COVID-19 is forcing many communities to adopt social distancing and work-from-home lifestyles, resulting in many challenges for small businesses. In this time of changing operations, we want to help our customers navigate these new waters. 

Here are some ways to use Homebase that can help you manage your team and business, whether you’re working from home, moving to delivery and takeout, temporarily closing, or thinking about re-opening in the future. 

Our Homebase advisors are also available to discuss how to get the most out of your Homebase account as your business needs evolve and how to set up all the features below. Reach out to an advisor from the Homebase app using chat, call (415) 951-3830, or email help@joinhomebase.com.

And be sure to check out our blog for other useful information, such as financial resources for small businesses and employees and free or discounted services for small businesses. 

Working from Home

Moving to Delivery and Takeout

Temporarily Closing

Reopening

Working from Home

Homebase app

The free Homebase Mobile App (iOS and Android) [include links to app stores] ensures your team stays in sync and has access to schedules, messages, and alerts no matter what location they are working from. Encourage everyone on your team to get the app.

Scheduling

Working from home may affect your team’s availability and time off. Since you might not see your team in person, they can submit availability and time off requests in the Homebase mobile app. Once managers approve, the schedule will automatically update and highlight any conflicts. 

With your business adapting to constantly changing operations and changes in employee availability, you want to be confident that your team knows about new schedules. Ensure your team has viewed the most up-to-date schedule with Schedule Confirmations by seeing who has received and viewed a schedule. 

Time Tracking

As more people work remotely, the Homebase mobile app includes employee Mobile Time Clocks, allowing remote teams to clock in and out at different locations. Here’s how to set up and use the Mobile Time Clock. GPS Tracking is available on the mobile time clock to see exactly where employees are clocking in and out. 

The Web Time Clock is available to any logged-in employee with a web browser. They can use this time clock on their own computers if they are working from home. Time cards are generated just as they are with any other time clock. Here’s how to set up and use the Web Time Clock

Time Sheet Edit History allows owners to see who is making adjustments to timecards as more teams work remotely and in different locations.

Team Communication

Homebase Messenger is a fast, easy way for you and your team to keep in touch when your team members are working remotely. Your team will need to either have the Homebase mobile app or log in to Homebase from their computer, and as long as your team members are on the active roster— even if they’re not currently scheduled or working shifts—you can all stay in touch and in sync. Send real-time status updates, announcements, and messages about your business as things change. You can send these messages to specific groups, individuals, or the whole team. Homebase Messenger is also great for building community. Give recognition to groups or individuals by sending a message or give your team a shout-out for a job well done. 

Since you might not see your team in person at the start of shifts, you can leave Shift Notes in the schedule for each shift with instructions or reminders.

Working in different locations also makes it harder to know that your messages are being received, so use Message Confirmations to see when your team has read your messages.

Moving to Delivery and Takeout

Homebase app

The free Homebase Mobile App (iOS and Android) ensures your team stays in sync and has access to schedules, messages, and alerts while they are out making deliveries. 

Scheduling

Open Shifts make it easier to handle any changes in your team’s availability and your business’s operating hours. With open shifts, you use Homebase messenger to alert the team that shifts are available. When an employee claims an open shift, you’ll get an alert telling you to approve the claim, and once the claim is approved, the shift is automatically assigned to the employee and the schedule is updated. Here’s how to publish open shifts.

Employees can claim open shifts in the free employee mobile app by navigating to the Open Shift view of the schedule page. And with the mobile app, your team will always have the most up-to-date schedule.

Delivery and takeout operations can change your business model and expenses. Use Labor Forecasting to manage labor costs as you navigate this change. With variability in schedules, labor, and sales, you can also track and forecast labor costs against sales to run a leaner business. 

If you need to leave special instructions or reminders to employees in charge of delivery and takeout, add Shift Notes on their shifts on the schedule. 

With delivery and takeout, it’s important for your team to know the new schedule involving these operations, which may change from day to day. Check Schedule Confirmations to see who has received and viewed a schedule. 

Time Tracking

As you incorporate delivery and take out, your team can use the  Mobile Time Clock in the Homebase mobile app This allows them to clock in and out at different locations. Here’s how to set up and use the Mobile Time Clock. GPS Tracking is available on the mobile time clock to see where delivery employees are clocking in and out. 

Time Sheet Edit History allows owners to see who is making adjustments to timecards, which is important as more managers and employees travel for delivery or help provide takeout and aren’t there to talk to in person. 

Team Communication

Homebase Messenger is a fast, easy way for you and your team to keep in touch when your team members are working remotely. Your team will need to either have the Homebase mobile app or log in to Homebase from their computer, and as long as your team members are on the active roster— even if they’re not currently scheduled or working shifts—you can all stay in touch and in sync. Send real-time status updates, announcements, and messages about your business as things change. You can send these messages to specific groups, individuals, or the whole team. Homebase Messenger is also great for building community. Give recognition to groups or individuals by sending a message or give your team a shout-out for a job well done. 

Leave Shift Notes for an employee’s shift with instructions or reminders—especially important if you aren’t there to tell them in person.

Ensure that messages sent to your team are being read with Message Confirmations. This is helpful for those team members who are out on delivery and need to be updated on information. 

Temporarily Closing

Let Your Team Know

If you’ve made the difficult decision to temporarily close your business due to COVID-19, then letting your employees know about this is at the top of your list of tasks. Ways of sharing the initial news is unique to each owner and their team, but the sooner you can let your team know, the better. 

Homebase Messenger can be a great tool to share additional information or next steps about the decision with your entire team and to keep in touch with them while you are closed. 

Homebase Billing & Account Management

At Homebase, we want to make sure we’re serving our customers to the best of our ability during this difficult time. As such, we are making it possible for customers to pause billing during this time. This ensures you are able to retain your account, features, and data, so that it is all there and ready for you when you are ready to re-open. 

If you are on a paid plan and you would like to pause your billing, call (415) 951-3830 or email us to request a pause in your billing while you deal with the hardships related to COVID-19. Here’s more information on how to pause your billing during this time.

Collecting Records

Temporarily closing will require you to file final tax forms, close accounts, and keep records. You may be legally required to maintain tax and employment records, specifically. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, common guidelines advise keeping records for anywhere from three to seven years. 

Your employees may also request time card records to file for unemployment. Filing for unemployment generally asks for quarterly earnings. In the Homebase app, you can see and download up to 3 months of time cards at once for your employees.  

Reopening

Hiring

When you are ready to re-open your business, hiring will be essential. Homebase has free Hiring tools to help you hire quality candidates fast. Homebase hiring helps you post jobs with just a couple clicks to the top online job boards, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Craigslist, ZipRecruiter, and more. You can also easily manage all your candidates and interviews in one location.

Start Scheduling & Time Tracking 

When you reopen your business, we’d love to help you get the most out of Homebase. You can schedule a call with our Homebase advisors to discuss your business and team needs in depth. 

As you decide what’s best for your business during these uncertain times, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions. We’d love to help in any way we can! Reach out to a Homebase advisor from the app using chat, call (415) 951-3830, or email help@joinhomebase.com.

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