In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some general tips on how businesses and HR teams can manage remote work situations during the COVID-19 outbreak. Many workplaces remain primarily in work-from-home situations, while others may be partially transitioning back to normal.
At WTA, Inc, we’re proud to offer a wide range of HR services, from payroll services to worker’s compensation claims management, employer insurance and numerous others. What are some of the top themes HR pros and business owners should be keeping in mind during these unique remote work periods? Here are a few additional areas to consider.
Responsiveness and Availability
Throughout these periods, it’s important for managers and HR staff to be available despite the lack of physical proximity to many employees. Using communication channels like email, phone and Slack, such individuals should remain directly connected to daily processes and employee needs.
Even in cases where online communications are building up, do not ignore outreach attempts from employees or colleagues. If you need more time, acknowledge receiving the communication and inform the party you haven’t yet had time to handle their request.
Flexibility Where Possible
It’s important to understand that for many employees who are working remotely, this is their first time ever in such a situation. They may not be used to some of the processes that need to be used during this time, or may have challenges with software, online platforms and related technological needs.
It’s vital for managers and HR pros to be flexible and patient during these situations. Anticipate the occasional hiccup and be prepared for them, including preparing solutions for common problems like internet connectivity or others workers at home may experience. Don’t get frustrated or annoyed with those who take a bit longer to adjust than others.
Collaboration is always important within many workplaces, and this remains the case even when everyone is working from home. Collaborate using tools like Slack and Zoom meetings, allowing employees to continue completing projects in many of the same ways they’re used to. If you involve new software in this effort, remember it will take some employees time to adjust.
Finally, trust is a central factor in remote working arrangements. Managers and HR staff must strike a careful balance between supervision and overbearing attention – you don’t want to control employees as much as you want to inform them of realistic expectations, then trust them to meet these with light supervision and monitoring. Focus more on output and productivity than the exact amounts of time put in or how long tasks take.
For more on how HR teams and management groups can manage remote work situations, or to learn about any of our HR services, speak to the staff at WTA, Inc today.