5 Ways to Manage Poor Workplace Performance Among Remote Workers

5 Ways to Manage Poor Workplace Performance Among Remote Workers

Successful business is all about accountability. Each worker’s individual contributions build on one another and culminate into something greater, to the benefit of the company and its customers. Conversely, when some individuals struggle with their performance, the entire organization can suffer. These poor workplace performance among remote workers tips will help you recognize and deal with performance issues.

Unfortunately, addressing poor performance isn’t always easy. This is especially true amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as remote working often makes accountability more complicated. This article offers five tips to help employers manage poor performance in the workplace, even while everyone is working from home.

1. Address the Poor Workplace Performance Problem Quickly

The longer poor workplace performance goes unchecked, the more damage it causes. Strategies such as incidental counseling, frequent check-ins and 360-degree reviews can all be useful for identifying and curtailing poor performance early on. Even if the majority of the workforce is working remotely, it’s critical to budget ways to check in and monitor performance in an ongoing manner—particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the margin between success and failure is razor thin.

2. Have Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations aren’t easy for many people, managers included. In fact, nearly 20% of top executives struggle to hold others accountable, according to the Harvard Business Review. This is a problem, since issues left unaddressed will almost always worsen over time.

A poorly performing employee isn’t likely to improve if left to their own devices—employers need to have tough conversations. This doesn’t entail laying into the employee, however. Rather, employers need to thoughtfully explain where they’ve noticed performance lapses and work candidly with the employee toward improvement.

These conversations should be face-to-face (e.g., a video call) and cover the following:

  • Explicit examples of where the employee’s performance is waning
  • A clearly defined standard that the employee must meet to no longer be considered a poor performer
  • Probing questions to identify problem areas, such as:
  • What’s different now from when your performance was better?
    • What’s not working as well for you, be it a workflow issue, new work arrangement, co-worker relationship or something else?
    • For what and to whom are you accountable?
  • An agreed-upon goal and timeline for assessing improvement

The end goal of these conversations should be to correct the problem, not necessarily discipline the employee. For instance, an employer may discover through this process that a workflow is the main hinderance, not an individual.

In other words, migrating to a work-from-home arrangement can create unforeseen problems, which can resemble individual shortcomings. By having tough conversations, employers can figure out the truth and help work toward a solution.

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3. Follow Up on Progress

Establishing performance improvement goals is only worthwhile if employees are held to them. A clear goal with measurable standards should’ve been established during the initial performance conversation with the employee. Employers should follow up about everything that was discussed during that meeting.

The length of time between the initial meeting and follow-up will vary by situation. For instance, if the main problem turned out to be workflow-related—rather than solely about performance—it may take longer to establish a fix, since that solution may necessitate input from many stakeholders. In other cases, such as when an employee is distracted by personal responsibilities, an employer may have quicker turnaround expectations and follow up sooner.

4. Keep a Detailed Record

Employers should document all performance-related issues from the onset. That means as soon as a manager notices dwindling performance, a paper trail should begin. In a remote setting, this would entail collecting emails, chat transcripts and other logs. Doing so will help guide performance improvement by cataloging specific examples for the employee to work on and identifying different time periods to compare performance against.

The record should also include meeting notes to document anything that’s discussed during performance meetings, including specific action steps and goals. Employers may consider recording video calls, with employee consent, to keep a more accurate record. Not only will this documentation help employers track performance improvement, it may also be necessary for justifying an employee’s termination if they do not improve.

5. Seek Additional Manager Training

Performance issues can often be corrected through swift action. But, if managers are unable to recognize or address poor performance with their direct reports, problems will only continue. Managers may have different blind spots in this regard. Some may not track performance closely enough, while others may speculate as to the cause of the poor performance without actually addressing it.

That’s why manager training is so important. Managers should be able to spot when performance is declining and have the resolve to address those situations with employees. This is the only method for getting to the root cause and improving the circumstances. It’s not prudent to expect employees to bring up their limited performance on their own.

Speak with GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. for more workplace guidance, including additional best practices for managers.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive business insurance quote!

