With the lockdown level being eased from level 5 to level 4 some people are back to their physical places of work whilst some are still working remotely. During the last national address by the president, he encouraged that those employees who can still work remotely, do so as far as possible. I have put together a checklist for successful remote work for those employees that are still required to operate remotely, even though some are back at work. This is applicable to all industries that are not covered by the level 4 permissions. The full description of level 4 permissions and restrictions is available on the government website.
In this blog I will be covering a checklist for employers to ensure that remote work, actually works. For many of us this is a difficult time as we are striving to adapting to the “new normal” while faced with a lot of uncertainty.
Below is the checklist that you can use to ensure that your employees remain productive despite the challenges that are posed by this “business unusual”.
- Offer resources to enable remote work (e.g., data, technology stipend, co-working memberships)
- Provide tech support and training to help employees optimize video-based meetings
- Ensure remote employees have the necessary access to learning and development opportunities
- Ensure that leaders and managers have received training in leading and managing remote employees
- Define/evaluate ‘output’ goals (e.g., deliverables) rather than ‘input’ goals (e.g. counting hours logged)
- Regularly survey employees to track their level of engagement, clarity, and inclusion.
- Ensure influential leaders and decision makers are available to remote employees (e.g., they join team meetings, host virtual Ask Me Anything sessions)
- Communicate the same company information and vision to remote employees as you would, had they not been working remotely
- Privately and publicly acknowledge remote employees
- Ensure that leaders state and model the importance of regular one-on-one meetings, even though these are conducted virtually
- Ensure Managers hold consistent, high-quality one-on-one meetings with their remote reports
- Ask remote employees how they prefer to work, communicate, and receive feedback
- Celebrate milestones (e.g., birthdays, work anniversaries, small team wins)
- Establish communication norms (e.g., expected email response times, mutually convenient work hours, what to do if there are technical difficulties during a meeting)
- Create time and space for bonding (e.g., small talk, sharing personal information)
Individual Contributor level:
- Ensure that remote employees know how to check agreement on deliverables, milestones, project autonomy level, interdependencies, and information flow.
- Encourage remote employees to proactively pull for information rather than wait for it to be pushed to them
While waiting and hoping for certainty, let certainty find us moving. Let us not allow this period of uncertainty, fear and anxiety to cripple us but let us make the most of it. I hope this article has helped you in finding ways to make your remote work, work.
However, we dare note forget the employees that are back at work during level 4 lockdown. For those industries that are back at work and are still facing uncertainties with regards to operating under the “new normal”, I have a COVID-19 Management Policy and Procedure for the workplace. Please visit our website on www.nxusahr.co.za to access your free copy.
Nothing Broken, Nothing Missing
Director, Nxusa Human Resources Management