Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably are already aware that the Coronavirus otherwise known as covid-19, has been rearing it’s ugly head in a number of different ways affecting both small and large businesses alike.
Indeed, with 1.4 million of cases in the US alone, it is no wonder that politicians, small business owners, and everyday people alike, are all making adjustments to their day to day routine to prevent the spread of the virus.
The workplace is not immune to this phenomenon. Many employers are requiring that their workers continue their jobs at home. Even companies that were at one point thinking twice before considering telework are now not only welcoming the idea, but have taken swift measures to make remote work a reality.
Even as companies are offering remote work as an alternative, questions abound: how productive will teleworkers be? Is there any cause for concern? Do feelings of isolation on the part of remote workers arise? What are some best practices that are research based? Well I’m glad you asked.
Below are some tips your organization can employ while many of your staff are forced to work from home:
TIP 1: Set up regular meetings with distant workers and keep them up to date on current issues.
Hear the idea is to make sure there’s enough social interaction among teleworkers as working from home can be socially isolating. Having the opportunity to interact socially with one’s peers or supervisor through instant message or email can replace the social interaction that a worker typically has when they come into the office.
TIP 2: Encourage open dialogue among staff members as sharing and exchanging information is key to the health of any organization.
In a virtual environment, open communication between management and staff members or peer to peer becomes all the more important. This sharing of information can help generate ideas to improve processes and spark innovation. Therefore, from a management standpoint, it is important to invite participation from all staff members during virtual round tables or staff meetings.
TIP 3: Provide technical support to reduce the impact of technology failure as a source of stress.
With this tip, the idea is to remove any unnecessary stressors that can negatively impact your telework staff. In the course of working from home, technical glitches or snafus can arise. If and when they do, it’s important to have a technical support staff in place to give your telework crew the help and assistance they need. Having access to technical support can put your team members at ease even when a technical problem comes up.