If you've created a remote work environment on the fly this week, give yourself a pat on the back and take a breather! Then, it's time to think about getting your next steps in place.
Not knowing how long quarantines, social distancing, and shelter in place routines will be in place is challenging, but it also means you have an opportunity to examine what's been working, what hasn't, and how the new remote work dynamic can help you address strengths and weaknesses.
Here are some actions you can take now to ensure that in the next few weeks and months your remote work team has what they need to succeed.
Troubleshoot Problem Areas
Robin Mack, CEO of Mack Global, advises employers to assemble a troubleshooting team to address any problem areas that have come up. That team can include IT, HR, and executive leadership to handle the different challenges that a sudden telework environment might present. Even if you haven't identified problems yet, it's likely they will arise - be prepared with the leadership in place to find solutions when those problems do come up.
Conduct a Trial Run
Now that employers have had some time with remote work in place they can start to think about what that will look like going forward. Are all employees at your workplace teleworking? Do some employees need to physically be there? If so, who will it be, how will they rotate, and how is that communicated?
Mack recommends trying out different positions in a remote work setup (if it can be safely done). This will give you an idea going forward of what positions, individuals, and teams can best accomplish their work remotely.
Examine Your Policies
Some employers already had policies in place to handle remote work - for those who haven't, this week has meant a lot of improvising. It's time to create or adjust remote work policies now so that managers and employers are on the same page. Review how communications will work, what technology and tools you have to enable collaboration, and how expectations are communicated.
Consider long term shifts
It's impossible to know what comes next for our economy and culture. In a few months business could return to normal, but it's also possible there will be some significant shifts in our economic landscape. Consider remote work as an option that might become advantageous to your business longer-term no matter what happens in two months, six months, or a year. Having employees who work remotely means less money spent on real estate and parking, it means less time wasted in traffic, and in some cases it can mean a boost in productivity and engagement.
Using this time to create or update your telework policies, put the right supports in place, and do trial runs to find out who is eligible for remote work means you will have a new option at your disposal when people are allowed to gather again.
Does your workplace need customized support to create a remote work structure? Movability can help! Contact Kate Harrington to learn more.