Tips on how to make employees work from home more effectively

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2020 05:54 AM

MANILA -- A former Google employee-turned-startup founder shared tips to ensure employees work from home more effectively as more people are staying indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Paul Rivera, CEO and co-founder of the recruitment solutions provider Kalibrr, recommended that companies use the following free tools in a work-from-home setup: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, or Discord for video conferencing; Trello or Notion for project management; Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, or Google Hangouts Chat for communication; and Jamboard, Miro, and Whimsical as a whiteboard.

In a statement sent to ABS-CBN News on Wednesday, he said employees should have access to the same set of tools, align on what communication channels to use, and create concrete communication and operational guidelines.

This includes set shifts and break times. According to Rivera, a work-from-home setup should not mean that employees are always on call. He said an employee can e-mail or chat message informing the team that he or she is already online and working to ease administrative burdens. 

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Rivera acknowledged that not all companies can implement a work-from-home policy as he suggested creating a skeletal workforce responsible for continuing day-to-day operations to minimize health risks and business issues. 

He also encouraged companies to communicate new work arrangements clearly with clients via e-mail, and ask employees to send end-of-day reports to keep track of goals and responsibilities. 

Meanwhile, Rivera also advised creating a shared remote culture with norms, values, and ceremonies as if employees are together in an office. An example of this is celebrating a staff member's birthday via group video chat, complete with a virtual birthday cake. 

Trust and empathy, he stressed, will also go a long way in a work-from-home setup. He said companies should make employees feel empowered to speak up if things are not working for them. 

"With the amount of technology available, the future of work isn’t necessarily everyone in one office from 9 to 6 p.m., watching the clock. The future of work is an empowered team, who you trust and who hold each other accountable, with the right tools to be productive, regardless of where they may be,” Rivera said.