COVID-19

COVID-19: How to integrate your teleworking plan?

To our great surprise, the coronavirus is hurrying us all to bounce back and be creative !

Despite the discomforts, and even some economic disasters, we can still limit the damage thanks to the Internet. What if we had had to experience this without digital technology...

 

Most of the workers can continue to work remotely and maintain a certain productivity thanks to the numerous remote collaboration tools.

 

Whether for companies that are already teleworking 1 or 2 day(s) a week, or for those which are starting for the first time, the challenge is the same: switching to "full remote" mode is a game changer!

 

So let's take a closer look at how to set up a teleworking emergency plan!

1. CREATE YOUR DIGITAL KIT

As you know, digital is the gateway to teleworking. Nevertheless, some companies are not yet equipped, if only to meet remotely.

 

The analysis of your needs and some short-term investments are to be considered such as:

  • digitalising your 'priority' documents
  • Easy backup of shared files on a cloud system
  • The choice of remote collaboration tools to communicate and meet together

 

 

 

And how are you going to use these tools?

 

The first piece of advice is to share your agendas transparently in order to know everyone’s availability so as to avoid overloading your telephone or email communications.


2. GIVE YOUR EMPLOYEES A LEGAL FRAMEWORK

The health of your employees also depends on the prevention of teleworking accidents or somewhere else.

Nevertheless, there are also other reasons to set up a legal framework:

  • Strive for equity by offering the same working conditions to all.
  • Maintaining productivity at work
  • Preventing any risk of conflict due to misinterpretation or abuse

To do so, define the framework of possibilities and limits of teleworking thanks to 3 essential documents: 

 

 

  • amendment to the contract mentioning among others the obligation to register teleworking days
  • adaptation of your insurance policy to also include accidents at work outside the workplace
  • teleworking regulations addressing the conditions of accessing and start-up procedure or for example the commitment to maintain the link with one's employees by actively participating in social cohesion initiatives, whether (in)formal, virtual or live.

Make sure that these documents are communicated and signed on the first teleworking day!


3.OPEN THE DIALOGUE WITH AN ADAPTED COMMUNICATION PLAN

 

For any change in the company, and especially in the event of a crisis such as the one we are currently experiencing, it is essential to communicate with your employees on various 'health' aspects to avoid confusion, stress, or even panic such as:

  • Coronavirus information and hygiene measures to be implemented.
  • How to react to the first symptoms of the disease
  • Facilitating dialogue with the occupational physician

 

 

 

  

4. "FULL REMOTE" DOESN'T MEAN BEING ISOLATED.

It is not because you switch to full-time teleworking mode that you will lose contact, even if it is true that from the third day onwards, the effect of loneliness is felt. To avoid this, plan ahead!

 

In the office, the social link is naturally and spontaneously nurtured during meetings or breaks around the coffee machine.

Whereas in teleworking, it will be useful to organize your social life, to plan it so that the social link remains active.

 

There are many tricks and tips you can use to maintain the interaction:

  • Remote meetings with an informal chat at the beginning and end of the meeting
  • Virtual ice breakers to create a friendly and motivating atmosphere
  • Phone calls instead of e-mails
  • Informal chats
  • Virtual breakfasts or luncheons
  • Online teambuilding

 

 

 

 

5. TELEWORKING IS NOT JUST ABOUT PLUGGING IN!

As you will have understood, it is not enough to have the right tools to telework, it is also necessary to have the right attitude towards others.

 

It is of utmost importance to you that teleworking does not weaken the organization.

Therefore, agree on a charter for remote collaboration principles to remain effective and decide together on best practice including the following aspects:

  • Technique: is everyone at ease with the tools or is training necessary?
  • Planning: is everyone sharing their agenda in a transparent way?
  • Attitude: how do we handle emergencies?

 

 

 

6. MAKING TELEWORKING SUSTAINABLE

Making use of the above tips and tricks will allow you to start teleworking safely for the next few weeks.

However, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that implementing teleworking in a sustainable way in your organization requires more time, reflection, co-creation and training for all the actors of change.

 

As mentioned above, we are in Belgium fortunately not in Phase 3 of CoVID-19 and therefore not in quarantine. So do not cancel all your small group meetings for all that!

 

With Nest Your Desk, there are several ways possible to sustain teleworking:

  • Schedule some time for online consulting to enhance your teleworking plan.
  • Begin a step-by-step implementation process tailored to your organization and based on the tools already in place and what you are still missing today. 

7. ONCE THE CRISIS IS OVER

We all hope that this extreme situation is temporary and short-lived.

Usually every company should have a "teleworking plan B" even if they do not wish to activate it. The lesson has been learned.

 

And thanks to this experience you realize that once the crisis is over it will be an opportunity to make teleworking sustainable and adapted to your organization thanks to all the tools suggested above.

 

 

 

 

It will then be wise to address the 'teleworking' aspects:

  • Which functions are concerned?
  • What are the criteria for granting teleworking?
  • What steps should be taken to activate teleworking?
  • How can we sort legal aspects?

Given the emotional background linked to the coronavirus epidemics, I invite you to go beyond electronic communications (emails, Intranet, ...). Also plan meetings in small groups, in teams, to create a secure space for dialogue, whether in the office or online.context te creëren, zowel op kantoor als online.

 

 

 

And you will feel that your communication and informal approach will become essential to maintain the interaction and boost your productivity from a distance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main purpose of this charter is to

  • Maintain productivity
  • Keep mutual respect for a work/life balance
  • Prevent any risk of conflict, which can be difficult to resolve remotely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Or go for semi-autonomous supporting measures thanks to a limited number of live or online workshops that will give you all the knowledge and tools you need to carry out your actions internally, autonomously.
  • And finally, strengthen the skills of your managers and teams with training courses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wish all companies to maximise the potential of teleworking and to feel the benefits as soon as possible, while at the same time giving them a framework to minimise the risks that teleworking can also entail.