Covid-19 Update: Our offices are closed but our teams are working remotely. All phone numbers divert to our team; visit the People page for contact details.

Covid-19: Advice & Links for Businesses Working Remotely

30th March 2020
Man at desk

As we come to the close of the first official week of lockdown, there’s been a lot of news and advice flying around on the web. To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, we’ve compiled some of the most useful tips and links we’ve seen so far, so you have the most relevant, useful information at your fingertips.

Useful Links for Businesses

First up, we wanted to point you in the right direction of official sources of information, so you don’t have to rely on secondhand news.

UK Government:
From details of support for businesses and the self-employed, to a live feed showing the spread of coronavirus across the UK, the Government’s Coronavirus hub should be your go-to site for all official information.

HMRC Tax Helpline:
If you need help with any aspect of your tax commitments, HMRC has thousands of advisers on hand to answer your questions.

ABI Coronavirus Hub:
The Association of British Insurers has a wealth of information relating to different insurance products, answering key questions about both personal and commercial lines.

One Broker Social Media:
Stay up to date with the latest from One Broker by following us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Remote working tips

While many of us used to view working from home as a luxury, it’s become a daily reality for many of us (including the One Broker team!). To help your business adjust to remote working, we’ve compiled some of our top tips.

Define your tech capabilities

From Microsoft Teams to Slack, Zoom, and FaceTime to name a few, it could take all day to monitor the plethora of communication platforms available to your teams.

Minimise the impact on productivity by defining the channels that work best for your business and sharing them with your teams.

It’s also a good idea to support employees with unreliable WiFi connections. Consider investing in boosters and having them mailed directly to their homes.

Don’t forget cyber security

There has been an increase in cyber crime figures across Europe in recent weeks. Make sure your teams have suitable protection in place and are familiar with your data protection policies. Reiterate your company’s procedure for handling data breaches and suspected cyber crime too, so everyone knows what to do.

Communicate clearly and often

Make sure everyone knows what’s expected of them while working from home and who they should report to if there’s illness or disruption in their working hours. And if you’re introducing flexible working to help your employees manage childcare commitments, explain their options and how it will work.

Give people more structure by putting time in their diaries for regular team meetings. Not only is this important for sharing business updates, but it’s also an opportunity to share some good news. Positive updates about both business and personal wins are welcome relief in the current climate.

And remember, clear communication doesn’t just apply to your employees. You should also communicate with your clients and suppliers to explain how changes to your processes may affect them.

Set goals

Although the goalposts might have moved, your business is likely to have targets to meet.

Make sure these are clear in your communications, outlining your plan of action and how individuals can play their part.

It will keep your teams focused on delivering outcomes at a time when everything seems uncertain.

Make time to chat

Alongside official business comms, encourage socialising and lead by example.

Working from home can be intense and isolating, with reduced breaks and chatter. Help maintain cohesion by checking in with your colleagues for a catch-up – and encourage them to do the same with each other. While it might not feel productive, it can help maintain strong working relationships.

Learn to video conference like a pro

Video chat has the power to help people feel more connected, but it can also be frustrating. To make things easier, remember some simple etiquette:

  • Turn up on time.
  • Have an agenda.
  • Make sure the meeting organiser leads the discussion
  • If you’re not speaking, mute your microphone to reduce background noise.

Review Your Processes

Once a week, take time to review how your WFH processes are going. Review your goals, your flexible working options and so on. Be sure to encourage feedback from members of your team too. They may have helpful suggestions to improve productivity and efficiency.

Consult HR

It may be that this change in working patterns means you need to review your contractual agreements with your teams. Either ask your HR teams for their input, or seek the advice of an external consultant to help.

Share Your Remote-Working Tips

What have you learned in the past week? What could we add to this list? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter!

Image credit: Luke Peters on Unsplash

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