California Sexual Harassment Prevention Training FAQ

California Sexual Harassment Prevention Training FAQ

California Sexual Harassment Prevention Training FAQ

SB 1343 requires that all employers of 5 or more employees provide 1 hour of California sexual harassment prevention training and abusive conduct prevention training to non-managerial employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to managerial employees once every two years. Existing law requires the training to include harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation and to include practical examples of such harassment and to be provided by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas. The bill also requires the Department to produce and post both training courses to its website, which employers may utilize instead of hiring a trainer.

An employer is required to train its California-based employees so long as it employs 5 or more employees anywhere, even if they do not work at the same location and even if not all of them work or reside in California.

Under the DFEH’s regulations, the definition of “employee” for training purposes includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, unpaid interns, unpaid volunteers, and persons providing services pursuant to a contract (independent contractors) Click the below toolkit for additional tools, including a sample sexual harassment and abusive
conduct prevention training:

NEW UPDATE: By what date must employees be trained?

All employees must now receive training by January 1, 20211. Employers of 50 or more employees have an existing and ongoing obligation to train new supervisory employees within six months of assuming their supervisory position. Beginning January 1, 2021, new supervisory employees in workplaces of 5 or more employees must be trained within six months of assuming their supervisory position, and new nonsupervisory employees must be trained within six months of hire. Employees must be retrained once every two years.

NEW UPDATE: What if the employees are seasonal, temporary or otherwise work for less than six months?

Employers are required to provide training within 30 calendar days after the hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first, beginning January 1, 20212. Employers are not required to train employees who are employed for fewer than 30 calendar days and work for fewer than 100 hours.

  • In the case of a temporary employee employed by a temporary services employer, as defined in Section 201.3 of the Labor Code, to perform services for clients, the training shall be provided by the temporary services employer, not the client


NEW UPDATE: When will the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s online training
courses be available?

SB 1343 requires that DFEH make online training courses available on the prevention of sexual harassment and abusive conduct in the workplace. DFEH expects to have all trainings available by July 30, 2020. In the interim period, DFEH is offering a SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND ABUSIVE CONDUCT PREVENTION TOOLKIT, including a sample sexual harassment and
abusive conduct prevention training. Employers may use the training in conjunction with an eligible trainer to provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training.

  • SB 778 signed by Governor Newsom on 8/30/19 amended existing law to change deadline of harassment training until 1/1/2021.
  • 2SB 530 signed by Governor Newsom on 10/10/19 amended existing law to change deadline to 1/1/2021 for seasonal and
    temporary worker harassment training compliance.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION TRAINING FAQ

Do employers need to train independent contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns?

No, it is not required that employers train independent contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns. However, in determining whether an employer meets the threshold of having 5 employees and being subject to the harassment prevention training requirement, independent contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns must be counted. For example, if an employer has 2 full time employees and 6 unpaid interns, the employer would meet the training threshold requirement and would need to ensure the two full time employees receive training only.

What if a supervisor or non-supervisory employee has received the training in compliance with 12950.1 within the prior two years either from a current, a prior or alternate, or a joint employer? Do they have to retake the training again?


No. Supervisors do not need to retake the training. But their new, alternate or joint employer must give them the employer’s anti-harassment policy, require them to read it, and require them to acknowledge receipt of it. This must happen within six months of the supervisor assuming their new supervisory position (or within six months of the creation of a new business or the expansion of a business that was previously not required to provide training). However, the current employer is responsible for ensuring that all supervisors have fulfilled the training requirement contained in 12950.1, which may require verifying compliance from the prior, alternate, or joint employer.

For non-supervisory employees who received harassment prevention training in compliance with 12950.1 from another employer within the prior two years, they must be required to read and to acknowledge receipt of the current employer’s anti-harassment policy. Again, the current employer will be responsible for ensuring that all non-supervisory staff have fulfilled
the training requirement contained in 12950.1, which may require verifying compliance from the prior, alternate, or joint employer.

Does DFEH have a list of approved outside training providers, or can DFEH recommend or approve an outside training provider for my company to use?

DFEH does not approve training providers. DFEH cannot offer recommendations or approvals for other training providers.

I believe I may be eligible to become a trainer; how can I verify this?

There is currently no certification requirement for qualified trainers, and DFEH is unable to provide guidance as to whether one meets the qualifications of a trainer. If you believe you meet the requirements found in 2 CCR 11024, you may choose to offer your services as a trainer.

