Now is the time to get your team on the same page about teleworking. Given the current health crisis, many people will be working from home for the foreseeable future. However, if your organization is well-prepared, you can avoid what may be a huge hurdle for other companies. Organizations must adapt to this new way of working in order to improve productivity, optimize costs, attract new talent, and ensure a high quality of life for its members.
Start with proper communication
The organizational challenge starts at the top. Company leadership must support and guide their team, taking into account all the different personalities. Not everyone on the team will be equally independent, or quick to adapt to working from home, but therein lies the challenge. Strong communication between team members will help the transition go smoothly.
What does your team need to know?
It’s a good idea to start with a SWOT analysis so see what teleworking means for your company. For example:
- Our product or service can be bought online.
- Our product or service can easily be demoed in a video call.
- We offer the possibility of an online demo.
- Clients can sign up online.
- A client can call us and we have the ability to take many calls at once.
- A client can contact us easily on our website.
- Our website has a chat function so customers can easily troubleshoot.
- A client can use our product without us having to go to them.
- No installation is required at our clients’ offices.
- All team members need an email address.
- We need a project management system.
- We need intranet capabilities.
- We need to be able to share documents easily.
- We need to be on the cloud.
- We need a good task management software that allows us to monitor the progress of projects.
- Clients are going to want a more robust online service.
- Clients are going to want more online tools.
- Clients are going to want more online solutions.
- Clients are going to prioritize distributors that have an online presence.
- If we can’t communicate effectively as a team, productivity will suffer.
- If we can’t meet with clients, we’ll lose sales.
- Customers will lose their sales channels.
- Or products aren’t ready to be sold online or over the phone.
- Each operation requires approval from many people and is done in person.
- We don’t have online approval forms.
- Clients need to sign contracts in person.
- If employees are feeling isolated, the company will lose its sense of camaraderie.
After putting together the SWOT analysis, share it with your team, and start working to resolve any operational problems.
What do you need to know about teleworking?
Every country has enacted its own measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, according to the guidelines of the WHO. As such, it is important to monitor how the labor laws are changing in your country as the situation develops. For reference, here are some FAQs regarding Spain, one of the countries most affected by the virus.
Can a company require an employee to work from home for a period?
Yes, as long as the reasons are justifiable. Regarding the 2020 Coronavirus, employees who have been in contact with the virus or have gone to at-risk areas, are mandated to self quarantine for two weeks. In such cases, the employee would continue working and receiving their paycheck.
What happens if the company’s production is affected?
If an employer must take action due to necessity, (fallen productivity, lack of resources or supplies), not for prevention, employers may suspend contracts or reduce hours. See art. 47 and 51 of the Statute of Workers. In this case, the employers would need to negotiate with worker representatives and may require approval from the labor authorities (in the case of force majeure). Employers would not be required to retain contracts but employees would be eligible for unemployment.
Can the employee unilaterally decide to telework?
No. As of now, employees must get approval from their managers to work from home.
Can a company in Spain suspend its activity because of Covid-19?
Yes. As long as the company proves the causes to be relevant. For example, the inability to continue production due to a lack of access to parts coming from China, or force majeure. Employers would need to follow the guidelines in article 47 of the Workers’ Statute.
Important tips for teleworking
For any employee that is going to continue their role remotely, it is important to remember the practical realities of working from home. For example:
- It’s work. You’ll need to work as effectively from home as you do in the office.
- Dress like you’re going to work.
- Stay in constant communication. It’s easier to feel disconnected when you’re not in the same office as your managers or coworkers.
- Update your status and summarize your progress regularly.
- Stay on top of your 3Ts. Focus on the three essential tasks of the day. Make sure they get your full attention.
- Take notes, make checklists and share your progress. Make your agenda public so others can see you stand on things.
Telecommuting can be difficult for all involved, but as your company moves forward it’s important to have a plan in place for all possible circumstances. In a time of crisis, the task may seem even more daunting, but we can also look at it as an opportunity to move forward as an organization.
During this time, Gamelearn is here to support our clients streamline their internal communication. Our online training courses facilitate individual and collective communication in multiple languages so that your team is all receiving the same information in a clear way–all with a gamified user experience that ensures maximum retention of what you need them to know.