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COVID-19 Telework Resources

Since many employees may be new to telework, please find some guidance below on implementing this practice.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that teleworking is one of the most effective ways employers can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Teleworking may be new to some District employees, but many organizations have teleworked for years. According to Gallup’s 2017 The State of the American Workplace Report, 43% of employees work remotely in some capacity.  Teleworking presents an opportunity to learn new technology, concentrate on projects placed on hold due to daily activities, and build employer/employee trust.
 
The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) prepared a list of teleworking best practices that includes:

  • Team Meetings: Schedule team meetings several times a week. Ask each team member to describe complete activities and any challenges faced.

  • Encourage Groups Chats: Technology platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Skype allow team members to participate in conversations virtually via chats.

  • Manage by Results: Communicate expectations in terms of completed work and deadlines. For larger projects, develop milestones and performance indicators.

  • Keep Evolving: Teleworking is a work in progress and some employees may struggle for a few days.

Resources for Managing Teleworkers

According to the US General Services Administration, these are the “Basics” of managing teleworkers:

  • Facilitate a teleworking protocol meeting with your team: Host a conversation to identify your team norms and protocols to reach a consensus on what “teleworking as a team” means for you.

  • Build a trusting environment: Use telework as an opportunity to foster trust between employees and management. Established and agreed upon metrics for productivity help ensure teleworking success and reduces the need for rigid monitoring or micromanagement.

  • Monitor performance: Hold employees accountable for their work fairly and promptly. Telework does not create inefficiencies, but potentially exposes them. Offer multiple check-in opportunities for your team together and individually.

  • Stay connected: Ensure all team members know the best and expected vehicles for communication. Commit with each other to the expected response period as outlined in the employee’s telework agreement. Be just as responsive to your direct reports and colleagues as you expect them to be.

  • Be transparent: Use shared calendars, instant messenger, Teams meetings as tools to ensure team members are apprised of each other’s work status.

Digital Experts agree that in a telework environment, you must overcommunicate. Two of the necessary actions to ensure that your team stays informed and connected are:

  • Use shared documents including Google Docs, Microsoft Teams, etc. to share notes in one place- it is important to document everything.

  • Add timeframes and deadlines to tasks- this helps provide clear expectations and accountability. It also helps structure check-ins around deliverables.

Overall, remember that some team members may have a hard transition to the telework environment. Being patient, flexible, and supportive are essential to assisting your team in making a smooth transition.

Access Real-Time Virtual Learning using SkillPort Library Resources

DCHR’s Center for Learning and Development has curated a set of learning resources and guides available 24/7 through SkillPort. These resources will be located under the Featured Content section on the home page in SkillPort,  in a folder titled DC Government Business Continuity Plan. Employees are additionally encouraged to explore the SkillSoft’s newly-established Business Continuity channel on YouTube for an evolving list of resources.

Online Learning Tools for Managers

Remember that you are learning through this process, too. Navigating the telework environment as a manager includes sharpening your own skillset. Below are course titles available in Skillport for Managers. Access Skillport by visiting https://dchr.skillport.com/.

Audiobooks

  • The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership (Audiobook)

  • Making a Success of Managing and Working Remotely (Audiobook)

  • The Leadership Mind Switch: Rethinking How We Lead in the New World of Work (Audiobook)

  • Mindfulness: Be Mindful. Live in the Moment. (Audiobook)

  • Bringing Mindfulness to Your Workplace (Audiobook)

Online Courses

  • Managing a Virtual Team
  • Strategies for Managing Technical Teams
  • Being an Effective Manager When Times are Tough
  • Effectively Delegating and Directing as a Manager
  • Managing in Crisis
  • Managing Motivation During Organizational Change
  • Managing Multi-Generational Employee
  • Positive Atmosphere: How Organizational Learning Drives Positive Change

Online Learning Tools for Staff

Providing your team with resources to ensure their success is necessary. Below are course titles available in Skillport for Staff. Access Skillport by visiting https://dchr.skillport.com/.

Organization and Communication

  • Avoid Procrastination by Getting Organized Instead
  • Make the Time You Need: Get Organized
  • Organize Your Physical and Digital Workspace
  • Clarity and Conciseness in Business Writing

Time Management

  • Aligning Goals and Priorities to Manage Time
  • Developing a Personal Accountability Framework
  • Maximize Productivity by Managing Time and Tasks
  • The Art of Staying Focused

Navigating Change

  • Contributing as a Virtual Team Member
  • Forging Ahead with Perseverance and Resilience
  • Managing Motivation During Organizational Change
  • Staying Balanced in a Shifting World

Technical Skill Building and Business Process Improvement

  • Microsoft Teams: Getting to know the application
  • Excel 2016: Using Excel 2016 with Office 365
  • Solve Problems Using Systems Thinking in the Workplace
  • Fundamentals of Lean and Six Sigma and their Applications
  • Using Lean to Perfect Organizational Processes
  • Strategically Focused Project Management
  • Enabling Business Process Improvement

Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness Practices  

  • Take a Deep Breath and Manage Your Stress
  • Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss
  • Unleashing Personal and Team Creativity
  • Staying Balanced in a Shifting World