Does a trainer who is also an employee need to receive California sexual harassment prevention training in order for their employer to be compliant?

No. An individual who is a qualified training provider according to the regulations (and who does provide the training) does not need to participate in a separate sexual harassment prevention training for their employer to be in compliance with the training requirements.

What documentation is required for those who have completed the training?

The law requires employers to keep documentation of the training it has provided its employees for a minimum of two years, including but not limited to the names of the supervisory employees trained, the date of training, the sign-in sheet, a copy of all certificates of attendance or completion issued, the type of training, a copy of all written or recorded materials that comprise the training, and the name of the training provider. Examples of tracking individual compliance include a certificate and/or a sign-in sheet that includes a verification that trainees completed the training. Documentation of the training should not be sent to DFEH but should be kept on the employer’s premises.

If I have employees located outside of California, are they required to be trained?

No. While employees located inside and outside of California are counted in determining whether employers are covered under the Act, employees located outside of California are not themselves required to be trained.

What is meant by “effective interactive training”?

Effective interactive training can include any of the following:

  • Classroom training that is in-person, trainer-instruction, whose content is created by a trainer
    and provided to a supervisor by a trainer, in a setting removed from the supervisor’s daily
    duties.
  • E-learning that is individualized, interactive, computer-based training created by a trainer and
    an instructional designer that includes a link or directions on how to contact a trainer who
    shall be available to answer questions and to provide guidance within two business days
    after the question is asked.
    • The trainer shall maintain all written questions received, and all written responses or guidance provided, for a period of two years after the date of the response.
  • Webinar training that’s an internet-based seminar whose content is created and taught by a trainer and transmitted over the internet or intranet in realtime.
  • Other “effective interactive training” and education includes the use of audio, video or computer technology in conjunction with classroom, webinar and/or e-learning training.

If an employer utilizes a webinar as their effective interactive California Sexual Harassment Prevention training, can the training be watched in a large group at the same time?

Yes, but it is up to the employer to comply with the documentation procedures, including the following:

• An employer utilizing a webinar for its supervisors or non-supervisory employees must document and demonstrate that each supervisor and non-supervisory employee who was not physically present in the same room as the trainer nonetheless attended the entire training and actively participated with the training’s interactive content, discussion questions, hypothetical scenarios, polls, quizzes or tests, and activities.

• The webinar must provide an opportunity for all employees to ask questions, to have them answered and otherwise to seek guidance and assistance.

• For a period of two years after the date of the webinar, the employer shall maintain a copy of the webinar, all written materials used by the trainer and all written questions submitted during the webinar, and document all written responses or guidance the trainer provided during the webinar.

In addition to the California Sexual Harassment Prevention training (and corresponding process and procedures), is there anything else required?

Yes, every employer must post a poster developed by the Department regarding TRANSGENDER RIGHTS and SEXUAL HARASSMENT in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.

Does the employer have to pay for sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training? Does the employer have to provide paid time for such training?

California law specifies that, “An employer…. shall provide” sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training. Gov. Code 12950.1(a)-(b). The Department is authorized to seek a court order that “the employer” has not complied with this requirement. Gov. Code 12950.1(f). This language makes clear that it is the employer’s – not the employee’s – responsibility to provide the required training, including any costs that may be incurred. This language also makes clear that employees may not be required to take such training during their personal time; the training must be “provided” by the employer as part of an individual’s employment.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive business insurance quote!

How Social Distancing is Impacting Workplace Culture

How Social Distancing is Impacting Workplace Culture

How Social Distancing is Impacting Workplace Culture

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, one guideline that is likely to last beyond this year is social distancing. Employers have a responsibility to keep employees healthy and safe, and that duty is informing their return-to-work strategies. For instance, some organizations are keeping employees at home to work remotely for the foreseeable future. Other organizations are reconfiguring office layouts to lower capacity and considering safety measures like temperature checks and staggered shifts. Social distancing is impacting workplace culture, read the tips below to help keep your workplace culture strong.

No matter what an organization decides, its initiatives should be true to the company’s mission and values. As employers deliberate on new policies or procedures in response to the pandemic, it’s important to consider how those efforts might impact company culture and vice versa.

A strong workplace culture doesn’t need an actual office to thrive. True culture is based on the values that unify the workplace and employees, regardless of physical location. The pandemic continues to prove this true for many organizations that have moved the workday online.

