Managing the Remote Workforce During COVID-19: Policies, Procedures, and Practices
Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer, author, and consultant. Her specialty areas include management/leadership development, organization development, Discrimination, and communication, She trains and consults with virtual managers and teams. Her clients are from business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sectors. She is the author of over 30 books, book chapters, and articles and has appeared on national and international TV and radio programs. She has her doctorate in organizational leadership.
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Employers and employees are experiencing one of the biggest challenges in history in how people work. Some have never worked from home—some with spouses, kids, and pets at their desks – assuming they even have a desk at home. Many managers have never managed employees who work from home. The new situation is stressful and maybe all-consuming.
How should remote teams communicate? How often? How do they have a meeting? What if there are employees that are not used to working with technology? Who pays for computer maintenance? Is there still a need to worry about workplace injury? How flexible should an employee’s work schedule be—is it okay to take a two-hour break in the afternoon and work instead in the evening? Is there a need to edit or create new policies that align with this new work environment, and if so, what types of policies? The questions are many and sometimes the answers are not easy.
Even before the pandemic, approximately 80% of U. S. workers continued to do business remotely after normal work hours. More and more organizations were incorporating telecommuting and other forms of virtual work into their workforce with great success and reduction in costs. Managing remote or virtual workers requires a management mindset change that differs from managing on-site workers. Examining, planning, and implementing legal and contractual issues are not always considered in the same way when managing on-site workers. Failure to address these perspectives is at the organization’s and management’s peril. For example, what technological and management strategies should you incorporate to protect your interests? What, if any, a contract should be created for your remote workforce? Who pays the home office electric bill for a telecommuter? Are there additional challenges for the non-exempt worker? The virtual workplace is a reality that is expanding and influencing how organizations do their work during this pandemic. The changes you make now may possibly continue when the threat accompanying the pandemic is over. Will the workplace ever be the same.
The new virtual work environment offers exciting opportunities as well as challenges to avoid liability. Implementing prevention strategies to minimize liability includes designing and developing “virtual” policies, and training managers and employees who will be engaged in the virtual environment.
- To identify the remote/virtual worker
- To list recommended elements of a virtual team contract
- To explore steps to avoid discrimination claims
- To describe wage and hour obligations
- To discuss ergonomics, health risks, and virtual workplace injuries
- To define essential competencies of leadership in a virtual environment
- To list 4 essentials for virtual teamwork
- To identify the best characteristics of virtual team/employee
- To discuss tools & techniques to facilitate “working together apart” in a virtual environment
- To identify the tips for effective virtual meetings
- To discuss the importance of virtual contracts
- To determine the best data security
Who Should Attend
Human Resources professionals, any manager of a telecommuter or virtual employee/team
Why Should You Attend
Managing remotely requires effective leadership that spans the boundaries of time and space to help employees to work together – apart. The leadership of virtual teams is not the same as the leadership of face-to-face, co-located teams. Leading a virtual team is more difficult; it requires a dynamic interaction between technological systems and human systems that the virtual leader has to address and balance for work to be accomplished.