As the government escalates measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK, business and individuals around the world face unprecedented challenges.
Where possible, many businesses will offer a temporary working from home facility, in line with the WHO and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommendations.
During this unique period, it is crucial to the future of organisations that productivity does not decline when moving to a working from home situation. At PHD, for example, our clients are trusting us to handle their communications in these unprecedented times, and we are ready to support them in every way possible with effective marcomms services.
Despite the challenges we are all facing, employee commitment to effective remote working is critical to business continuity and a ‘business as usual’ approach. However, organisations large and small do not necessarily have plans in place for such immediate and widespread home-working arrangements.
So, how do businesses ensure that they work smartly and collaboratively over the coming weeks and potentially months? We’ve put together a quick tips checklist for employees moving to homeworking in the coming days, based on our experience of remote working over the years….
- Ensure all WIP documents and To-Do-Lists are up to date as quick reference for your line managers and colleagues
- To facilitate home-working, your business will have equipment and procedures in place. Make sure all systems and apps are fully functioning on your laptop. If you don’t have a good working knowledge of them, make sure you do before leaving the office
- Keep an updated WIP/To-Do-List on your desktop. It will be much easier to check in with and provide updates to clients, colleagues or managers
The Working Day
- Get up and get dressed! Stick to a routine and your contracted hours wherever possible
- Check in regularly by email, phone or app-based services. A 15-minute call at the beginning and end of the day is actually quite easy to fit in (now you’ve not got the daily commute!)
- Don’t forget to use your ‘Out of Office’ notifications to sign in/out of the working day and for breaks
- It may sound obvious but keep your line manager/any relevant parties copied in. They don’t have to get involved but they’ll have visibility without you having to do a lengthy update
- Have regular team meetings. There are various apps to facilitate this. If you don’t have a dedicated business app, try using Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams, they’re easy to sign up to. Again, make sure you’re dressed – no one wants to see you in your PJs during a business meeting!
- Don’t leave it to chance – things can be easily missed under a mountain of emails. Transfer everything you need to action to your own lists to remind you to follow up
- Inform customers, partners and suppliers as soon as possible what (if any) disruptions will occur to their current service
- Where possible, aim to be agile with your methods of communication. Adapt to communicating with customers, partners and clients in new ways to help overcome remote-working challenges
- Keep your external contacts updated with regular e-blasts, newsletters and through social media (if appropriate) as the crisis evolves over the coming weeks/months
- Remote working can pose a challenge to employee wellbeing. It’s important to raise feelings of isolation with your line manager, if you feel that it’s becoming an issue
- Treat your day as a normal working day wherever possible; dedicate a ‘desk’ area and take time out for the same break periods you would take in the workplace
- And of course, report any Corona virus symptoms to your line manager. Sign out, update your OOO response appropriately and take care of yourself!
We are committed to supporting our clients’ marketing communication strategies during this challenging time. If you are outside our client list but need help or support, please get in touch and we will help wherever we can to support local and national business now and in the months to come.
Our thoughts are with businesses and individuals throughout the world as they deal with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.