Social Distancing is Impacting Workplace Culture

Staying Socially Connected

Social connectivity encourages camaraderie. Humans are social creatures who crave interaction. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, the number one reason employees go into the office is to collaborate with other team members.

Given this, it’s not likely for employees to immediately feel included in the workplace culture when they’re virtually working miles apart or forced to physically avoid co-workers.

So, how can employers support and cultivate collaboration in today’s socially distant workplace? Regardless of whether employees are working in the office or working from home, here are some ways to enhance workplace culture and connectivity amid social distancing:

  • Embrace flexibility and ensure employees know their health and safety are top priorities. Continue to adapt, support employees and keep the lines of communication open.
  • Facilitate collaboration by investing in resources such as video conferencing technology, project management tools and collaborative workspaces. The goal is to make it as easy to communicate as it was prior to the pandemic, ultimately improving employee productivity.
  • Encourage video calls for teams or departments to regularly check in with each other. Start with once a week and increase if needed or desired by the group. Video will help employees feel connected by seeing their co-workers on a screen. The discussion doesn’t need to be project-related, but can be more of a check-in to see how people are doing—especially if they are working remotely and balancing other responsibilities.
  • Schedule virtual social gatherings for employees to enjoy a cup of coffee, their lunch or a happy hour together. Keep these informal to preserve an organization’s sense of fun.
  • Consider altering annual company events so they can still happen. Employees often look forward to companywide events, so it’s important to consider how to host them in a safe and engaging way.
Social Distancing is Impacting Workplace Culture

Other Considerations for Social Distancing and Workplace Culture

Organizations can design a workplace that encourages social distancing, but it must be paired with consistent policy enforcement. It’s impossible to control the actions of every employee who walks through the door or to expect desk layouts to fundamentally change people’s behavior.

As the pandemic continues, some Americans are reporting pandemic fatigue. That may lead to employees—consciously or unconsciously—disregarding workplace policies and acting less cautiously than they were at the pandemic’s onset. As a result, morale could be impacted if employees feel uncomfortable with co-workers’ behaviors in the workplace.

Today’s workplace will continue to evolve just as the pandemic does. To learn more, contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. today.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive business insurance quote!

5 Ways COVID-19 is Reshaping HR

5 Ways COVID-19 is Reshaping HR

5 Ways COVID-19 is Reshaping HR

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has upended the entire world, it seems. With fluctuating infection rates and conflicting official guidance, organizations will need to adapt quickly if they want to succeed in the post-coronavirus landscape. Find out the 5 ways COVID-19 is reshaping HR below!

HR teams stand at the forefront of these efforts. For years, HR departments have been tasked with ushering in fundamental workplace changes, and this moment is no different. This article includes five ways the coronavirus is reshaping HR and how departments can adapt to these new challenges.

COVID-19 is Reshaping HR

1. Greater Remote Working Opportunities

When nonessential businesses shuttered due to COVID-19, many couldn’t function at all. Only organizations with some remote-capable workers were able to maintain operations. This is spurring business leaders to consider allowing employees to continue working remotely after the coronavirus pandemic eases. Technology giants like Twitter and Facebook have already signaled that they will extend remote opportunities to employees who want them.  

Employers should consider whether there are areas where they can expand their own remote-working roles. Having at least some employees who can work from home enables adaptability if the workplace must close suddenly. Such arrangements can also reduce costs, especially if they allow a business to reduce its office footprint and pay a smaller lease.

2. More Mental Health Benefits

Reopening a business does not erase the hardship endured by its employees during its closure. Employees may still be grappling with mental health issues that can impact their performance when the doors reopen. Even workers who were fortunate enough to continue working during the COVID-19 pandemic may be suffering from mental health issues that may cause them to burn out.

Employers are taking steps to reduce the mental health burden of employees. Many are already offering mental health benefits, including counseling and access to health professionals. Some businesses are simply working with employees to accommodate their needs. This may include offering flexible scheduling, reduced work hours or other holistic approaches.

COVID-19 is Reshaping HR

3. Virtual Training Solutions

As remote working has shown, employers are eager to maximize their virtual capabilities. Virtual training is another way they’re doing so. This training is just what it sounds like: employee learning conducted online, though an app or some other virtual platform. With more employees working remotely, this type of training makes the most sense.

