Regular communication with employees working from home key to success

Published August 26, 2021 -
WFH Management

With millions of New Zealanders currently working from home during lockdown, many employers have again had to pivot their business online to keep the wheels turning.

Switching to remote working can often lead to a disconnect between boss and worker, where the lines of productivity might be blurred. However, for employers who effectively and correctly manage their employees who work from home during lockdown, it can generally lead to a more positive outcome for the business.

There are a number of steps employers should take to ensure their business can run smoothly during lockdown, and Employsure, workplace relations advisor to more than 30,000 SMEs across Australia and New Zealand, is calling on employers to actively and openly communicate with their employees.

“Maintaining that communication is one of the biggest challenges for employers who have staff working remotely. Some workers may feel disconnected when working from home since they don’t have any face-to-face interaction with management and co-workers,” said Employsure Advice Services Team Leader Courtney Woods.

“Since the start of the year we’ve seen a 29% increase in calls to our employer advice line from business owners who need help managing their employees. In July we saw 6,500 calls alone. What this tells us is employers are constantly needing guidance on how to manage their business during lockdown.

“For employers who have shifted to remote working, managing employees effectively will be key to success. Keeping those communication channels open with employees will help highlight what the goal of the business is, and show the employee what is required to achieve that goal.”

Digital management software is an effective way for employers to connect with employees so they can regularly check-in with them and monitor their progress on outstanding tasks. Platforms like BrightHR can help employers track when their employees are active, see what projects they are working on, monitor who is off sick, and keep tabs on which employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their employees so far as reasonably practical, even when they work remotely. To assist with fulfilling their workplace health and safety obligations, employers should send a checklist to employees to fill out while working from home, to ensure the environment they are working in is safe. This includes not only checking for hazards in the home, but also ensuring the desk and chair the employee is using is ergonomically adequate, and that the room is correctly lit.

“Employers should regularly check in with staff to ensure, to the best of their ability, that they are safe and are abiding by the rules set out by the workplace,” continued Ms Woods.

“The coming weeks will be a test for all, and it’s up to everyone to work together to ensure we can come out of this sooner rather than later.”

 

Further enquiries:

Matthew Bridges

[email protected]

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