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Coronavirus: How can HR manage remote staff?

Visibility is possible even from behind a mask – work doesn’t have to be a stressful process

Source | | Arlene Wherrett

Tracking the rapid outbreak of the COVID-19 in real time is not the only thing we have technology to thank for.

Time Magazine called coronavirus the “World’s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment” and that is what it is shaping up to be. This is the time to put the concept of a mobile workforce to the test – we have the technology available, now how are we going to use it to its fullest potential?

For businesses that do not already practice flexible schedules and remote working, this does not have to be a stressful process. Here are four quick tips to get you started:

1. Work remotely, but openly
Do not let physical barriers keep you from engaging with employees, especially in a time when they look to you to keep them informed on business priorities and updates. First, communicate to your employees on what measures you have taken to keep them as safe as possible. They might also have questions, such as what they should be saying to customers or suppliers, update the standard operating procedures (SOPs), and clarify who they can go to for more information.

Appoint a person-in-charge or create an email address where employees can reach someone if they need more information and have any concerns. Start compiling information on China and other affected countries’ operations (e.g., employee strength, contact/visits to Singapore) and backup plans should new restrictions kick in. Publicise official sources of information, including the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization, so that your employees can distinguish the truth from fake news.

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