As the Coronavirus pandemic has continued to unfold, businesses have had to adjust to situations that they are not used to. Larger companies have the luxury of relying on existing infrastructure and policies that allow for a smooth transition to work-from-home situations. However, it is rare to find a small business with these types of systems in place, as they are often limited to email-related practices and other non-operational structures.
Let’s break down some of the best practices and policies to effectively manage teams during the shift to working from home.
- Communication: Ensure that you are communicating with your team daily; communicate their goals for the day, the status of their projects, and any other necessary information that they should be reminded of. Allow questions and concerns to be effectively communicated during this time.
- Responsiveness: Establish guidelines on how they should communicate and how quickly they are expected to respond.
- Reporting: Implement procedures to determine whether or not your employees are doing their job. For example: group meetings, team collaboration, daily/weekly/monthly reports.
- Working Schedule: Utilize a clocking on and off method, even as simple as typing ‘good morning’ when they log on.
- Health and Safety: Allow employees to bring home any equipment that may be necessary to create a good working environment, within reason.
- Liability: Ensure company assets are covered while the employees have them at home.
- Tech Support: Share contact details so employees are able to receive help when needed.
- Socialization: Bring remote workers together through different social interactions, for example, a mentor program that allows employees to collaborate and problem-solve on a platform like Slack.
- Accessibility: Create a virtual open-door policy, to ensure people are accessible and are able to be engaged easily.
With all of these things put in place, it will be easier to communicate and track how productive your employees are at home. While you hopefully cannot see exactly what is happening in their homes, you can see the results. Ensure that you are communicating as much as possible with your employees in order to mitigate any lost-in-translation moments.
While motivation and trust in your employees to do their work is important to successful work-at-home procedures, there are also some security risks that must be addressed.
When working remotely ensure that your employees are using the best practices in keeping their company information safe. For starters, full-disk encryption ensures that your companies’ data is not accessible even if someone gets ahold of it. Create a password policy that enforces passwords on boot, and set inactivity timeouts.
As we all try to navigate this uncertain time, ensure that you give your employees enough time and space to navigate through an unfamiliar circumstance. There will likely be growing pains and new standard operating procedures. Be sure to stay flexible and understanding in all situations.