corporate office to the home office environment. Brother has several Multi-Function Centres and scanners that are perfectly suited to the home office.

Our MFC-L3770CDW is one of our top all-rounders – with its sophisticated colour print, copy, scan and fax capabilities; accompanied by fast print speeds in exceptional quality and its wide range of connectivity options, you can quickly and efficiently print and scan from your preferred devices –  it’s a Multi-Function that’s designed to deliver uncompromised, award-winning reliability at all times. If colour printing isn’t a necessity for your team, the MFC-L2750DW could be a great option for the home office setting. With its fast print speeds, 250-sheet paper tray and a range of easy to use connectivity options, this hardworking Multi-Function supports continuous productivity of your team while they work from home.

If your team are high print users, utilising a device that supports high-yield and super high-yield toners enable a lower cost per page while having the convenient added bonus of your staff having to buy and change toners less often, meaning less downtime and more productivity time! Our MFC-L6700DW monochrome Multi-Function can print up to 8,000 pages (TN-3440) and 12,000 pages (TN-3470) with the high-yield or super high-yield toners. If you’re looking for a colour printing option, the MFC-L8900CDW is the answer with high-yield toners printing up to 4,000 pages in colour (TN-443 C/M/Y) and up to 4,500 pages in black (TN-443BK) or the super high-yield toner option supporting up to 6,500 pages (TN-446 C/M/Y/BK). Not only are you reducing running costs for your business, but you’re also minimising the amount of time you need to spend interacting with others to acquire new toners. As the government and health professionals have emphasised, reducing unnecessary human interaction is essential in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Using cloud technology

Adopting new ways of working is essential to working from home successfully – this includes adopting new technology into your day to day activities. Most tech-savvy businesses run solely on cloud platforms such as Office 365 or Google Suite and are using platforms such as Zoom and Teams to conduct video conferencing meetings. Brother can help support you and your business keep up with the technological changes that the current environment demands, and into the future.

With many of our Multi-Function Centres being equipped with the technology to connect to your business cloud, this enables you and your team to scan and share documents easily to help streamline your team’s workflow. All of our wireless print and imaging devices are capable of connecting to your business cloud, which is worth considering if you need to recruit new technology into your remote workforce.

If you find that you aren’t needing to print as much as you used to when you were in the office, but still need to share important documents with you team securely and easily – the DS-940W is a portable scanner that can help you with your home office scanning requirements. This lightweight, portable scanner is compact in size and is capable of scanning A4 documents, receipts and ID cards easily into your chosen workflow platform.

Brother has a suite of options available to you and your team to help your transition from the corporate office to the home office effortlessly, and with minimal stress during this time of uncertainty. However, one thing is for certain, we can provide you with a variety of solutions that cater for dynamic and unique team structures – we are at your side to support your new way of working, today, tomorrow and into the future.

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