As concerns grow over the spread of the new coronavirus many companies have already begun asking their employees by asking office workers to work from home. Recently, IBM announced they are “having our employees work from home where recommended and deciding on our participation in large meetings and trade shows on an individual basis.”
Many companies have already started proactively preparing contingency plans by consulting HR experts who specialize setting up remote offices on an operational level. Here are some of the tips and tricks the are offering, as well as some potential challenges to look out for.
Of course, team’s health comes first. The first order of business is to make sure they are healthy, comfortable and safe. Keeping workers from coming into the office will definately help curb the spread of coronavirus, although experts agree there are other concerns to consider to ensure overall health and well-being of their work from home employees:
Studies have shown that most people don’t have ergonomically designed chairs, appropriate work surface heights or properly angled monitors at home. As a result, we can expect to see employees new to working-from-home may soon start suffering from neck pain or other really serious muscular discomforts. Companies should offer training and visual reference resources on how to properly set up the ideal home work environment.
For those employees used to a fully stocked office breakroom and an office supply cabinet with every color post-it pad available, working from home might feel like a bit of a downgrade. Consider sending each newly remote worker an Amazon gift card for supplies, the “good” coffee and another other creature comforts them might need to do their work with ease.
The next order of business is to ensure the new work-from-home arrangements do not disrupt workforce productivity. Clear and concise communication with one another is key when your team is working remotely from home. Having well defined plans, tasks and timelines ensure everyone is on the same page and progress is being made. More importantly, client expectations, deliverables and deadlines must be met to the best of the team’s ability.
Provide your employees with the best tools to do their jobs well from home. Below is a collection of productivity tools that you can use to run a virtual, flexible workplace. We’ve gathered these suggestions from companies who have already been running remote-offices – and report that in some cases, they find that remote workers are actually more productive than in-office workers.
You’ll need software to track your employees’ time. Here are several low-cost but highly effective time tracking apps to choose from:
These tools are ideal for staying connected and working together in real-time no matter where individual remote workers are located:
Face-to-face communication is important factor in employee engagement, so select one of these video conferencing tools to create close-knit remote teams:
The “work-from-home” new normal means companies have to take extra precautions when employees to access sensitive data from outside the confines of the company’s protected network. These tools let you set up suspicious activity alerts, user activity reports, desktop recording & screenshots and more:
The new coronovirus has caught the global workplace by surprise. There’s no playbook for this and each organisation must decide if keeping workers at home is right for them. But keep in mind many companies began shifting to a work-from-home office years ago -totally unrelated to concerns of this pandemic – because there are many benefits to allowing employees to work remotely. For example, more folks working from home can help solve of climate problems – less air travel, less commute , lesser need for road infrastructure. And many employees (and employers) report that productivity goes up by working remotely. So, regardless of how the effects of the Coronavirus play out on the global workforce – remote work could be the new normal.