Coronavirus Crisis: Could WFH become the new norm?
As our government starts to cautiously take one baby step forward at a time in their three-step ‘COVIDSafe Australia’ plan, both employers and employees alike are starting to wonder what the post-COVID work world will look like. Steps one and two of the government’s plan advises ‘working from home if it works for you and your employer’, whilst step three assumes that it will become safe to return to the workplace.
However, prominent Harvard epidemiologist William Hanage has advised that ‘everyone who can work from home should work from home’, and many of the world’s major corporations have started thinking about implementing more permanent work-from-home positions.
So in the event that your business does decide to save on the rent (and the associated difficulties that come with reopening offices during a pandemic) and you let a large percentage of your employees WFH permanently, what are some things you should be thinking about?
Accountability: You need to be able to know where your team is and what they are working on. This means taking full advantage of the 21st century and all the great technology that’s now available to help your teams work remotely; consider using time-tracking software such as TimeCamp, task management software such as Asana or Trello, and of course videoconferencing software such as Microsoft Teams (maybe not Zoom). If you have a CIMT, we strongly recommend investing in an app like AtHoc so that your team can quickly and efficiently respond to a crisis wherever they are (in fact, you should have a crisis communications system like this in play whether you are working remotely or not).
After the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, cybercrime went up by 40% in the two years following. Given more people are working through their home internet (and not from a more secure office location), the ability for cyber criminals to hack into businesses is heightened. The best way to crack down on this is to make sure your staff are all trained up and aware of best-practice cybersecurity measures – this means things like being able to identify phishing emails, never using free Wi-Fi, using strong passwords and updating them frequently, and using up-to-date anti-malware software.
Whilst there are a wealth of benefits to working from home (such as cutting out that nasty commute time, spending more time with the family, or being able to wear slippers to the weekly meeting), it’s also important to remember that it’s easy for employees (and employers) to slip into feelings of loneliness, isolation, and an inability to switch off with the physical work/home barrier gone. Check in with your team regularly and make sure you keep routines by scheduling daily online catchups with everyone, or even consider hosting some online exercise sessions!
Call me on 0417 160 120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat on how we can help prepare and protect your business to survive for better times ahead.