Human Resources Department (HRD)
During COVID-19 Emergency
Services & Resources

TELECOMMUTING TOOLKIT

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live. The “Shelter-in-Place” Order has employees temporarily telecommuting/working from home. The County’s Employee Engagement Manager has prepared a Telecommuting Toolkit to support employees during these very challenging times. Several of the resources available are specific to working from home during COVID-19 which include YouTube videos, podcasts, articles produced by reputable sources, such as: Gallup Organization, Inc., Forbes, NPR and more.

Learn strategies to:

  1. Set yourself up for success while working from home 
  2. Obtain a clear understanding of your supervisor’s/manager’s expectations and measurements for performance
  3. Connect with your colleagues to avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation
  4. Avoid the potential pitfalls as a telecommuter

For Supervisors/Managers:

  • How to lead your team remotely
  • Build and lead a high-performing remote team
  • Keep remote employees engaged

If you are interested in reading information on the Human Resources Emergency Response Manual, section 7: Temporary Telecommuting/Work from Home, please click HERE.

To view additional information for each resource, please click on the "+" icon.

COVID-19 Has My Teams Working Remotely: A Guide for Leaders

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Individualization, expectations, communication are key for remote workers.
  • Managers need their leaders' support more than ever during this time.
  • Going fully remote may be your organization's new way to work.

“While COVID-19 won't be an issue forever, remote work will be. What you learn about leading a remote workforce now will likely become best practice for your company later on.”

Owning Your Personal Engagement as Remote Worker

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

If you are working from home, consider the following to stay engaged:

  • Clarify expectations
  • Initiate feedback and communication
  • Investing in relationships
  • Finding a balance

“Providing progress or completion updates is a reminder to others that I am working despite not being visible in the office. Equally as important is sharing personal successes and accomplishments that may go unnoticed”

How to Keep Remote Worker Wellbeing High

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Working remotely and staying active can happen -- performance depends on it
  • Effective remote workers alter their approach to getting work done
  • The key to effectively managing employees is individualized coaching

How to Manage the Loneliness and Isolation of Remote Workers

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Loneliness is emotional and isolation is structural
  • Managers need to know the difference to help remote workers thrive
  • A strategy of engagement can help managers keep remote workers connected

How To Manage Remote Employees

  • Remote workers are too valuable for managers to overlook their unique needs.
  • Individualization, clear expectations, trust and talent help them thrive.

Building and Leading High-Performing Remote Teams

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Managers of remote employees can benefit from the following:

  • Clearly communicate to team members who will be held accountable for what.
  • Agree on a timetable for every project and assignment.
  • Monitor progress by scheduling regular check-ins.
  • Avoid blame if a deadline is missed or another issue arises.

Remote Worker Isolation: Perception or Reality

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 43% of U.S. employees work remotely at least some of the time.
  • Today's remote workers need nontraditional managers.
  • There are three ways to combat isolation and increase engagement

Can You Manage Employees You Rarely See?

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Growing work-at-home trend poses challenges for managers.
  • Managers need to be more deliberate about managing remote workers.
  • Creating virtual communities helps in managing remote employees.

How Leaders Can Keep Remote Employees Engaged and Productive During Tumultous Times

Your employees are counting on you to stay strong. Feeding into their anxiety will only make matters worse.

Allow employees to express what's on their mind and acknowledge their feelings. Then try to shift the conversation to something they can control, like the quality of their work.

Is Working Remotely Effective? Gallup Says Yes

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gallup data show remote work improves business outcomes, attracts talent
  • An engaged workforce has the best financial outcomes

7 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Teams

Managers of remote employees can benefit from the following:

  • Manage Expectations
  • Help your team figure out what they should do and create realistic expectations for their work
  • Set yourself and your team up for success by clearly stating both the tasks and the reasons behind them, and help your team understand exactly how you will measure success.

23 Essential Tips for Working Remotely- Follow These Tips to Keep Your Whole Team's Productivity and Morale High

To help maintain human connection while working from home:

  • Make time every day to text with colleagues, check in personally, share stories, ask how people are doing.
  • If your company is using an instant messaging system, consider adding a "water cooler" channel to help encourage this element of communication across the team.

7 Ways to Make Working From Home Easier During the Coronavirus Pandemic March 2020

“The adjustment (of telecommuting) can be jarring at first, though. And the isolation—combined with close quarters to spouses or children—can be disruptive. Need help navigating the work/life balance issues and figuring out how best to get your job done? Here are some ways to make it easier.”

New to Telecommuting? Here Are 8 Rules You Should Know

Advice from top digital security experts on precautions to take when working from home.

"NPR Life Kit Podcast entitled: 8 Tips To Make Working From Home, Work For You"

Duration 15 minutes

  • Be honest with your manager and team about what is/isn’t working and what can/cannot get done
  • Communicate
  • Get into a professional mindset
  • Get dressed as if you are going to the office
  • Stay productive and sane if you don’t like working from home (loneliness)-more video chats to see colleagues, set a timer and take lunch (turn off your work), walk, change your venue and take a breather
  • Schedule your days and have structure/set aside time for lunch and breaks
  • Is your internet access robust enough at home?
  • Use webcam to see the person you are talking to
  • Overcommunicate and reiterate priorities
  • How do you stay connected with co-workers?

NPR Working from Home Podcast: Coronavirus Triple Duty: Working, Parenting, And Teaching From Home

March 2020

Duration: 4 minutes

  • Coronavirus life just got super real for parents. Many suddenly have the task of making sure their kids learn while adjusting to a new life of managing working exclusively from home.
  • Keeping to a schedule is paramount
  • Opportunity for independent study for children
  • Parents can model self-discipline and focus for their children

NPR 10 minute Podcast: “Working from Home”

March 2020

Duration: 9 minutes

  • Does an open office lead to greater communication amongst co-workers? A recent study showed that it does not. People do not talk more when they are in an open office; they end up talking less. They try to isolate by wearing headphones, for example, so they are not distracted by co-workers.
  • When working from home, If possible, have two computers: one for work and one for personal use.
  • Schedule Zoom calls to discuss non-work related topics for the purpose of social connection. Talk about everything “not work
  • Get dressed for work every day to get into work mode.

Jeff Sander’s “5 AM Miracle” Podcast Series

Jeff’s 5 AM Miracle podcast helps you make sure you are as productive as can be before you sit down at the table for breakfast. Having a successful day is great, but why not start your morning out as rewarding as you can?

When you work from home, time management and productivity are key. Whether you’re working set hours with a WAH customer service job or freelancing, you want to make sure you’re working as efficiently as possible throughout the day.

Over 6 million downloads since it’s launch in 2013, 5 AM Miracle is ranked no.1 on iTunes in the Self-Help and Business categories.

Mari Anne Snow on Remote Work During COVID-19

Society for Human Resource Management All Things Work podcast series

March 2020

Duration: 25 minutes

  • Does an open office lead to greater communication amongst co-workers? A recent study showed that it does not. People do not talk more when they are in an open office; they end up talking less. They try to isolate by wearing headphones, for example, so they are not distracted by co-workers.
  • An initial first step is establishing a remote work agreement between the employee and his/her immediate supervisor/manager.
  • The importance of multi-channel communication to stay connected with remote workers.
  • Trust, communicating expectations and accountability.

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