The basic guide line to implementing Work Form Home with Agile delivery
Guidelines for implementing Working from home
The 2020 COVID-19 (Corona Virus) has presented a work from home situation and it
is important to follow the rules laid out by the South African government
regarding the implementation of the Disaster Act.
Some of the guidelines regarding what this means can be found on the Corona
Virus blog [HERE]
It is important to implement Social isolation as quickly as possible, if you have not already implemented this at your business, please do so as quickly as possible.
Here at HRSimplified, we have implemented remote working as a strict policy and now adhere to the instructions from the Government. We need to look after our staff, their wellbeing, their families and loved ones. South Africa is our home, we need to do everything possible to protect her and the amazing people that live here.
How to Simplify the working from home for your business
There are five main components to Working from home:
If you implement each of these, you will be able to successfully have your staff work from home with limited business disruption.
Your Staff. Your People
We need to remember that working from home comes with a sense of the unknown.
This is for your staff and yourself. Sit down and plan things clearly to ensure
you know what you need to do. This will allow you to communicate clearly with
your staff and they will have fewer questions and feel more comfortable.
There is a phenomenon that is always present in staff working from home, they tend to “Overwork” themselves. Because they are not under the “eyes of management” people tend to put in even more effort to get the job done. Because of this, they tend to work longer hours and exhaust themselves quickly.
Inform your staff that they need to install an activity tracker on their laptop or PC. This will remind them to get up and stretch a bit every few minutes. Here are some examples:
Instruct your staff to implement and follow the list below:
If you stay with these guidelines and get your employees to follow them, you should have a healthy and happy workforce.
Agile and Scrum Deliveryy
What is agile or scrum delivery, and how can I use it?
There are two mayor delivery methodologies in business (yes there are a few more, but they are slow adopters or just variances of the two main groups.)
You might not have a Software Development business, but the basic principles still apply.
Without going into detailed explanations about Agile delivery, here is a quick overview of what this means and how you can implement it in your business.
Basic rules of Agile Delivery?
Remember the idea behind Agile delivery is speed and being agile enough to overcome any issues. Because you have multiple skilled staff in the same team, the input available to address issues is not limited to a management team, but the people doing the work.
Above is a generic process and can be used in almost any industry. You will find that delivery will improve, and technical issues will be solved quicker than with a normal delivery process as the staff adjust to the new way of working.
Technology that allows remote working
With remote working and Working from Home, you need to have tools. Tools to allow your staff to communicate and collaborate in an online world of the internet. As most staff members are familiar with Social media platforms and chat apps, they will pick up and use the tools faster than you think. Here is a list of my trusted tools; you are welcome to test them and see what works for you.
Scrum board (Agile board)
This board will be the one you use every day; it needs to be online and easy to
access and use. Below is a list of scrum boards I have used and that work well.
This is what the staff will use to hold their Stand-ups, allowing for screen
sharing and a group of people to communicated at the same time.
Information sharing and document sharing platform
You need a central place to store data, be it documents, or notes, or customer
details. Email is not the place do this, the tools below work well for sharing
documents and keeping them safe online.
Management of deliveries and work
As a business owner myself, I know that you love your business and have put many
long days and nights into making sure your business is successful. Because of
this, you will feel apprehensive about implementing working from home, that
could affect your entire company.
You can implement it in a small section to test on before going full steam ahead.
There are a few pitfalls that I would like to point out based on my experience in this space, from the past 7 years of operating and implementing these processes and methodologies.
You will want to micromanage it. Don’t! It will deter your staff from adopting the new way of working.
Some staff will not be mature enough to work from home. I would suggest pairing them with a senior staff member that can manage them, and maybe offer 1 day a week from home, and increase that as they prove themselves. You will be surprised by how quickly people adapt to this work ethic.
Your staff look up to you as their leader. if you don’t believe in Agile and working from home, how should they? You need to show enthusiasm about the changes and support your staff in the process.
People tend to reject change, but its good for them, “change is as good as a holiday!”. Know that your staff will also want to keep things as they were, but you need to help them take the leap and see for themselves.
Make sure you track everything that is being done, try to measure the delivery daily. Your Scrum masters will help you with this. They and the tools will have a clear idea of how things are going.
Stop thinking long term delivery. This is all based on Agile and it needs to happen fast. It does need a different way of thinking on how to plan smaller deliveries, but with Agile issues and even change is managed seamlessly. In a normal day to day business with “set in stone” delivery processes you cannot make changes and continue to deliver, but with agile processes it allows you to quickly adapt, and this is what is needed in the current trying times.
Good management of the productivity of your staff will see an increase in as little as a week or two. Give the process time for the people to fit into the new way of doing things and the results will follow quickly.
If possible, make sure you interact with your staff. The agile process will assist in getting things delivered, but your staff need to know you are there looking after them. As they say, “Out of sight, out of mind”. You don’t want to have your staff lose that interaction.
Reach out at random times and give them a call, ask how it is going, how are they working, etc. Send out a regular update about the business, remember they also work here and have just as much invested as you.
Find yourself a good HR system, something online that is easy to use. With staff working from home, you need to give them an online paperless option for HR processes, like submitting leave, or more important in this COVID-19 world, sick leave management. HRSimplified can help with this, and we have increased our Free period to 30 days to try and help your business get something in place to manage your staff HR. Contact us now to get going to implement HRSimplified quickly and easily. HRsimplfied [Contact US].
A Work from home Policy
Implement a Work from Home Policy. This does not have to be complicated.
Look at what you want, and simply put that in it and hand it to everyone to sign. If they want to work from home, they will sign it quite easily.
For example, you want them to call in every morning to report on their progress. They also need to respond to emails within 45 minutes if you email them. Form 8am until 5pm they need to answer their phone, and if they want to pop out, they need to let you know at least 40min in advance.
A simple Work From home policy dan be something like this:
To all staff
Policy (WFH001 Policy number)
Work from home policy
The following policy is in place for all employees who are entitled to work from home at Company XYZ.
For an Employee to be eligible to work from home the Line Manager needs to approve this by informing HR of the required agreement with the staff. No staff is entitled to work from home if this is not preapproved by a direct manager.
Conditions of working from home:
1. All staff will check-in via Skype or Email at 8am for work.
2. Staff will be available during the day from 8am until 5pm via cell phone
email and other means of communication. 3. All emails will be answered back within 45 min of receiving the email.
4. If an employee needs to go out for a personal reason, he or she will inform there direct manager with an email at least 40min in advance of the Employee leaving their place of work.
5. Employees are expected to have a fast reliable internet connection. (Because of the saving in transport costs the company will expect the employee to cover the internet connection fee.
6. There will be a Stand-up meeting to discuss work item every morning at 9:15am. If the employee cannot attend the meeting a valid reason needs to be supplied before the meeting (the day before) with updates in writing of their current status on their outstanding tasks.
7. …. (other rules go here)
1. If an employee is not available as per the above rules, the disciplinary steps of AWOL (Absence without leave) will apply, and a written warning will be issued.
2. If an Employee has more than X infringements for the same offence, his Working from home rights will be revoked and he or she will need to return to the office.
3. … other terms go here
Singed by MD John Soap: Date: 2020/03/20
We are in trying times with COVID-19, and a state of disaster that has been
implemented, as we sit and watch the numbers climb, we cannot help but worry
about what the future holds.
Our loved ones and family are important, but we also need to look after our businesses. We employee people that support their families with the income generated by your business. We need to try and do everything possible to adjust and continue working hard to ensure a future for our staff.