During the recent COVID-19 outbreak that’s swept the globe, numerous businesses have transitioned partially or fully to remote work. Telework is not a new theme, one that many companies have taken advantage of for years, but it’s currently being used by many businesses or managers without much experience in this realm.
At WTA, Inc., we offer numerous human resource services for businesses, ranging from risk management to worker’s compensation claims, employer insurance, payroll services and numerous others. In this two-part blog series, we’ll give you the HR professional’s take on remote work situations and how companies should manage them, including some valuable tips to keep workflow high and retain all your business’s original qualities despite this disruption to normal work.
Strong, Consistent Policy
For starters, businesses who moved to remote work within the last couple months should have already established a strong teleworking policy for all employees. This is particularly important for employees who have never worked from home before, but should be reinforced even to those who have.
One major theme to consider here even if you already put a policy in place: It may need to be altered as the months go by – you may, in fact, already be at that point. The first few weeks or months are a great chance to evaluate remote programs and tweak them in simple ways to improve efficiency and satisfaction. In addition, as certain workplaces in some areas of the country are able to return employees to the office, you’ll need a current plan for this re-integration.
If you’re asking employees to work remotely during this crisis without their quality level suffering, you need to also provide them with the proper equipment to do so. This can be a challenge for larger offices and workplaces, particularly those who utilize laptops, videoconferencing and related technology often.
For this reason, responsive and high-quality IT teams are vital for larger businesses. These departments will take on a far larger role during remote work periods, assisting employees with their issues without being able to see their hardware.
Schedules and Interaction
It’s important that despite employees working from different locations, general schedules and interactions are maintained. Regular meetings should continue via Zoom or other technology – some companies may even add certain brainstorming sessions or others that might have otherwise been carried out in-person to the average daily schedule.
In addition, management and HR staff should regularly reach out to and stay in communication with employees. This is not only for regular check-ins on productivity and workflow, but also for personal support and answering any questions employees may have about the shifting situation. For more on managing remote work situations from an HR perspective, or to learn about any of our HR services, speak to the staff at WTA, Inc. today.