The UK has responded to the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) by advising citizens to avoid travelling as much as possible. As a result, most employers will have now implemented widespread remote working for their employees. While working from home may be convenient for some, there will be evolving challenges employers will need to meet to sustain business productivity.
We explore some of the good practices that employers can operate to make this period of remote working as successful as it can be.
1. Clear Communication
The key to home working and productivity is clear communication. Despite social distancing, managers still require regular contact with their teams – hence the high demand for remote meeting services.
Whilst seeking creative ways to maintain communication flows, be careful not to confuse employees with constant communications via different methods. Establishing a clear structure for formal communication for example, daily team catch-up meetings, will keep employees calm and engaged at a time where stress levels will be at a high.
2. Engage with Employees
While keeping connected ensures levels of productivity are sustained, employers should consider creating informal communication flows to conserve togetherness and build morale.
A great example of this could be company quizzes that you could run through your intranet if you’re lucky enough to have one. If not, you may consider creating a company group chat. The creative possibilities are endless.
Whichever method you choose, remember that maintaining employee engagement practices will provide for a successful period of remote working.
3. Be Flexible
ACAS have urged employers to be “practical, flexible and sensitive” as employees adapt to their interim working arrangements.
Employers will be asking for a lot of goodwill from employees over the next few months, therefore, there is an opportunity to show that flexibility and goodwill in return. For example, allowing an employee time when they require time off to help those who depend on them or allowing them to participate in the NHS volunteering scheme.
Employers can consider practices such as offering employees the option to shift or break up their working hours to accommodate the needs of their family. It’s worth remembering that, with schools and nurseries closed, many parents have an added pressure of entertaining/teaching children. Allowing employees to structure their day in such a way as they manage to fulfil their contractual hours whilst preventing their children from going squared-eyed in front of the TV is likely to decrease stress significantly.
4. Be Secure
Computer hackers will no doubt sense an opportunity to steal sensitive information or commit online fraud. To keep information secure, employers should, where possible, use a virtual private network (VPN) to create an encrypted connection from their employee’s computer to their company IT system.
Where this isn’t available, remind your teams about potential threats and not to open, respond or click on links from unexpected or unusual emails.
5. Seek Help
These are a few simple tips for managing your teams remotely, especially in these challenging times with extended periods of working from home.
If you do find yourself facing challenges with managing a remote work force then give us a call on 0203 319 1649 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to give you some advice.