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Reopening Your Business: Who Gets to Work From Home?

The coronavirus has changed “normal” life as we know it. In order to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus, most organizations have gone online. However, taking your business online isn't as simple as it seems. As businesses across the country start to offer their services once again to the public during this pandemic, employers are facing difficulties regarding work-from-home (WFH) arrangements. Some employers are planning to extend the WFH arrangement until next year, some are asking employees to return to the office, and some are offering a hybrid of these two. To make it easier for you to choose, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Review roles and responsibilities.

Although every employee should be able to work from home and get the job done, it may not be ideal depending on the role they play. For example if the employee has a client facing job or the job requires them to be face to face with a client, it would not be helpful for them to work from home. Make sure to document reasons why the employee is needed in the office setting. However if the employee can work anywhere and the physical location is not an issue, it would make more sense for them to work from home.

Evaluate each employee.

Keep in mind that this pandemic has affected every employee differently. Make sure that you remain as flexible as possible during these trying times as some employees may have family members who are unwell, may have caregiving responsibilities or may just be uncomfortable or anxious to come to the office.There may also be employees who want to work in the office. The employees who do not wish to come to the office could submit a request and those who want to must ensure they follow safety measures.

Empower your department heads.

You can leave the decision of whether or not employees must be asked to work from home or the office, up to the department heads as they have more insight into how your employees are performing. All you need to do is ensure that deadlines are being met and your team is being productive.

Be direct.

Ensure that you communicate your decisions, ideas and thoughts to the employees about making work from home or the office. On doing this, your employees will be able to rationalize your decisions and will feel comparatively more at ease. This is important to give your employees some stability and rationality during these confusing and stressful times.

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