Five Smart Solutions for the New Work Normal
Lots of people are talking about the new normal. The partially open normal. A normal where COVID-19 is still around but we navigate ways to resume business as usual. We need smart solutions for the new work normal.
We need solutions oriented people and actions to help us move on, support one another and advance our businesses. This means we have evaluate the true work of our business and explore smart solutions to rebound while keeping employees healthy and comfortable.
One of the first priorities for many businesses is to determine which positions can remain remote and which ones require in person office space.
Smart Solution 1: Extend Remote Work
What policies has your business put into place for remote workers during the pandemic and how have employees performed? Are you happy with how remote performance is being measured? These are good questions to ask when considering extending remote opportunities.
In some cases, employees may be thriving. Depending on the home office environment, some employees could be accomplishing more at home. Time commuting and socializing with coworkers is now spent working. And, let’s face it—remote work does save a business money on rent, lunches, parking, and office supplies. The pandemic has forced employees to utilize technologies that may be proving effective. Jack Kelly of Forbes says, “How much time is wasted by holding long tedious meetings that can easily be dispensed with and addressed by emails? Why should employees fly around the world when video conferences are available and cheaper?”
In hiring, conducting remote interviews has advantages to both the business and interviewee, especially when thinking about airfare and other travel costs. “Wouldn’t it be easier for a job seeker to have a video interview instead of forcing her to sneak out of the office with some lame excuse, commute across town to the company and then scurry back to work worried that she’ll be found out?“ Kelly states.
While some are thriving, other employees may need to be in an office to perform their job. Good communication and implementing a system to measure remote performance is essential.
Smart Solution 2: Plan Physical Workspace
For positions requiring face to face contact, here are some smart solutions:
• Stagger schedules so there is a smaller number of employees in an office at any given time
• Establish social distancing norms
• Educate employees on how COVID-19 is spread
• Establish procedures for reporting symptoms and exposure. Ask sick employees to stay home.
• Provide masks to employees
• Clean and disinfect surfaces- especially keyboards, mouse, desk surfaces, phones. Provide hand sanitizer and wipes.
• Create a schedule for shared spaces like break rooms so proper social distancing can take place
Managers should understand that for all its benefits, working remotely can be a lonely environment. A good manager will work to connect employees and build a team atmosphere. This might be in the form of a professional development, a project where employees work together via a conferencing platform, or simply allowing time to talk about personal issues at the beginning or end of a meeting. We need to know how to manage in a remote world.
Smart Solution 3: Anticipate Staff Changes
How does the new normal look as far as staffing? If positions go remote, how does this affect the type or number of managers required to oversee the work? Perhaps your business will need more IT support to field technology-related questions. Post COVID-19, will your business need to change its product or target consumer? How does this affect staffing?
Smart Solution 4: HR Policy Changes
Our new normal requires businesses to think proactively about current human resources policies like whether to pay sick leave for someone diagnosed with COVID-19, how to offer flexibility, or how to implement consequences for work refusal. It is also wise to review anti-discrimination policies and practices.
AT&T is an example of a company responding to COVID-19. According to its website, it offers a 20% bonus to front line employees and is choosing to extend its original 80 hours of paid sick time to 160 hours for employees testing positive, employees at high risk, and parents or guardians of children at home during COVID, and more. It has also given its call center employees the option to work from home. For more details on AT&T’s response to COVID, please click here.
HR should have mental health resources on hand for employees. Here is a link to the World Health Organization’s document, “Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Smart Solution 5: Be Open to New Areas for Growth
Essential businesses have been thriving during the pandemic and other businesses have been diversifying products to meet new demands (like making masks for example). According to Andrew Seaman, an editor at LinkedIn, some of the companies hiring right now include: Instacart, Amazon, CVS Health, Walmart, Dollar General, FedEx, Pizza Hut, Kroger and more. “In the U.S., store associates, system operators, certified public accountants, health care specialists and construction workers are the top five in-demand jobs,” Seaman states. “Additionally, companies are still hiring, with 7-Eleven, the Army National Guard, KPMG, Amazon and Genentech having the most open positions in the country.”
The Artemis Difference
With so many people working at home, the recruiters at Artemis have been taking advantage of this by establishing new relationships with elite talent that can now take our calls from the privacy of their homes. This adds a lot of value for companies seeking the industry’s most coveted talent.
Instead of choosing from a limited pool of qualified candidates that apply, we can provide a broader view of the talent landscape, mitigating your risk in hiring the wrong person. We provide visibility to consistent top performers that rarely “look” for a new job and will only work for a select group of companies. More times than not, the ones that need to be “hunted” are the ones who add the greatest value.
We’re here to help you navigate a new work normal until we pass this pandemic. For more smart solutions for your recruiting needs, contact Artemis Consultants.