Essential Considerations to Support a Remote Workforce: Infographics

April 24, 2020 |  By Heather Bates and Alexis Sabor, Transform Health 

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Remote work is not a new concept. In fact, a popular study conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business a few years ago in China posits that changing to a remote workforce results in increased employee performance. The study also points to less rental costs, employee attrition decreasing by half, shorter breaks needed, fewer sick days, and less time off used overall. In addition, much like we are now seeing as the result of stay-at-home orders around the globe due to COVID-19, there is a reduction in carbon emissions as a direct result of a decrease in fossil fuel use. One of the central challenges faced by employers all around-the-world as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health crisis is the immediate need to build capacity quickly and transition to remote work in efficient and effective ways.

With estimates showing that 75 million employees may be working from home due to COVID-19, Transform Health, a nationally certified women and minority owned health care consulting firm, has compiled some of our key considerations for establishing a remote workforce through a four-part info graphic series. We offer tips for staying motivated and focused, maintaining balance and boundaries, key considerations around data and technology needs, as well as address the basic operational rules of the road, or “rules of engagement,” needed while working from home in this unprecedented time.

Staying Motivated & Focused

The first part of our series laid the groundwork for keeping your most valuable resource—people!—engaged. Working remotely requires a set of intentional skills aimed at time-boundaries, goal setting, a designated workspace, agreed upon workflows, video capability, and more. Relationship building in remote circumstances relies on more intentionally focused efforts such as creating agendas for meetings, video chats to read reactions, repeating back what has been said to make sure all are on the same page, and making an effort to reach out to coworkers regularly.

COVID work from home tips
Balance & Boundaries

Establishing a clear set of boundaries to whatever extent possible, can help to create balance between work and home life. While not always easy in a small space shared with others, establishing boundaries takes many forms outside of square footage, such as taking breaks, taking your days off seriously and not working through that time, and being clear with your available working hours. Blocking off your calendar with “work blocks” at agreed-upon intervals to carve out desk time for yourself can also increase transparency around your capacity. 

COVID work from home tips
Data & Technology Considerations

A successful remote workforce is 100% contingent on employees having adequate data and technology needs to get their work done. Access to flexible, portable technology is key for a success, including high-speed wireless capability and cloud-based tools. Employees will need access to laptops, tablets, wireless keyboards, consideration for ergonomic needs, and more. There are even phone apps available to offer mobility for essential office tasks like scanning, editing and signing documents. We recommend creating annual or quarterly budgets to track spending on data and technological needs.

Operational Rules of Engagement

The operational rules of engagement with your employees includes norm setting. There can be waves of uncertainty in our current climate which will inevitably impact your policies and procedures. Ensuring that you have written policies and that they are reviewed and updated are critical. In addition, documenting workflows and employee expectations helps to keep everyone on the same page. For example, a shared working document can replace your “meeting around the table.” Tools within Zoom and DropBox for example, allow for whiteboard-style resources that can be shared during an online meeting. We also recommend hiring an outside technical support service or designating an employee to manage tech needs.

Finally, regular system backups are essential to securing your organizations future after COVID-19. Statistics from FEMA indicate that 40% of businesses fail to open after suffering a natural disaster. Part of the problem has to do with failure to back up data, leaving businesses starting from scratch following a disaster. Avoid this by establishing back up processes immediately.

COVID work from home tips

Transform Health offers a deep bench of remote work experience. We have over a decade of virtual expertise and we know we can help you maximize your efforts. We are here to help you and your staff transition from in-person to remote work.

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If you would like to learn more about coaching opportunities or other work with Transform Health, please contact Heather Bates at heather@transformhc.com.