Managing home workers during the coronavirus pandemic

Working Families has released a guide which gives advice on how to manage remote workers effectively during the coronavirus pandemic.

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There is a lot of advice around at the moment about remote working during the coronavirus pandemic.

A new guide out today from charity Working Families shows managers how to get the best out of their remote staff, offering a step-by-step plan for training and development, communication, remote working team protocols and setting objectives.

Top tips include:

Don’t overuse email

Email can be overused, and clogged inboxes can be a source of stress for any employee. The problem can be magnified for part-time workers, who may have to plough through two- or three-days’ worth of emails at a time. Guard against needless copying in and have realistic expectations about response times.

Communicate about availability

Agree specific times when remote workers can be contacted or are available for meetings. This not only helps colleagues know when they can connect, but helps remote workers take reasonable breaks away from their work without feeling guilty or fearful that they will be accused of shirking. Some remote workers are happy to be contacted on non-working days if arranged in advance and for specific occasions when their input may be needed.

Set clear objectives

With tasks and expectations clearly defined, remote workers have the freedom to manage their time and workload within those objectives. Meanwhile you can concentrate on objectives and outcomes, rather than being concerned about when or how your employees are working.

Have honest conversations about childcare responsibilities

Under ordinary circumstances, homeworkers should have childcare provisions in place. But during this unprecedented public health crisis, line managers should have sensible and understanding conversations with parents and carers of young children – particularly those working full-time – about what is and isn’t possible for them to achieve.

*The guide will be available as a free download for employers as long as social distancing measures are in place.

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