Why Working from Home Now Is Not What It Was Pre-Covid, Part Three

How to Manage Employees Whose Lives Change Completely Every Few Days

Before the pandemic, employees established work schedules that didn’t change as often as they do now . . .

Part-time employee Bill used to work from his home between the hours of 9:00 and noon every day. He’d done that for two years. But now, Bill seems to need a new schedule every week. Early in the pandemic before the summer, he was home-schooling his kids and he migrated most of his work hours into the very early mornings and into the evenings, after his wife got home from her job. But now that school is about to begin again, Bill will request another big revision in the way he works and in his schedule.

Divorced, flextime employee Elaine used to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so she could be the “on duty parent” for her two kids on Mondays and Fridays, when she had them in her home. But during the pandemic, her former husband lost his job and started to need all kinds of accommodations and schedule changes from Elaine. Those frequent schedule changes affect Elaine, who in turn needs more schedule flexibility from her employer.

“It’s driving me crazy . . . “

“Every week, I need to renegotiate schedules with each of the 20 remote workers we employ,” says the HR director at an Internet marketing firm in New York. “It’s like building a new house of cards once a week for each employee.”

The problem is that your employees’ world is changing almost by the day, and their schedules are too. But instead of negotiating with employees every time something changes, you can handle the new demands better by building some flexibility into your system.

For example . . .

Ramp up your use of scheduling apps - You can, for example, tell flextime employees that you want them to work a certain number of hours every week, then ask them to track their appointments and activities using an app like one of these, which allow your other people to book time with them . . .

Those three aren’t the only ones to choose from. There are plenty of good scheduling apps out there - check them out, pick one, and get everyone using it. Your days of negotiating schedules with every employee every week could fade into memory!

Schedule group check-in meetings for everyone at recurring times

Sure, regularly scheduled meetings are pretty old-tech and outdated. But they can serve a good organizational purpose. If you can get everyone on your team at the same meeting at the same time every week, you can easily increase the quality and quantity of communication. 

Consider providing all remote employees with company phones - Expensive? Maybe. But if they allow you to communicate with your employees wherever and whenever, they can be well worth the cost.

And Put the Power of Hyperlocal Worksites to Work for You!

Call KettleSpace today to learn more about this modern way to allow your employees to work remotely and flexibly enough to accommodate their shifting work schedules in this often-uncertain back to work period.

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