COVID-19 and Remote Working: How You Can Help Your Team
COVID-19 and Remote Working: How You Can Help Your Team
The coronavirus (or COVID-19) has prompted us to re-think the modern workplace. Working from home is a new concept to most businesses and in light of the current pandemic facing Australians, businesses are adopting measures for how to best operate from home due to self-isolation.
Before you begin, there’s a series of steps you should take to ensure that your staff will not only have everything they need to work effectively but that you have measures in place in case they need to work from home at the last minute.
In order to gauge your employee’s readiness to work from home, it may be ideal to send out a short survey to determine gaps and those staff that need some additional assistance with system access.
Here’s an example of a survey we sent out to our own team:
Do you have a company-provided laptop PC/Mac?
Do you have access to all the systems you need to perform your role on your laptop, PC/Mac?
Do you have an appropriate level of internet access available at home to perform your role?
Do you have a quiet space at home to take work calls, speak to clients and attend meetings?
Do you have an ergonomically friendly space at home in which to work?
Is there any equipment you require at home in order to perform your role, eg. headset, camera, drawing tablet, keyboard, mouse?
In the event that all employees will need to work from home, we will communicate with staff via our #general slack channel.
In an emergency situation, we may need to contact you via mobile.
Is your mobile phone number provided up-to-date?
Do you have the slack application installed on your mobile device?
Do you have your notifications for the #general slack channel turned on?
⚪️Don’t know how, assistance required
Home office environment
Ensure your staff have an adequate setup to work from home. Slouching on the couch with a laptop may be ok for watching Netflix but it is not ideal for working. Your staff should have an ergonomically friendly desk and chair in order to work from home. You are still responsible for their physical health and wellbeing when they’re working from home.
General health and wellbeing
Don’t expect your team members to sit at their computer all day. Encourage offline tasks and regular breaks. This may be a good time to encourage the team to read a book from the work library. Perhaps you can start a book club. Choose a book related to your industry or a personal development area for your team and allow them time to read it.
Ensure there’s proper communication
Check-in with your team members often and take time for non-work-related conversation. Where possible use video chat in meetings to retain a sense of social connection. You are still responsible for the staff’s mental health when they are working away from the office.
Keep an eye out for staff that are working long hours. Often when working at home you lose track of time and before you know it, you’re working late into the night. While this may initially seem like a productivity bonus for a business, long term your team member may become burnt out and the quality of their output impacted. It’s important for us all to take a break.
Be flexible and patient
Just because your staff member is technically able to work from home doesn’t mean they can. Don’t expect people to work if they are sick. If schools and daycare are closed or your staff member is nursing a sick family member offer your staff the flexibility to manage the times of the day they work, reduced hours or to not work at all.
Your team members are not likely to be alone at home. Be patient with the interruptions from housemates, children and partners, their dogs barking at the mailman and the voice quality dropping in and out during meetings.
Technology and software
It is generally expected that if you’re working remotely that you’ll have all of the technical requirements such as a computer and working internet. Ensure your staff have up-to-date and working computers, as well as good quality home internet.
Make sure that your team also has all the up-to-date software available to them so they can work as though they’re actually in the office. You also need to ensure that your team are aware of the preferred methods of communication during this time, i.e. Slack, Skype, email and phone. You are not going to be able to walk up to someone and get information and staff may not be as responsive to messages as they usually are. Be patient, allow yourself more time to gather required information.
It won’t be long before business will be back to normal, but it’s important that your team understands what’s required of them and that as an employer you work to provide them with the best possible working environment.
Your team will be thankful for you not only protecting them during the coronavirus outbreak but also providing them with the tools they need to work as effectively as possible. This is also a great time to encourage your team to up-skill to help fill up some of the time during their work day.
Want to read more?
Here's some more articles similar to this one.
Surprising Facts About The Australian Workforce – And What To Keep Your Eyes On In 2019
In a survey of the Aussie workforce, SEEK discovered some surprising facts. For instance, the job interview process is riddled with dishonesty – on both sides. Nearly half (42%) of Australians were...
Part-Time Jobs for Mums Returning to Work
Are you a new or young mum looking to return to the workforce from maternity leave? One of the best ways to make this daunting transition smoother is to look for a...
The Changing Face of the Australian Job Market: Western Australia
According to the Australian Government’s Department of Employment, Western Australia is the fourth largest employing state; employing approximately 1,334,600 Australians. The Australian Jobs Report is an annual publication that reflects the changes…
7 Online Jobs for If You Can’t Work At Home During Coronavirus
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing more and more businesses, institutions and events to shut down, many casual workers have seen their shifts slashed (or cancelled completely) for the foreseeable future. Sometimes you...
How to Become a Barista in Melbourne
A Barista is a great gig for students in uni working part-time, backpackers, or aspiring hospitality moguls with love for the artistry of coffee making and the joy it brings to 75%...
How to Get Your Excavator Training in Melbourne
Excavating is a specialised area of expertise in mobile plant operations, often highly sought after in the civil construction industry. There’s no formal certification required to be an excavator operator in Australia...