In response to COVID-19, or Coronavirus, concerns, many companies are currently taking necessary precautions by shifting towards remote work and, for some, temporarily closing their offices.
To ensure a smooth transition and operational success, companies should have effective remote working plans and procedures in place during a time when the home office is becoming the new normal. Read on for valuable tips for efficiently preparing your team for working from home.
Organizations and businesses are now promoting work-from-home options for their staff to ensure a healthy workforce and to minimize current concerns of being out in public, including taking public transit to commute to and from work.
TPD is among the hundreds of companies who have made this decision. At TPD, employees whose roles allow them to work from home have been encouraged to do so and, while our offices will remain open to the public, there will be a minimal assigned staff presence.
Before promoting work-from-home practices, though, it is critical to have written remote work policies in place that will make the expectations and responsibilities of employees clear as they work from home. This will ensure a smooth transition and help maintain an operational standard.
Trial & Error
What works for one organization may not work for another, so it’s important to create a work plan that is best suited to the needs of your business and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. Of course, this may also require minor adaptations along the way, because everyone from your team will work differently.
Adjusting to a different work environment can be stressful for certain individuals and can add pressure to an already stressful time. As such, employers need to maintain a clear line of communication and provide their employees with appropriate information to alleviate tension.
Your employees will need the appropriate equipment to get their job done, such as a tablet or computer. For certain roles, getting work done on a laptop or tablet may not be adequate, so employers should consider sending their staff home with full-sized equipment, such as monitors and desktop computers. In addition, ensure there are tools in place to ward off cyber-security risks and protect passwords.
With offices enforcing remote work for what may be an indefinite time, it is essential that your workforce stay in constant contact with one another daily. This is critical for keeping everyone updated on requests or changes, and for getting tasks completed efficiently.
Today, there are numerous tools available that make both internal and external communications easier. If your organization doesn’t already have internal messaging or video conferencing systems in place, it would be wise to install them now. Companies such as Slack and Microsoft are offering their tools for free, “in a hope that people who start using them in a crisis may carry on once normality returns.”
At TPD, all meetings will now be virtual, unless there is a circumstance to warrant in-person presence. Additionally, TPD will also have daily “open door” virtual meetings for easy accessibility to the leadership team for employees.
Keeping in constant communication with your peers will also provide an added benefit of easing loneliness, which has been reported to be the second-most reported challenge of working from home, and, as a result, increasing motivation.
Let’s Work Together
Amid COVID-19 concerns, companies can look forward to the potential opportunities that these new remote work practices present. As stated by Matt Mullenweg, Chief Executive of WordPress and owner of Tumblr site Automattic, these changes “might also offer an opportunity for many companies to finally build a culture that allows long-overdue work flexibility… Millions of people will get the chance to experience days without long commutes, or the harsh inflexibility of not being able to stay close to home when a family member is sick… This might be a chance for a great reset in terms of how we work.”
Whether you require assistance with your remote work policies or sick leave policies – or, for businesses where remote work is not an option, if you need help with temporary staffing – the experts at TPD are always ready to help. You can get in touch with us here, or by phone at 1.888.685.3530.