In response to COVID-19, the local government implemented an Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon. This further restricts your employees from physically reporting to work, with all means of public transport suspended. To ensure that your business remains operational, this calls for your flexibility to implement a Work-From-Home policy for most of your teams.
But what best practices can you establish to ensure that your employees continue to be effective at their tasks when working remotely?
Here’s how you can efficiently implement a Work-From-Home Policy:
Assess who can work from home
Your office is designed to equip your employees with the best facilities for them to be productive. Depending on your organizational structure, not everyone will be able to perform their tasks remotely. With all this in consideration, assess which among your teams can work from home and which should work on-site.
Be extra generous with your employees that are required to work on-site, since they will be put at a higher risk. Try to provide them a private ride to the office and specify what expenses you will cover, such as additional allowance. It is also important to constantly brief and remind them how they can stay protected as they work on-site.
Establish your rules
After identifying who can work from home and who can’t, you need to lay out your expectations from your employees to help them adapt to this kind of set-up. You can start by making it clear that everyone needs to be in a professional working attitude, even at home.
Here are some general rules you can set:
- Setting uniform working and break hours so everyone will be working at the same time
- Require employees to check in and out of work
- Require employees to be accessible during working hours
- Require employees to report on what tasks they will be working on for the day, then report progress before they check out of work
Choose a main medium for communication
Effective communication ensures the synergy of your employees in completing tasks. Thus, utilizing ONE main channel of communication with chat functions, such as Skype, Viber, and WeChat, for all your employees is crucial. Secondary channels, such as Google Hangouts, can also be taken advantage of with video call features for online meetings.
Create and moderate chat groups that will be strictly dedicated to completing tasks, so you won’t miss any urgent and important messages.
Ensure your business’ data security
The security of business data is easily overlooked by employers when implementing a work-from-home policy, especially by those who originally don’t have this option. The primary step you need to take is to extremely limit who has access to confidential data of your company.
If you issue laptops that your employees can take home, require them to use these units only and make sure that a high-quality antivirus is installed and updated. Prohibit them from using public Wi-Fi and make sure that their home networks are secured by asking them to activate network encryption and change their current passwords to a difficult one if necessary.
Lastly, remind your employees on your policies about breaching sensitive company data, regardless if it is done intentionally or non-intentionally.
Trust your employees, and let them trust you
The most important policy in this set-up is to let trust operate from both ends. Make your employees feel that you trust their work ethics, and that they can trust you. Be reasonably flexible with deadlines, and be reasonably lenient in uncalled for situations.
Your employees are your most valuable assets, so always remember that in the midst of public health emergencies such as the COVID-19, their safety is part of your responsibility.