Remote working may seem like a dream come true for many employees who are tired of their morning commutes, but it does not come without its own set of challenges such as miscommunication, social isolation, and even loss of productivity.
So, it is up to managers to help employees stay focused and motivated when working from remote locations.
This manager checklist can act as a step-by-step guide for managers.
First, managers should develop an infrastructure for remote work. By creating a formal system which everyone follows, it will make it easier for employees to keep track of changes and updates.
Managers can refer to the following measures to establish a proper infrastructure for telecommuting.
- Ensure accessibility of tools
Ensure workers have means to work remotely such as availability of laptops, a secure network connection, and any necessary tools or software that’s required when working from home.
- Appoint Point of Contact
Appoint at least one Point of Contact which is also known as (POC) or selected team members to coordinate pandemic readiness activities
- Make alternate arrangements
Be prepared to discuss childcare matters with employees and help people think those issues through.
The transition from working in the office to working remotely may be a tough challenge for some, so managers should establish rules of engagement to ensure a smooth transition.
With the presence of advanced communication technology, even figuring out which communication channel will work best can feel overwhelming at times.
Hence, what you can do is :
- Initiate a conversation about your employees’ available technology and agree on the best means of communication. You may consider how tech-savvy your employees are and recommend platforms which are suited to their digital competency.
- Establish the time to connect in a virtual work relationship which demonstrates respect for each other’s boundaries. With the connectivity granted, it may be difficult to stop yourself from contacting your employees after working hours, so make it a rule not to do so.
- Create a protocol regarding sharing information or collaborating on electronic files. Develop a process to ensure that you do not inadvertently delete updates or create conflicting versions using tools such as Excel, spreadsheet online, or project management tools.
In view of the pandemic, the most crucial piece of instruction would be to protect employees and your workplace.
Try to anticipate fear, anxiety, rumors, and misinformation, and then plan communications accordingly. In order to provide assurance amidst uncertainty, try communicating detailed measures and put in place to protect employees’ health and safety
Managers should also take into special consideration for older adults and employees with elevated risk by allowing them to work remotely or take paid administrative leave.
Reconsider leave policies to prevent an infected employee turning up to work because they do not have paid leave left. If they go to work sick, they will risk spreading coronavirus to their co-workers and customers.
Impose travel restrictions strictly and limit non-essential travelling for employees. Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand they should notify their supervisor and promptly call a healthcare provider.
Also, managers should regularly check in with employees to keep track of everyone’s health and safety.