Even employers with no remote workers should consider virtual training. Not only does it reduce face-to-face interactions (critical during a pandemic), but it can help learning retention. Companies like Walmart, Home Depot and Best Western are already using virtual training solutions. Expect more companies to do likewise in the near future.

4. Virtual Interviewing

Virtual interviewing is the safest option during the coronavirus pandemic, but it will likely remain a popular solution for employers post-coronavirus as well. Virtually interviewing can save time and resources for both employers and candidates, since there is no commute nor meeting space involved.

Virtual interviews can also help employers draw from a larger talent pool, since many people primarily search for jobs online anyway. Many job seekers frequently use websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Handshake. Having the ability to recruit from one of these sites, then seamlessly move to a virtual interview, could help employers get talent in the door faster.

5. Reskilled Workforces

Worker reskilling is perhaps the most significant way COVID-19 is reshaping HR at the moment. In effect, employees must learn brand new processes, workflows and standards in order to function in a post-coronavirus workplace. These elements may include stricter hand-washing guidelines, social distancing protocols and updated customer-interaction policies.

Some employers are going beyond health protocols, instead opting for a holistic approach to training. Companies like Amazon and AT&T are investing in training solutions to ensure a more dynamic, capable workforce. These training efforts may include developing social skills, resiliency, critical thinking and other soft skills. By improving these qualities, employers are investing in their workers and, ultimately, providing a better overall product.

Conclusion

These are only some of the ways COVID-19 is reshaping the HR landscape. As more challenges arise and circumstances evolve, employers must adapt as well if they want to stay competitive. Speak with GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. to discuss workplace strategies that can help keep you ahead of the curve.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive business insurance quote!

Prevent Remote Employee Burnout During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Prevent Remote Employee Burnout During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Prevent Remote Employee Burnout During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The shift to telecommuting has made it possible for employees to work while staying safe and preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but it has also created a few challenges, including increased levels of workplace stress and employee burnout. Find out what you can do to prevent your remote employee burnout.

What is Remote Employee Burnout?

According to the World Health Organization, doctors can diagnose an employee with burnout if they exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Exhaustion or energy depletion
  • Decreased engagement at work, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • Reduced productivity or efficacy

For some employees, the negative effects of burnout extend beyond their work life and into their home and social life. Moreover, burnout can increase an employee’s risk for getting sick or developing a chronic condition.

Remote Employee Burnout

How to Prevent Burnout in Remote Employees

Since burnout is the result of prolonged and chronic workplace stress, it’s important to know how to recognize the signs of workplace stress.

While it may not be possible to eliminate job stress altogether for your employees, you can help them learn how to manage it effectively. Common job stressors include:

  • Heavy workload
  • Long work hours
  • Lack of work-life balance
  • Concerns over job security

While dealing with stress is a normal part of everyday life, and these uncertain times may be elevating your employees’ overall stress levels, it’s important to watch out for prolonged stress. Here are some early warning signs of burnout:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Low morale
  • Short temper
  • Headache
  • Stomach or back problems
  • Fatigue

You can implement various activities to help reduce employee stress, which can improve health and morale—and productivity.

  • Make sure that workloads are appropriate.
  • Have managers regularly check in with employees to facilitate communication.
  • Recognize and celebrate employees’ successes. This contributes to morale and decreases stress levels.
  • Encourage a positive work-life balance.
  • Train managers on strategies to keep employees engaged and motivated at work.
  • Educate managers on the signs of employee burnout.
  • Set clear expectations for working hours and productivity.
  • Keep in mind that some employees will have to balance caregiving and telecommuting responsibilities.
  • Be flexible and understand that not all employees will thrive while telecommuting.
  • Don’t task out busy work during these times to prevent heavy workloads.

While these strategies can help prevent burnout, they’re not right for every organization. Be sure to carefully review each tip before implementing a mitigation strategy at your business.

For More Information

Burnout is a serious syndrome that may be affecting your employees. As such, it’s important that you recognize the signs of burnout and take steps to prevent it while your employees are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on stress reduction resources for employees, contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. today.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more.

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive insurance quote!

