Working from home has previously been viewed as an option or a privilege for some, however coronavirus it has made it compulsory for many.
With the right practices, procedures and rules employees can remain engaged and productive whether in isolation or carrying out social distancing.
Here is a list of tips for managing remote workers:
- Prepare employees with the equipment to hit the ground running. As well as providing hardware, issue a home working risk assessment to ensure that employees are safe, comfortable and engaged.
- Ensure everyone is using the same communication platforms. Employees should have the access and training to use the agreed tools. There are many tools to help employees work from home to communicate with colleagues and hold meetings. Team members should be encouraged to maintain communication with each other even if they can’t in the usual way. It’s better to over communicate but keep in mind some messages are still best delivered over the phone / video call.
- Set out clear policies on home working practices, e.g. are employees expected to work the same hours as when office based and how should they make themselves available? Also, encourage a dress code that helps employees to maintain a professional and disciplined attitude. How individuals view themselves is just as important as how others do.
- Set clear objectives – set smart targets to ensure that employees are clear on deadlines, have the support they need and reinforce how their work aligns to the purpose of the organisation.
- Maintain a structured routine. This may involve a team conference call at the beginning or end of the day, or a social catch up around lunchtime to give employees a break for a social outlet to feel connected.
- Show flexibility for those with dependents to care for. Consider a short-term flexible working arrangement to reduce hours to help with childcare arrangements or other leave. Support around this is a key factor in engagement and can reinforce loyalty, a crucial tool in retention.
- Increase your visibility – use online tools to check in with employees frequently to ensure that they don’t feel isolated and remain motivated in their roles. Without face to face recognition, a word of encouragement can be vital to maintain momentum. This also gives you a chance to monitor their mental and physical wellbeing. Often employees take fewer breaks when working from home which may affect their resilience and increase stress levels.
- Maintain morale – schedule regular updates for employees to receive updates on objectives and remind them of what is important to focus on. Use the opportunities to provide reassurance, celebrate progress and maintain motivation.
HR Guidance and Support
For coronavirus articles, webinar recording and frequently asked questions visit our dedicated page, ‘Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers’. HR Solutions are here to provide you with support and advice on any employment related issues; to find out more call call us on 0844 324 5840 or contact us online.