Top 5 Tips for Managing Newly Remote Workers

March 26, 2020 Written by Oralie Chapman

According to Gallup, 43 percent of workers already worked from home at least part of the time before the Coronavirus hit us like a ton of bricks. Hawaii is now under a broad “stay at home order” along with several other states in an attempt to “flatten the curve.” As a result, the number of people working from home has undoubtedly just exploded. Managers may be wondering how to effectively manage their newly remote workers. The truth is that remote workers can be extremely productive but those who have never done it before may need some guidance.


Top 5 Tips for managing your newly remote workers


It’s clear that managers didn’t have much time to make a plan for managing remote workers so they may be feeling overwhelmed or worried that their employees will have a drop in job performance and engagement. These tips from Harvard Business Review, offer managers some things to keep in mind and how to avoid challenges that could get in the way of a productive and positive work from home experience during this time.


1. Use technology to have daily check-ins.

Employees who are used to being in an office with their co-workers and managers may feel a bit disoriented and alone without checking in every day. Video meetings should be used to connect and offer emotional support; to ask employees about their needs and how they’re doing. They should also be used to discuss project updates and set expectations.


2. Provide instructions for email etiquette among co-workers.

While your workers were undoubtedly already using email to communicate with customers while in the office, they may not have been relying heavily on email to communicate with each other. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s a lot easier to tell when a co-worker is having a bad day in person and to brush off a harsh sounding email. Remind your employees that email communication must be keep “office appropriate” and that tone cannot be conveyed by email so we need to take extra care not to sound angry or accusatory in written communication.


3. Establish a protocol for communication.

In addition to daily company or team video meetings, let employees know how they should be communicating with fellow employees and managers if they have a question. Is there an instant messaging system they can use? Is email the best way? What about phone calls or video calls? What work hours are employees expected to be available? What times of day are the best to reach managers?


4. Provide access to information. 

Workers who are used to being in an office may get home and suddenly feel like they don’t know where anything is. Ensure that employees know how to access important documents so they aren’t twiddling their thumbs waiting on information they need to work.


5. Ask employees to setup a work space that will allow them to be productive.

With Hawaii public schools closed through at least April 30, children are at home and potentially distracting their remote working parents.  Ask employees to set up their laptops in a dedicated work space if possible, or if not, in an area of the house that allows for the most focus possible.


Why partnering with a PEO can help reduce workplace issues related to COVID-19


A PEO provides small businesses with many advantages that they might not otherwise be able to afford. These advantages have become even more important during this international health crisis.


When small business owners partner with Makai HR they:

  • Gain peace of mind that they are complying with all of Hawaii’s labor laws, which is especially important when decisions are being made about how to handle a health crisis.
  • Can provide comprehensive health care plans that will give your employees peace of mind about going to the doctor for treatment and testing.


We are also here to support your business when you decide to work remotely:

  • Our cloud based platform means that your employees can manage their HR needs through a computer, tablet or phone, making it easier for them to work from home.
  • Our cloud based HRIS platform means that your HR team can manage HR remotely if they are sick or everyone is working remotely.


Pro tip: this is a good time to encourage all employees to update to Direct Deposit to reduce in person bank transactions and continue timely payroll payments. Do not delay. Contact us today to get started!