Designing a Post-coronavirus Office

Designing a Post-coronavirus Office

Designing a Post-coronavirus Office

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has changed many aspects of the current workplace, and soon, employers should begin planning for what their post-coronavirus office will look like. Previously, social distancing and COVID-19-related best practices hadn’t been a topic on the mind of most employers or employees. By updating office layouts, encouraging new behaviors and expanding remote work options, employers can help prevent the spread of future diseases, and protect the health and safety of employees. Designing a post-coronavirus office takes planning and vision.

Physical Changes to Workplaces

As employers prepare for employees who will be returning to the office, organizations can consider the following best practices for their office space:

While updating practices to best prevent the spread of illnesses will also require changes in behavior, employers can take a step in the right direction by ensuring that designing a post-coronavirus office space that is aligned with encouraged behaviors of employees.

Behavioral Changes

While every business is different, there are practices many organizations can implement and behaviors they can encourage. Common post-coronavirus adjustments may include:

  • Create expectations for handwashing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the best actions to prevent the spread of coronaviruses is washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Encourage employees to do so often, and consider creating policies to reinforce this behavior. 
  • Ban or discourage shaking of hands. While shaking hands is an instinct in many cases, this practice can spread germs, diseases and illnesses at an expedited rate.
  • Increase cleaning schedules. According to the CDC, COVID-19 can remain on hard surfaces for up to 12 hours, creating a potential risk of transmission.Review how cleaning schedules can be more frequent and thorough. 
  • Adjust meeting practices. Encourage limited amounts of participants in meetings, and advise them to spread out and avoid sharing multi-touch devices.

Technology Considerations for Employers Designing a Post-coronavirus Office

Beyond updating office layouts and encouraging virus-resistant practices, some employers are considering how the use of technology can aid in efforts to prevent the spread of diseases. Some organizations are tracking employees’ distances through cellphones or other devices, and even screening employees and guests for high body temperatures. Employers can also consider installing or expanding the use of hands-free voice assistants, such as Amazon, Google or Apple devices, with the intent of reducing the use of shared technology surfaces used by multiple employees. While not all of these changes will make sense or be feasible for all organizations, employers can consider how updated business practices can encourage social distancing, and reduce the touching of shared surfaces—both during and even after the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Designing a post-coronavirus office

Expanding Telecommuting Options

According to a survey of U.S. employers by the Computing Technology Industry Association conducted in 2019, more than two-thirds of respondents across a range of different industries and professions reported increased productivity when workers telecommuted full- or part-time. While the feasibility of remote work varies depending on an employee’s job responsibilities, expanding remote work options offers other benefits as well. These additional benefits can include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased retention
  • Reduced greenhouse emissions
  • The ability to tap into a broader talent pool
  • Fewer opportunities for diseases such as coronaviruses to spread

Notably, by expanding remote opportunities post-coronavirus, employers can reduce the amount of human interaction that takes place at a physical location. Also, by allowing remote work, employees who are sick are less likely to physically attend the office. Best practices for expanding remote work include creating outlined companywide remote practices, rather than leaving remote work approval requests up to the subjective opinion of a manager. As employers consider how they can best create remote work policies, many considerations factor into the equation. For additional resources about how to best use the remote workplace, contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc..

Designing a post-coronavirus office

Preparing for Future Pandemics

Even after reopening, health experts warn that businesses should also be prepared for future pandemics. Additional waves of COVID-19 could reemerge in the near future, and employers should create plans that account for partial or full closings of office locations.

Designing Post-coronavirus Office

As employers plan for how to operate post-coronavirus, creating preventive best practices can set up organizations for success. While the easy return-to-work procedure will be to fall back on existing practices, the COVID-19 pandemic allows an opportunity for organizations to consider how creating an updated workplace with virus-resistant practices, as well as expanding remote work opportunities can prepare them for future pandemics.

As employees reenter the job market, post-coronavirus practices will be top of mind. By being proactive and establishing appropriate measures and practices, employers can not only help prevent the spreading of diseases—but put employees at ease, knowing that necessary steps are being taken to ensure the health and safety of those who will be spending time at the office.

As laws and guidelines related to COVID-19 change, employers should consult with legal counsel when updating or changing policies. As you navigate through reopening your office locations, contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. for additional COVID-19 resources.  

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more.

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive insurance quote!