Remote Workers and Work-Life Balance
The global lockdown caused by COVID19 in the first quarter of 2020 meant that companies were forced to adjust to their employees working remotely, an idea at which, just a decade ago, most employers balked.
While remote work once caused many concerns for employers, one major concern was that remote work led to loss of productivity – the ability of many companies to adjust to the lockdown saved businesses and kept people working during a near economic meltdown.
While research(1) has shown that remote workers actually spend more monthly days working than office workers do, and spend less time being unproductive during the day, how can employees and employers ensure that remote workers maintain a life-work balance?Work-Life Balance: Learning to Unplug The advent of technology has meant that we are able stay perpetually connected – to family, friends, clients, colleagues – throughout the day. Yet, when we spend the days connected to colleagues slung halfway across the world through video conferences, and spend the evenings connecting with friends via Instagram or Facebook, at what point do we unplug and decompress?
Whereas a few years ago, it was easy to segment professional life from personal life – because they were in two physical locations – it has become increasingly difficult for remote workers to do so, because both ‘places’ are now contained within the home. Book a call with an EIO Manager to explore ways to engage your remote workforce.
(1) The Benefits of Working From Home – Airtasker
(2) Managing Human Resources. Belcourt, Singh, Snell & Morris. (2020).
Have your revenues dropped due to COVID-19?
Many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat and cover their fixed costs, such as rent and insurance, while taking a negative impact on their revenues. Government assistance has emerged to help businesses pay for their rent, but many have had their fate put into the hands of their landlords to apply for the assistance. The new Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) is being introduced to provide rent relief for businesses and allows these businesses to apply to the assistance directly as opposed to waiting for their landlords to do so. What is the CERS and how does it work for small businesses?
- Rent and mortgage support available until June 2021 for qualifying organizations impacted by COVID-19
- Funds go directly to the business, not the landlord
- Can cover up to 65% percent of eligible expenses until December 19 2020
- Businesses are able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020
- A top-up CERS of 25% for businesses temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority—in addition to the 65% subsidy,—grants up to 90% of coverage for the hardest hit businesses!
Here are a few practices that your firm can adopt to encourage the work-life balance of remote workers:
– Determine the mode of communication by the nature of the information being disseminated. For example, detailed information should be communicated preferably through a video conference with those concerned, as opposed to via a lengthy email.
– Daily communication deadlines. Set a time after which emails and other work-related communication will not be sent to employees until the next working day.
– Encourage flexible work schedules. Compressed workweeks and Flextime mean that employees can structure work around their unique lifestyles.(2)