Before you give away the office lease and let your team work from home permanently, there are a few things you need to consider. As an employer, you’re responsible for providing your employees with a safe working environment, which may now be their home. This includes doing the following:
- Test and Tagging their home environment, including laptops, PCs and other work-related equipment
- Ensuring cables and cords are secured and not causing a tripping hazard
- Ensuring their work area is safe and comfortable, including providing an ergonomically-sound desk chair consider installing a sit/stand desk. Ensuring they’re comfortable in their workspace.
- Paying employees a Work From Home Allowance to cover telephone, internet and electricity costs
- Setting up an online phone system where staff can use a centralised number as opposed to their personal mobiles.
It’s also important that you implement ways to keep morale and productivity up. This could include:
- Implementing set times to take breaks to avoid complete isolation – set a Timer on their phone to take breaks regularly. It’s important that work is completed as per the FairWork condtions in terms of hours worked, overtime, etc. There are extended normal hours of work now during COVID for a number of awards for Clerical. For more information, check out https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/temporary-changes-to-workplace-laws-during-coronavirus/clerks-award-flexibility-during-coronavirus
- Scheduling regular catch up times via programs such as Microsoft Teams/HeySpace/Wire/Winio/Slack and check on your employees and just schedule a weekly call to touch base – check in. (non-work related)
- Review workload and expectations on a regular basis of their current work tasks (such as daily or weekly) to keep staff focused
- Create and inspire fun in other ways to keep personal connections between your team
As a commercial tenant, it’s a changing world we’re now living and working with. Before you look at giving up your Rental space just consider if your business and your team could continue long term to operate efficiently and productively in it’s existing format and are you happy to offer this type of working structure to your team.
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