Working from home: Tips for employers

Do you have employees working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak? Here are some tips on how you can better manage them.
By: | February 14, 2020

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, we are starting to see more companies allowing their employees to work from home to prevent the spread of the virus.

Take Singapore for example, where companies are required to split their workforce into two shifts or sites whereby half of their employees are allowed to work from home as part of the Business Continuity Plan.

While we are seeing flexible working schedule becoming a trend, having half your employees working from home is another story. And many employers and HR are not used to and prepared for such a drastic situation. Thus, there’s a need for them to know how to manage employees working from home and ensure that both work effectiveness and their welfare are maintained.

Here are some important tips for you and your employees to make working from home as seamless and painless as possible.

1) Communicate (virtually)

It’s all about the communication at work – be it in office or working from home. While face to face communication is out of the equation, it’s business as usual in the form of emails, messenger, Skype etc. Meetings that are usually done in office can be done virtually through Skype or Google Hangouts. And if there’s an urgent matter, there’s always the phone.

2) Trust

This is the most important and perhaps the hardest part. But you’ve got to trust your employees to do their jobs. The last thing you want to do is to micromanage and constantly check if they are at work and not on their bed watching Netflix. At the end of the day their work and results will show for themselves. But of course, if their quality of work drops or they are unresponsive to communication, don’t be afraid to call them out.

3) Break it down into tasks/projects

While trust is important, so is making sure work and tasks are completed. Many employees may not be used to working from home too, thus getting them to send a daily list of what they are working on for the day will allow both employers and employees to focus on what they have to do instead of second guessing each other.

4) Make sure they have what they need

Their home will be their office for this period of time. So it’s important that your employees have everything they need for work such as their laptops, VPN, software, access to company server, documents etc. This will ensure a smooth and effective work-from-home experience for your employees.