There’s no questioning the fact that several sectors of the economy have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects are global and many adjustments have been made across sectors, schools, and our personal lives. At first, jobs had to be put on hold and people lost their jobs. Companies are opening up now so that the economy doesn’t suffer anymore.

To make workable solutions for everyone, a “new normal” is being established. Thankfully, technology has made the adjustment easier for everyone. There are sectors that have no other choice but to open up and let employees work physically, However, those who can do so have opted for a work-from-home arrangement. This is also referred to as telecommuting.

Along this line, here are some tips for you to manage your workforce as you navigate through the crisis:

1. Create A Workable Telecommuting Arrangement With Your Employees

You need to go a little bit deeper with the process of workforce planning for the “new normal”. You can start a telecommuting arrangement with your employees. But, rather than having a general one for everyone, take into consideration the specific needs of each member of your workforce.

For example:

  • The single employees with no family responsibilities at home can work for longer hours while at home.
  • The married employees, especially with children, should be given priority in getting flexible working arrangements.

Make different telecommuting arrangements, or remote working contracts, for every group or demographic in your workforce. Do this in writing, just as you did with their contracts when they were first hired. With this kind of arrangement, both the employer and the employee have protection from any potential abuse or disagreement that may arise.

2. Prioritize The Health And Wellness Of Your Workforce

Yes, you’ll want your company’s productivity to get back to normal ASAP. But, everyone is still facing uncertain times, and the health and wellness of your workforce should remain the top priority. So, now’s the time for you to be more understanding if there are absences due to medical reasons.

If members of your workforce exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 infection, even if they’re working from home, give them the time off to focus on recuperating. Don’t mark them absent without proper consideration.

With this, you’re playing your part as an organization in slowing the spread of the virus in your state, or your local area.

 How To Manage Your Workforce During This Crisis

3. Establish Timekeeping Procedures For Non-Exempt Staff

There are staff members in an organization that are typically labeled as non-exempt. These refer to personnel like your data entry staff and administrative assistants.

These employees are generally not the best candidates for working remotely. These are employees that are usually eligible for overtime wages. Hence, tracking their working hours is a must. However, the onset of this pandemic has left companies with no other choice but to adjust.

So, as your company makes that shift to a work-from-home environment, another crucial thing or software for you to establish is a universal timekeeping procedure. You and your employees should have control over the program. Then, potential abuses, particularly with overtime wages, are less likely to happen.

Measures such as the timekeeping procedure are very important because the pandemic has led to losses and lower sales. So, from your end, you need to ensure that whatever resources your business has at the moment are optimized. Else, you may find it overwhelming to rise again once the crisis is over.

4. Provide The Proper Infrastructure In Your Virtual Office

In a physical setting, you may already be well equipped with boardrooms, conference rooms, individual cubicle office spaces, and whatnot. But, now that the workplace has shifted to a virtual setting, you also have the responsibility of changing the infrastructure accordingly.

For instance, now you need to access apps or software that are free for your employees to use, especially when online meetings need to take place. Your employees also need avenues where they can send files of all sizes and remain updated in real-time.

Here, the key is to determine what your employees’ need for enhancing productivity.

Conclusion

The crisis has brought about drastic changes in our lives. However, it can be seen that the workplace has also adjusted quite well to what’s now referred to as the new normal. Jobs have shifted from a physical setting to a work-from-home one. While this may be an adjustment for employers, it’s also a big adjustment for employees. The employees have to navigate through this new challenge of working from home and keeping themselves sane, while also taking care of their families. With the tips in this article, you can also be an instrument of positivity for your workforce. Now that you’re equipped with techniques in managing them well, they’ll work better for the growth of your business. 

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