The way we work and manage our employees has changed significantly over the past 2 weeks and we are facing new challenges every day. We have partnered with Jst Work, an HR consultancy, to explore new ways of working and looking at resources that can help us run our companies as we work remotely.
Please watch the webinar recording of our Building a better working world webinar where we will give you insights on how to manage remote working staff, and tips on how keep them motivated and productive.
Building a better working world remotely FAQs
Q1: Do you have any suggested tools for monitoring remote productivity? Most of the staff working from home currently are not used to it nor are they of a senior level.
A: There are quite a few Remote working programmes, out of my research I found this four to be most popular. Time Doctor, Teramind, Interguard and Veriato.
Q2: Could the use of employee monitoring tools be viewed as spy tools from an employee point of view. Are there any other ways that we can motivate employees to work remotely as opposed to using tools?
A: I understand that these tools my not always be seen positively by employees – trust can be broken and potentially staff turnover. Having said this, you can manage performance when you set specific deliverables. Ensure what is needed to be delivered – therefore the time spent online is no longer relevant if performance is managed via direct deliverables.
Q3: How can an employer support employees in such a moment where there seems to be a lot of uncertainty and especially on job loss? Especially on mental wellness?
A: This is a great question! All businesses must look at the human side of this pandemic. Some jobs will be impacted like working in a restaurant, or beautician etc. If you are a manager of people take the time to speak with each one of your reports. This sits with management to ensure that Employee Wellness is seen as a priority. During these unknown times the impact can be huge so if you are a people manager – take time to reach out to each one.
Q4: On employee well-being – how or what could be the best strategy to handle the anxiety of job loss during this pandemic.
A: Anxiety can be crippling for some. These are the recommendations I can suggest. Do not isolate yourself and reach out for help. Find someone who can take time to listen to you. Find practical tasks that can act as distractions (colouring, reading, drawing, puzzles etc) Make sure you do at least 15mins of physical exercise.
Q5: The change in paradigm and mind shift into working from home for both managers and their teams is generating a lot of anxiety. How does bringing in the buy in of another layer of tech come in?
A: These are new times for many where home working has never been an option. And many things will be learned through experience by trial and error. The most important aspect here is Communication! Always communicate, be transparent and address key issues head on. When we have some clarity or visibility, we are usually less anxious. Its time to bring the human element and care for each other – not just as business but as people.
Q6: Use of monitoring tools might result to micromanaging effects. How can one ensure that they are not micromanaging?
A: The monitoring tools can give lots of data to managers however how they use this should be controlled with key guidelines. There are managers that by nature micromanage – this will not always be possible. There must be a clear company policy of how to use these tools in a non-discriminatory way. Much of this is very dependent on individual managers and company culture
Q7: How do you reassure employees around privacy concerns etc. With such in-depth monitoring? e.g. keylogging, which could capture private conversations with colleagues, social media activity etc?
A: Companies must ensure they have specific policies on how to deal with this information. There are laws that protect us to some extent when it comes to Data Privacy and Protection. Having said this, employees should separate their personal interactions on personal devices. But generally, when you use company devices – there is advantages for the employer.
Q8: What would you say is the future of HR and especially the fact that most organisations refer to HR as a “fee burner”. Would you say that this would make the HR role diminish?
A: No, on the contrary the HR role will become more and more important. This has already started to happen in many African countries. HR are a strategic and critical function in any company and those that do not see this value will pay the consequences. No business should underestimate the true and key role HR plays. We are in a unique circumstance right now – business should always look at complying with local Labour Laws
Q9: I work in HR & Administration and its mostly service HR not strategic hence paperwork and cannot really work from home. I see this an opportunity to curve a strategic role in HR, do you have any advice on how I can go about this or where to begin?
A: Great initiative! Start examining your HR processes and make strong recommendations. If you can go outside of your key responsibilities and look at the wider challenges of the business and then provide great solutions – make proposals. Show value in your strategy. This is really a great opportunity to shine in your role by making strategic recommendations with practical solutions. Take time to speak to employees and give this feedback to the business.
Q10: For HR professionals putting into place remote working policies, do you have any best practices to consider even after this corona period.
A: At this stage we are not able to know when Corona will end and when its impact will start to be seen. We will see many new trends develop over the next few weeks – so keep an eye out always on new trends and see where they can be going. There will be many things that Corona will impact but we will see this much more clearly with time.
Q11: What is the best way to terminate employees in all this crisis, and is termination even encouraged to take place now or its best for an organization to wait until the corona mess settles down?
A: My recommendations is to try and avoid making any employees redundant. Perhaps pay only 50% of all salaries – perhaps make a bigger cut to the higher salaries. When Corona is finished, business will be judged by how they treated their employees. Having said this, many businesses will simply not have the cashflow to maintain salaries. There are other things business can do – like provide food or basic utility bills. There is no clear answer here as many difficult decisions will be made and huge impact for many.