Work from Home, how to Kick-Start and Manage Remote Employees
Since the phenomenon of COVID-19, many companies have started to let their employees work remotely especially those had travel record recently to highly affected areas. With the numbers of COVID-19 has risen in Malaysia and we shall start planning for the company to allow all employees to work from home
Here are some of the tips to kick-start the process before you let everyone leaving home:
Proper delegation on task and work schedules are essential to ensure employees fully aware of their role and responsibility especially the structure may be different from working in an office compared to home. Do an overview of daily tasks and identify the cross-department function and task that unable to perform remotely.
For cross-department function, ensure the communication channel is available and set response timeline to each other
For some task that unable to perform remotely, discuss with the management or affected areas if the task can be a delayed, eliminated or make changes to fit remote work environment
Be clear and upfront to employees is always a good practice, no matter working in an office or from home. While working from home can be far less structured compare to working in the office, hence the need to provide more structure expectations is required.
To start, ensure all employees are clear about their daily and weekly tasks, set deadline and quality expectations on each task. If the work cannot be seen on system updates, set a daily or weekly report to update each other on work progress.
Communication with employees can be difficult, they may miss out on important information or task get stuck in between waiting for another person to take action.
You need to have communications tools that everyone has access to, like emails, mobile phones, WhatsApp and video conferencing software. Since communications tools highly dependent on the internet, employers need to ensure employees have sufficient mobile data and internet quota. If employees need to access company systems or data, do ensure anti-virus and anti-spyware are properly installed before starting to work from home.
Working from home can be pretty boring and lonely, especially we already used to work in an office in a big team. Do encourage some random chat on an online messaging platform, have some impromptu call, set video conferencing meeting at least once-a-week to stay connected with the team and other departments.
Attendance and Time Management
Some employees may take advantage of the situation as no one around to monitor them. You need to monitor employee’s attendance and make them aware that the practice is the same as working in an office
Do encourage employees to clock-in and out daily like how they used to clock-in and out at the office, not only to help manage the attendance and it can be a benchmark on the productivity level. It is also reasonable that you set an expectation on response time when employees already clock-in.
Working from home doesn’t mean employees need to be on-call for work and respond anytime, avoid contacting staff after office hours unless it is urgent.