5 Tips if your apprentice is working from home!

This is a challenging and uncertain time for all of us at present, but this level of uncertainty will be felt particularly hard by an apprentice. They might not have had much previous work experience and with everyone feeling the strain they are often left feeling confused and unsupported. Then they suddenly get told that they will have to work from home, something that they probably never even knew was a possibility. That is going to panic even the most confident of apprentices. I wanted to share a few tips of how to get the most out of an apprentice whilst they work from home.

1. Provide some reassurance 

Reassure your apprentice on the current situation as it stands now. Working from home aside they may be worried about their health, their family’s health or their job security. Try not to project what might happen and provide information based on the government’s current business guidelines. They will work harder if they are not overly panicked or worried and as the government announce changes, update your policy and explain it to your apprentice.

2. Train your apprentice to productively work from home 

The chances are that your apprentice hasn’t worked from home before, so offer some training and structure to what is going to be expected of them. In addition to this make sure you set clear expected deadlines and the importance of when to start work, finish work and when to take breaks. Diet and exercises are even more important than ever right now so don’t forget to mention this as well. Even go into detail in terms of where their workstation will be and if it is appropriate and productive. Setting up a bespoke workstation also helps with avoiding distractions like TV and household chores.

3. Effective and supportive communication

Clear communication is vital when working with any staff member that works remotely but this is never a truer statement. They would normally have a room of people to fire questions at so work they might normally complete with ease may prove to be more challenging.  You might have to get multiple members of the team to feed into what the apprentice will be doing each day to ensure they have enough to work on but make sure that there is clear guidelines on what to work on when. Make sure you touch base at the start of the day to discuss tasks, and then check in to provide advice and encouragement. This is a very busy time so if you do not have time to check in regularly then assign another member of your team to support and mentor your apprentice. Communicate via multiple methods including Email, telephone, Teams, skype, Zoom or as its nice to see someone’s face now and again.

4. Monitor, review and feedback 

It’s imperative that you monitor your apprentice’s productivity and quality of their work each day. There output will understandably be lower working from home, however if it seems significantly lower, you can put in place measures in place to address this. When setting tasks, set a target time for them to get it back to you. If your apprentice is completing work within these time frames and of a good quality then don’t forget to offer some praise and gratitude. This will go a long way to keeping their productivity high over the coming weeks.

5. Continue to train them

Your apprentice took this opportunity because they wanted to learn. This is challenging whilst working from home. This is a great time for them to catch up on or even get ahead of their apprenticeship course work. If your apprentice is through Professional Apprenticeships, then their tutor should have been in touch by now but ask them for more work once they have completed it. Why not send the relevant YouTube content or book them some online training courses like Udemy. There are loads of great cost-effective courses that will sharpen their skills so when we return to some level of normality, your apprentice will be better qualified to perform their role.

If you would like to talk about supporting apprentices through this time then get in touch with the team at Professional Apprenticeships. 01174224000 or info@professionalapprenticeships.co.uk.