With the rapidly evolving situation around the COVID19 virus, many workplaces are initiating work-from-home policies that have never tried to accommodate this workflow before. Whether your office is doing this to safeguard employees through social distancing, or as an option for parents who must stay home with children, it can be hard to make such a huge adjustment quickly. Some amount of training is required, and you may need to implement new technology, software, or hardware to enable your employees to work remotely.

These are 5 vital components of remote work you should put in place or review ASAP.

Time Tracking – If you have employees who are paid hourly, or who need to report for certain time frames throughout the day, make sure you have a time tracking policy and procedure in place that your employees can use as they work from home. Whether it’s as simple as making sure they can access the clock-in software remotely, as opposed to using a designated machine in the office, or going over expectations during remote work, it’s important that everyone understands exactly what they need to do and how they need to do it.

 

Progress Reporting – Similar to tracking their time, some of your employees will need to track their progress on certain projects. While this may have been done in-person in the office, now it is important to make sure you have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place for each position. Whatever their jobs entail, there should be measurable results that the employees can report to their supervisors to ensure that all operations are running as smoothly as possible.

Multi-Factor Authentication – As your employees access their work accounts, emails, and documents from different computers and new internet connections, it’s vital to put in place a form of multi-factor authentication to guard against cyber attacks that may use stolen credentials to break in to your network.

 

Video Conference Options – It may never be as easy as walking into someone’s office, but video conference platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Skype can help keep teams together and communicating effectively while they are miles apart.

 

 

SOP Review – Your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for remote work may be dusty, or they may not exist at all. It’s important to glance over them, make sure they are updated for your current workplace reality, and then to spend time going over them with any workers who will be doing their job from home for the first time. This will include expectations for time tracking, KPI reporting, cyber security measures, and communication standards.

 

While the realities of this health crisis have been disruptive to many businesses, having the flexibility to offer remote work to your employees will help you respond to future disruptions with greater ease. For now, check in with your workers to make sure their questions have been answered, and that they are comfortable with what they are expected to do and how they are expected to do it. This crisis may get worse or taper out, but what we learn from it can be carried into the future.

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