If you are a leader at one of the many companies that have implemented telecommuting policies during COVID-19, you might be overwhelmed by the change. While some companies already had procedures in place for telecommuting, many did not. Moreover, the landscape continues to change, with more business leaders expecting to manage people who work from home in the future.
Teleworking Tips for Employer Preparation
The following tips can help you transition employees to telework.
Execute an Agreement
One of the best tips is to draft a telework agreement. Having your employees sign an agreement will ensure that you are on the same page. The act of writing the contract can help business owners determine their priorities. The agreement should outline factors such as the following:
- Work hours and timekeeping procedures
- Work conditions
- Job duties
- How to handle confidential information
- Compensation and benefits
- Termination of the telework agreement
If the need for telework is temporary, include those details in the agreement. Doing so may prevent some employees from claiming that they expected to telework permanently. Your pandemic-specific telework policy may be different from your general one.
Get Your Technology in Gear
You will likely need to enhance your IT infrastructure to support employees that work from home. This is an ideal time to do it. There is plenty of software available to improve the teleworking environment. You do not even have to invest a great deal of money in new technology. Many companies are using free software, such as Zoom and Google, to coordinate workflows and manage their telework employees.
You will need to decide whether your preparation will involve your employees with laptops, printers and other equipment or let them use their own. You must consider the cybersecurity risks associated with letting employees use their own laptops and email accounts, though.
You may have to set guidelines that govern the use of public wi-fi networks, passwords, and firewalls. Physical security is also an important consideration when an employee is using office property at home.
Your management team may not feel as though they have adequate preparation to manage employees who work from home. You should invest some time and money into training leaders to coordinate telework personnel.
Some key tips that can make preparation for managing employees at home more efficient include:
- Setting up goal-based activities and tasks
- Holding regular check-ins and meetings
- Educating employees on how to use new technology
- Creating a handbook or video tutorials
- Digitizing physical documents
Teleworking Tips and Preparation for Employees
If you are an employee who is making a preparation to work from home, you might benefit from the following telework tips:
- Establish a routine to provide structure and eliminate distractions
- Communicate your work needs to your household members
- Schedule breaks, which can help you reorganize your thoughts and be more productive
- Ask about compensation for using your own equipment or internet
Preparation for working from home involves organization and technology. Use these tips and your support people, such as your IT team, to help you manage the transition.