Many of us are now home-based workers, “The World Health Organization” has indicated that we should expect this work situation to become the “new normal” for the foreseeable future. Therefore, managers and HR departments should be reviewing how they manage their workforce.

Working from home can be a major transition for people who have always worked in an office and it may require an adjustment period. They have to figure out how to work effectively in an environment that may be distracting, isolating and disruptive to employee productivity. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them. Be crystal clear about your expectations otherwise you can cause major disruptions to your team’s workflow and performance. Clarify what hours everyone is expected to work and when projects will be completed. Put the plan in writing so that everyone understands it and knows what is expected of them.

Establish regular communication with your team, that means leveraging technology like Skype, WhatsApp and Zoom for example “establish that daily team meeting” at a set time each day this keeps your staff feeling connected and focused on their jobs. Make all participants use video during these calls.

Your employees are bound to have many concerns about the impact not only to their workday, but also about the longer-term implications for the economy and their jobs. Communicate with them often about the impacts of the pandemic to your business and encourage employees to express their concerns and questions.

It’s also important to remind them to treat remote work the same way as if they were working from their office. They should be making the effort to create a dedicated workspace - and resisting the temptation to lounge around in pajamas all day.

Keep in mind, too, that when working remotely, employees don’t always receive the same level of feedback on their work as they would in the office. Make sure to provide consistent feedback, even something as simple as an email that shows you’re aware of what they’re accomplishing. Ask how they are adjusting, how they are feeling. End the week with an on line gathering to review the ‘wins’ and share kudos for achievements.

Remind your employees that your company has a vision and strategy which continues and everyone needs to continue to focus on that at this time.

Governments across the world are starting to discuss getting their countries back to work. Now is the time to consider what adjustments need to be made to the workplace. Such as reorganizing seating plans, installing partitions, provision of hand sanitizer dispensers. Start to plan which staff need to return first, consider a rotation of staff between office based and home based, this will help with social distancing issues as it will still be many months before the effects of Covid 19 are behind us.

Updates on COVID restrictions

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