The Immediate Rise of Remote Work Policies

As the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 spreads across parts of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the US, companies are quickly implementing remote work policies.

Major companies like Apple, Nestlé, Microsoft, Hitachi, and Chevron are asking workers to work remotely or are restricting all non-essential business travel as a precautionary measure against the rapidly-spreading disease.

Twitter announced it had joined the charge and changed its earlier guidance of “strongly encouraging work from home” to all 5,000 employees globally “must work from home.”

The CDC is recommending “that employers establish ‘nonpunitive’ policies, encouraging employees who are sick or exhibiting symptoms to stay at home,” per The New York Times.

If you do work an occupation that’s compatible with telecommuting but are unfamiliar with how to do it, here are some strategies to ease your transition to the home-office life.

Keep a regular schedule. Structure your day like you would in the office. To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the day.

Choose a dedicated workspace. Twitter is offering reimbursement towards all home office set up expenses. For the best productivity, designate a room or surface in your home to work.

Get out of the house. Some days your home office might not be working for you. Coffee shops, libraries, or any WiFi-enabled public space can help stimulate the energy of an office.

Set-up remote meetings. Just because you’re not all sitting around a conference table doesn’t mean you still can’t set up and have productive meetings. Create and circulate an agenda ahead of the meeting and use video conferencing to connect.

Stay connected. Make sure you stay engaged and productive. Communicate frequently on the usual channels, e.g., Slack, email, phone, etc. but it also means communicating even more than usual about your projects and progress.

The ability to work from home has morphed into a highly valued perk and looks to continue to grow in popularity regardless of the Coronavirus pandemic. GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com data shows that regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 173% since 2005, 11% faster than the rest of the workforce. Telecommuting in the US has seen a 115% increase in the past decade.

Don’t have remote work policies in place? Contact our HR experts to help craft an airtight policy for your business.