In today’s environment many employees must work from home to help “flatten the curve” of COVID-19. What does that look like? What are some tips that will help employers ensure the best work possible from their employees? And how do employees maintain their productivity while surrounded by what are normally non-working hours distractions? Let’s take a look!

Tips for Employers

  • Create a work from home agreement — If you don’t already have policies/guidelines for working from home, now is the time to create these. These agreements should outline work hours, expectations of reachability, expectations of productivity, check in times and office expenses.
  • Establish expected work hours – Will you mirror office hours or modify?
  • Decide on a virtual meeting service to use – Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams … There are a ton of options for holding video and/or conference call meetings. Decide what will work best for your company and make sure your employees are all trained on the program you decide to use.
  • Make sure they have the right equipment – Know what equipment, programs and file access your employees need to do their job and make sure they have access to that from their home office.
  • Be flexible – Know your employees and their circumstances. Do they have young kids at home they’re helping care for? Are they working from a home office with a door they can shut or working from the middle of their kitchen table? Be aware of possible distractions and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Tips for Employees

  • Set a specific workspace that will be your office at home – If possible, somewhere you can close yourself off from distraction or have quiet when doing a conference call or video chat.
  • Eliminate distractions like the TV and social media! – Close out all your social media accounts to make it more difficult to just pop on and check your page(unless your pages are part of your job). If you need noise, listen to a podcast or the radio.
  • Start early and maintain a routine – so if you normally start at 7:30 am be at your “desk” and ready to start your day at 7:30 am, every workday!
  • Have a definitive quitting time – it’s easy to get into what you are doing and go past your ending time; you still need the mental break from work so try to adhere to a regular finish point.
  • Plan out what you will be working on before you get started – This will help you stay focused and keep you on track. Setting daily goals is a great way to stay on track.
  • Take time to interact with other humans! – Whether it’s through phone calls, video conferences or talking with your family, maintain contact with business contacts, family and friends.
  • Set expectations with family or roommates who may be home with you – Establish clear boundaries on what is acceptable. Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean you are “home”.
  • Develop and maintain a daily/weekly reporting method – Ensure you are staying on track and that your boss/supervisor/manager knows what you are accomplishing.

Tools you can use for video conferencing, creating shareable videos and document sharing:

We at Accent, hope these tips help. As we navigate these difficult and unforeseen circumstances, we hope to continue to be a resource for you and your clients.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have or if we can respond to a water/fire/wind claim for you! Don’t forget we can help you and your insureds determine if their property damage requires a claim be filed or not, before they file it! This is a FREE service we happily offer to all our partners in the insurance industry and if you are receiving this, that means we view you as a partner!

Our office can be reached at 262-293-2646 or Diane directly at 414-333-3727 or email me at diane@accent24hr.com