Suggestions for Managers

Summary of Dos and Don’ts for the Managers during the Corona Virus Emergency

Many managers will find themselves managing home based workers or remote teams totally unexpectedly during the current Corona Virus emergency.

Good and thoughtful planning is a prerequisite for structured long term home based working, but a lot of managers and workers simply did not have an opportunity to plan to any significant extent in  in current circumstances.

Many home-based workers are working in difficult ad hoc situations, working from wherever they can in the home.  In addition, in many instances they have no option but to break  the best and long established home working rules – i.e.  not to combine home working and child minding.   As schools and creches are closed, and visitors are prohibited, a lot of people are very stressed by trying to work and look after their children at the same time.

However, that unfortunately, is the situation we find ourselves in.

First of all, I suggest that you familiarise yourself with the Health and Safety Issues associated with employees working from a home base.

Also, you may find my comments on the additional contractual issues which you may wish to consider when implementing home working arrangements, albeit on a short terms basis.

Here are a few suggestions which managers may find useful in the current emergency.  I wish you all the very best.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Suggested Do’s

· Be flexible and creative  – not everybody may be able to give their full attention to tele/video meetings at specific times.  If for example a baby or young child needs attention at the of the meeting, that will necessarily take priority.  Maybe record the meetings so that people can catch up later.  Or arrange for another member of staff to call them to update them later or send them a summary of the meeting

Allocate work realistically and establish realistic deadlines

Don’t judge performance by availability during fixed working hours – just performance by quality of output

Make sure that employees have – in as far as possible – the resources and information they need to complete tasks

·Communicate regularly and be absolutely clear about what you need your workers to achieve within specific timeframes

Encourage workers to alert you to  work related problems which they may be experiencing to help you to find a solution

Give regular and timely feedback

Expect changes to work practices

Be open to positive change

Learn from the experience and use it to strengthen your management skills

And the Suggested “Don’ts

Conduct time checks

 Ignore your home-based staff

 Neglect problems or signs that they may be problems

 Set unattainable goals

Expect immediate adjustment by either party or co-workers

Expect everybody to be a successful home-based worker

With that I leave you and wish you all the very best in this difficult situation.

If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me. I’ll be happy to do what I can.