How to Help your Apprentices when Working from Home
Working from Home adds many barriers to anyone’s work schedule whether that be an apprentice or mentor. There are many ways in which we can overcome these barriers when merging the work and home life without creating such a big change to our routine. Before starting the work from home transition mentors will need to consider the different obstacles they may run in to and how they can adapt their mentoring style and routine in order to be done digitally.
Communication Is Key
Working from Home can add many additional communication barriers within your company when mentoring a new apprentice. We need to learn to overcome these barriers by making use of all available digital platforms. When mentoring an apprentice from home you need to make sure you include a healthy mixture of all the digital communications you have on offer. For example Video Calling on platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams has become widely popular over the recent months. This is because although it is a virtual call it adds the somewhat in person feeling that you do not get over email. Ensure to take time out of the day to check in with your apprentice whether that be a quick phone call or email in order to keep that constant communication.
Add Structure and Routine
Structure and Routine is a very important aspect when working from home, especially for a new apprentice that is not used to the merge of work and home life. Help your apprentice with their time management by scheduling a call to go over there work load and help them create a weekly schedule in order to get all their work done on time as well as including breaks away from the screen to take care of themselves and their wellbeing. You can also schedule regular check in calls to discuss what they have planned for the day and their routine to get it done as well as checking in on their mental health and if there is anything they are struggling with or need help working on.
Adapt Mentoring Style
Mentoring style doesn’t need to change when working from home. To avoid confusing your apprentice even more with such big changes already happening, try to stick to your current mentoring style with just small adaptations to make it digital ensuring it works for both you and your mentee. For example if you and your mentee have weekly 1-2-1 meetings where you sit in a meeting room within the office to discuss work and any queries they may have, substitute this for a weekly video call at the same time to have the same discussion. Therefore there is only the slightest change within the routine to help you apprentice stick to their schedule.
Always Keep an Eye On Wellbeing
When working from home we don’t know how much of an effect these circumstances can have on people’s mental health and wellbeing. Some apprentices may be able to manage the workload they are given whilst also taking time to focus on themselves and their mental health by going on walks or just taking breaks away from their laptops, however many apprentices may struggle separating their work and home life as it’s such a big change and may need help from there mentors. Regularly check in with your apprentice not only to check on their workload and how they are managing that but to also have an open and comfortable conversation with them where they can air any concerns they may have or ask any questions regarding things they may be struggling with.