Ultimate Working From Home Guide for In-Home Health Care Agencies
How to efficiently manage your business whilst working remotely from home
Working from home and ensuring your business runs smoothly requires a bit of set up, but with the right applications it can help to build a more nimble and productive company that increases efficiency and moves ahead of the competition.
For home care agencies, there are plenty of tools on the market to make managing staff, clients, financials and administration from the home office a breeze.
Set up your space for working at home
With your office off-limits, having a good work space at home is the starting point. Consider dedicating a space in your home to your work, keep it clean and organised and reserve it only for work-related tasks, so as to have a clear separation between work and home life, even though both are being carried out in the house.
It’s also imperative to ensure that all of your staff have the equipment they need to continue doing their jobs via remote working. Consider access to:
software, computers and accessories such as keyboards, mice, extra monitors etc;
reliable internet connection and a phone to stay in touch with the team and clients, and;
any files or equipment that may be necessary.
It’s also a good idea to encourage your team to have some structure in their days, including start and end times, taking a proper lunch break away from the workstation and keeping up exercise to look after their physical and mental wellbeing.
Keep things ‘business as usual’
Although there are bound to be a number of major changes, it’s important to try and maintain the status quo, in order to keep your team motivated and your clients confident that you can continue to deliver your services.
It may be worth getting in touch with current clients via an EDM (electronic direct mail) newsletter to inform them of how your business is adapting to the situation and how they’ll continue to provide top-tier service, even from the home office. Assure them of continued customer support and any changes to the way they communicate with your staff. If you want to reach out to other types of clients (i.e. past or potential) then send something that is both helpful and relevant to them.
Staying in contact with clients is important if you deal with them regularly. Changes to your processes, your people or how they access your service needs to be communicated in a timely manner. You should also allow for extra time for your staff to answer their questions or to assist them with any changes. Phone calls and video chats (where you can share your screen to explain changes) can both work well to help them and build further trust with your business.
ShiftCare - helping home care agencies work remotely
Built from the ground up specifically for the home health care industrie, ShiftCare is an all-encompassing care management application that makes providers more efficient, functional and robust. Its features have been designed with the complex needs of businesses and their clients in mind, and turns admin-heavy processes into simple tasks that reduce overhead and free staff up to focus on other aspects of the business.
With everything done from the one online platform, you and your staff can access ShiftCare no matter where they happen to be working - the home office, a client’s house etc. - and everything is uploaded and shared in real time. This avoids unnecessary office visits and keeps, as everything is instant, shareable, collaborative and digital.
ShiftCare makes it possible to continue operating your business remotely without disrupting your services or compromising the quality of care you provide to your home care clients.
Let’s check out some of the top features that help an home health agency thrive from the home office with ShiftCare.
Work from home with easy collaboration and sharing
Great things happen when we collaborate and work closely together, but that doesn’t necessarily mean having to sit by each others’ sides.
ShiftCare’s document management features allow you to upload, distribute and keep track of files, which can be easily accessed and worked on by your team. Plans, outlines and guides can be shared instantly, without having to print or be in the same location as your caregivers, and reminders can be activated to keep everyone on top of their tasks.
All this allows your team to stay productive and working together even when not everyone can (or should) be in the office.
Online scheduling software from home
If a business in the home health care industry is being managed remotely, getting the all-important scheduling process right can be a challenge.
ShiftCare’s simple and collaborative scheduling tool takes care of this, allowing you and your team to:
set up repeat schedules to avoid repetition and reduce workload;
drag and drop functionality to simplify the assignment process in your schedules;
avoid double booking and no-shows with alerts;
offer up available shifts to the team in one click, rather than having to make calls and send a load of text messages. Available staff can then accept the shift and see it added to their roster, and;
manage leave and absence, as staff block out their own N/A time from their phones or computers. No paperwork required.
All of this is achieved without a single piece of paper printed or needing for anyone to be present in the office, so you can work at home and continue to achieve your company’s goals.
Paperless timesheet and payroll management
Timesheets become time ‘screens’ with ShiftCare software, as carers simply clock in and out and enter their travel times for all their shifts directly into the app on their phones or devices. The app can also check location and calculate any reimbursement based on mileage and car usage.
Cancellations and modifications are automatically communicated via email and the ShiftCare app to staff, clients and the admin team to avoid confusion, stress, missed shifts and customer dissatisfaction.
This method is much more accurate, avoids payroll errors and automates major administrative tasks. This saves you overhead, lost revenue and staff hours that can be invested into building a better business for your clients and staff. It also means you can easily manage your payroll expenditure, as well as staff movements, all from within the app and from your home office.
ShiftCare takes this a step further, with full integration with accounting software XERO and MYOB, making the completion of payroll for your carers an absolute breeze. Whether you take this responsibility on yourself, or it’s the job of the admin staff, getting your team paid becomes a very simple process, with everything managed easily within the one app.
We’ve plenty of help articles for setting up and using payroll integrations with ShiftCare here!
Keep track of your clients from home with progress notes
An essential part of offering home care services is keeping track of your clients’ progress and assessing the performance of your carers in helping the clients reach their goals. Carers can also communicate with each other about any issues or new complications with the client, which can be followed up and managed in subsequent care visits.
ShiftCare’s progress notes feature enables carers to create and update notes during their shift whilst with the client, directly from their phone on the ShiftCare app. They can view progress on customised goal trackers and create personalised notes to share with other carers and with managers.
Having everything updated on-site avoids carers needing to venture into the office, as all the work is done online.
Other remote working apps to help run your business from home
We recently did a piece on some of our favourite apps for productivity for digital business, all excellent for aged care and disability support providers.
Some of the must-haves for manages running their businesses remotely include:
Slack for team collaboration and conversations, replacing long winded email chains;
Dropbox to upload, share and distribute files within your team, wherever they find themselves;
Google Drive for easy, real-time collaboration on documents and media within your entire team, and;
GoToMeeting video conferencing tool to help you stay in touch and up to date with all your carers, admin staff and customers, even if you’re managing from home
Working remotely, getting results
Remotely running your aged care and disability support business doesn’t have to mean lost productivity, a lack of oversight or a drop in client satisfaction. In fact, with powerful and simple care management programmes such as ShiftCare, working from home and coordinating teams that already assist clients across many different locations can lead to increased efficiency and a decrease in overhead.
If you’re currently working from home temporarily, or looking to transition to remote operations, you can try out ShiftCare for free and see what it can do to benefit you, your business, your staff and your clients.