At a time of UK lockdown, unprecedented in any of our lifetimes, this is when an employer’s mettle is well and truly tested and we find out who takes care of their employees best.
The smoke and mirrors of the office wellbeing policy has vanished right now.
This is the point at which any business’s concern for the status of its employees’ wellbeing is glaringly apparent. More importantly, in these times, an employer’s concern for the health of the employees, and their families, is also exposed.
We can see who has the best interests of the staff genuinely in their sights and who is floundering, more concerned with falling profits.
The current rule for workers is simple: Stay at home unless it is absolutely impossible to do your work from home.
As, quite literally, a matter of life and death, it’s of crucial importance that companies support and enable their office workers to fulfil their duties in the home environment.
It’s not just being in close proximity with other workers in a shared office space that increases the risk of catching the virus, it’s also travelling to and from work – particularly if public transport is involved.
Make it happen
Your office-based workers should have everything put in place to make it possible for them to stay at home.
It’s important for team members to stay connected and engaged, so a policy of regular communications should be established, outlining expectation and keeping everyone united and on the same page.
There’s no reason why targets shouldn’t be reached and results delivered from this home environment which, quite honestly, could be the new normal for some time.
Managing staff virtually can be tricky for those managers who haven’t attempted it before – particularly when everybody is working from home.
This is when technology rises to the fore and various tools like Zoom and Skype come into play. Get familiar with the various apps and use them, encouraging all team members to join in.
Loneliness in the workplace has been reported as a key issue and written about at length. This can only escalate when there is physical distance involved. It’s important that co-workers reach out to each other regularly and are encouraged to team up and mentor as they would in a live environment.
Coffee breaks can be taken together and teams should be encouraged to get creative in their bonding exercises and keep up the face-to-face contact, albeit via Skype.
Employers should keep their employees informed of all developments. The flow of information and transparency is critical in testing times.
…You will be measured by your actions during a time of crisis.
How you respond as a company to the coronavirus situation will be reflected upon by your staff in the long-term. Given that, make sure you have a good handle on the short-term and do the right thing.
The first priority has to be the health, safety and wellbeing of your team.