The rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic has prompted governments and businesses to take extraordinary steps to help slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe. Starting this week, businesses across the US have mandated that their employees work for home for an extended period of time. And millions of workers who may not yet have been directed to do so are similarly telecommuting out of necessity, in order to care for their children amid widespread school closures or ill family members.
Many of these employees, however, have never worked from home — and even if they have, they haven’t done so for extended periods of time, nor have they had to balance work requirements with potential family duties. But a few small changes to employees’ home work environments can help create more comfortable, safe, and productive telecommuting experiences.
Whether working from home on a shift basis or full-time during the coronavirus pandemic, employers should share with their employees these ten best practices:
In addition to sharing these best practices, employers should consider creating video tutorials and providing access to helplines to assist with home work environment setup and to professionally address any physical discomfort issues.
Managers should also regularly check-in on their employees’ well-being, either during team meetings or on an individual basis. Now, more than ever, employees need your support and guidance.
With or without a pandemic, working from home is becoming more common, and for many employers and employees, it comes as a significant change. While telecommuting will likely be the norm for the next several weeks, employers should be patient with themselves and their employees as they navigate this new world of work.