For many business mums, work is our solace: it’s a place to go to put on our professional hat and get things done, among colleagues we like and respect. But recently, everything about that ‘solace’ has been turned upside as we were all suddenly, and unexpectedly, required to work from home. And for those of us who have never done that before (and especially those of us who have never managed teams before, virtually), it can certainly be a challenge. How do we transition staff to working from home? How do we protect them and communicate with them in this difficult time? And should we be worried about their mental health?
In our latest webinar with Natasha Hawker, HR expert and Managing Director of Employee Matters, we help you understand everything you need to know about how to safely manage your new virtual team. Natasha, who herself started her business from home and still manages her team remotely, gives honest and practical advice for all of us on how to protect our most precious asset - our people.
Despite the fact that the coronavirus is currently terrorising our lives and livelihoods, Natasha is quite positive about what we’ll learn, saying that a lot of innovation and change will come from this. But right now, she says, it’s critical that we all survive this period and protect the health and wellbeing of our people. And that starts, she believes, with a good working from home policy, as well as a working from home audit:
‘If your people are suddenly working from home, then their home is now an extension of your workplace. So if they were to fall over their own washing basket, for example, there’s a chance you could be liable.’
‘You need a policy, and beyond this, you need to do a (virtual) audit to set out what’s required and to ensure the basics, such as good ergonomics and no glaring safety hazards.’
A policy and an audit, though, Nastasha says, is simply the basics. You also need to set clear expectations with your employees, so they understand what is required:
‘Set KPIs, set deliverables, set timeframes, but also, be flexible. Know that some people’s homes will be chaotic right now, so people may need to work at different times to achieve what you’re asking.’
Natasha also believes there’s one more element that is absolutely critical in successfully managing a team from home.
She discusses what this is in the webinar. Access it here.
In a nutshell, yes, says Natasha, who reveals that even before the coronavirus crisis, 1 in 4 Australians suffered from a mental illness, and now that number is likely to be higher than ever.
But there are simple ways to make sure your staff are ok, Natasha says. She believes that communication is key when checking in on your staff:
‘Reassure your staff members, give them a call, ask them if they need any help. Research also shows that domestic violence has increased. Make sure you’re communicating, communicating, communicating, and trying to make sure your team is as calm as possible.’
‘Now is the time for care and compassion.’
There are two things you can do if you’re worried about your staff, Natasha says. Find out what they are in the webinar.
Listen to the webinar now to ensure you’re helping your people best manage this challenging time.
Mums & Co have created a special taskforce to support our 345,000 + members to best manage throughout the coronavirus crisis. The taskforce includes 15 experts, who will be answering your questions via daily webinars and making themselves available for individual consultations, if you need. We’re also developing a chat-bot to support you, 24.7. Access to our taskforce is available via a Mums & Co premium membership, which we are providing for free for the next 3 months.
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