Plan Ahead to Keep
Things Running Smoothly
The changing nature of public health emergencies is forcing organizations to rethink the
way their offices operate.
Whether an organization is staying fully remote for the foreseeable future, or if a situational option for high-risk employees or families without child care options is more appropriate, a remote work policy is a necessity for every organization in 2020 and beyond.
While COVID-19 forced many organizations to let staff members work from home for the first time, many other situations—from inclement weather to sick children—could warrant working remotely for some or all employees. Having a plan in place before the need arises can help to keep things running smoothly during the telework period. And, more than ever before, workers are expecting to be offered flexible work-from-home policies—and not just during a crisis. A recent report from the Brookings Institution found that job applicants place a high value on the option to work from home, and that teleworking is likely here to stay long after the pandemic ends.Each organization will need to have a unique remote work policy for its employees. Consider what will be required of the organization and of the employee during remote work periods. This includes eligibility requirements, equipment and connectivity needs, structure and expectations (e.g., does the policy require employees to work from their own homes during specific hours, or can they work anywhere they have a WiFi connection?). Policies should also clearly differentiate the procedures, such as time coding, reporting, etc., required for regular remote work (e.g., an employee works from home every Wednesday and Friday), and situational remote work (e.g., an employee cannot come into the office because their child’s school is closed).
The structure of remote work will depend on the individual employee and their supervisor. While some job duties allow for more autonomy in a virtual setting, others might require more formal systems of tracking and accountability.
Consistent communication across a number of channels will also be important during any telework period. Regular check-ins between managers and employees and across teams will help staff remain engaged during periods when they might otherwise be working in isolation. Tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams can help to keep work flowing and teams connected. It might be tempting to stick with phone calls and emails, but you shouldn’t underestimate the value of face-to-face conversations! Be sure to include videoconferencing in your plan for communication during remote work, particularly for organization-wide meetings with leadership and during team check-ins.
It’s also important to continue fostering a collaborative work culture, even when employees are working remotely, so managers might consider incorporating a virtual team building exercise to help boost morale.
Now more than ever, your employees need emotional support and resources. The pandemic has created a whole new set of physical, financial and emotional stressors that have woven their way into the home and workplace.
When you partner with Ulliance, our Life Advisor Consultants are always just a phone call away to teach ways to enhance your work/life balance and increase your happiness. The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program can help employees and employers come closer to a state of total well-being.
Combining years of clinical experience and the formation of a meaningful partnership with an organization’s human resources department, Ulliance is among the best EAP providers, and our experts can tailor recommendations for a variety of work\life circumstances.
Investing in the right EAP or Wellness Program to support your employees will help them and help you. Visit www.ulliance.com, or call 866-648-8326.
The Ulliance Employee Assistance Program can address the
• Stress about work or job performance
• Crisis in the workplace
• Conflict resolution at work or in one’s personal life
• Marital or relationship problems
• Child or elder care concerns
• Financial worries
• Mental health problems
• Alcohol/substance abuse
• Interpersonal conflicts
• AND MORE!