Guidelines for Remote Work

Helpful Guidelines for Remote Work – Managers and Employees

FOR MANAGERS:

FUNCTIONAL/OPERATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS WHEN MANAGING REMOTE TEAMS

Establish expectations and ensure that you have the necessary resources to execute your responsibilities remotely. 

  • Establish how you will communicate with your team members (Email, Zoom, Teams, Google Hangout etc.).
    • Consider having a daily call or virtual check-in (Virtual > Phone > Email for effective communication). Consider sharing cell phone #’s with team.
  • Ensure all team members have access to the systems/programs/tools typically required to do their job. Also, consider that the appropriate (additional) security and data privacy measures are in place while accessing/sending/receiving, information, including paper copies of documents they may have at home.
  • Managers/Supervisors should establish, and clearly communicate, the expectations of work that needs to be accomplished.
  • Create protocol for managing/approving hours. Set communication process for discussing need for time off or other issues that will require you to be unavailable.  If you manage non-exempt employees – please be certain they inform you when they are taking their meal break.
  • Set boundaries and expectations regarding response time.
    • What are the expectations of response time to teammates, clients?
    • What are the expectations with engaging using technology? Active on Teams throughout the day?
  • Create standards to email, document standards etc.
  • Check in with your employees, how are they doing in their remote environment. Many people may be feeling isolated and fearful. If you have concerns about someone, refer them to FSAO, or HRBP
  • If your employee shares they do not feel well, please refer them to their medical provider and call Occupational Health Center.

OPTIMIZING REMOTE TEAMS

Managing remote teams is similar in many ways to managing onsite staff.  You still need to provide goals, resources, feedback and other essential support regardless of where you and your team are located. What is different is the need to plan out how you will deal with a few important logistical issues and stay informed about how work is progressing so you can monitor and support the productivity of your staff.

  • Look for opportunities to collaborate and connect as a team, or in subgroups.
  • Recognize employee contributions and listen to and share concerns and feedback.
  • Work to build trust and treat your staff as professionals, be conscious not to micromanage.
  • Leverage strengths of team members for different tasks, as appropriate.

FOR ALL EMPLOYEES:

TIPS FOR INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTIVITY/WELL BEING

Whether you are familiar with working remotely or new to the arrangement, there are a number of best practices to follow to help you be productive, organized and promote well-being.

  • Maintain boundaries between work and home spaces (as much as possible).
  • Try to create a comfortable, functional workspace, that limits distractions (Use headphones!).
  • Practice strict time-management – organize your day ahead of time, and block times to work on certain tasks.
  • Set up a routine for eating and taking breaks (proper nutrition and hydration).
  • Set consistent routine for your day, (ex: to help match beginning and end times of a workday).
  • Establish a daily habit to transition from work to home (change clothes, step outside, close computer).
    • Schedule something socially stimulating to do after or before work. Please be mindful of social distancing recommendations.
  • Be proactive with your manager and establish a standard method for updating your manager on progress.
  • Look for opportunities to reach out to your peers. Do regular check in as you consider appropriate.

Below are some links to tips for working remotely that you may find helpful in adjusting. Please be sure to reach out with any questions or concerns.

RESOURCES FOR WORKING REMOTELY:

How to Work From Home: 20 Tips From People Who Do It Successfully (article, HubSpot)

8 Tips To Make Working From Home Work For You (article, NRP Life Kit Series)

5 Tips for Staying Productive and Mentally Healthy While You’re Working From Home (article, Time)

20 Tips for Working From Home (article, PC Magazine)

Contributing as a Virtual Team Member (video, Terrier eDevelopment)

How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing (article, Scientific American)

Preventing Loneliness in Times of Social Distancing (article, Psychology Today)

RESOURCES FOR MANAGING REMOTELY:

Establishing Effective Virtual Teams (video, Terrier eDevelopment)

Best Practices for Managing Remote Employees (article, Bamboo, HR)

Helping Remote Workers Avoid Loneliness and Burnout (article, Harvard Business Review)

CONTACTS FOR MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES:

Boston University Human Resources – https://www.bu.edu/hr/buworkscentral

Boston University Faculty Staff Assistance Office – http://www.bu.edu/fsao

Boston University Occupational Health Center – http://www.bu.edu/buohc