5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Remote Worker

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Remote Worker


The past weeks have been unprecedented—truly historic—regarding the global human resources implications due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing COVID-19 disease. Typically, we address our articles to leadership professionals in the workplace. However, in light of the current situation, this article is for anyone, at any level of an organization, who has found themselves thrust, without warning, into working remotely.

Many such employees have contacted us, having been told by equally unprepared leadership, “It’s not safe to come into the office. Just do what you normally do, but do it from home.”

Organizations, some of our clients among them, have abruptly shifted into panic mode. You may be reading this article having found yourself also suddenly having to work from home instead of from your customary office or workplace.

Understandably, many organizations were caught unawares, and are not equipped to handle the logistics of managing people remotely. Regardless, organizations still need to operate, to serve their customers and remain solvent.

While it has caught nearly everyone, indeed the country, off guard, it is of utmost importance that you, as an employee who draws wages from your employer, come to grips with the fact that you must remain impactful if you and the organization is to survive. When organizations succeed, they can pay their employees who, in turn, can support their families and the communities in which they live.

So, let’s review some areas that will help make you successful while working remotely. These features are proven to work, and have been used successfully by individuals who were assigned remote work, not out of crisis but more often the result of being geographically distant from coworkers.

5 Pointers to Help You Succeed as a Remote Employee

  1. Establish workspace boundaries – Ensure a good working environment, a dedicated space to do your work. Can you shut the door against distractions when you need to work and otherwise maintain a good work–life balance?
  2. Ensure your ability to concentrate – Will children, friends, or other personal obligations regularly interrupt you?
  3. Stay organized – Can you make a schedule and stick to it? Will you create checklists to keep you on track?
  4. Promote and maintain productivity – Have you been provided expectations and goals? Can you obtain help quickly if you hit an obstacle?
  5. Maintain your focus and fitness – Can you take short, regular breaks throughout the day to stay fresh and avoid fatigue or burnout?

What single safeguard makes telecommuting most effective? A job description!

There’s no question that it’s preferable to have done the groundwork and crafted a solid job description for yourself before telecommuting. When employees find themselves thrust into working remotely, without the necessary preparations, trouble often lies ahead.

A job description is not only important from an employee empowerment standpoint; it’s a strategic necessity. Both your and your organization’s productivity and growth can be stymied when skills and competencies are unknown or undefined variables. Be detailed and specific about the requirements placed on you, and make sure they are part of your job description.

Finally, if you are concerned about your longevity with your employer, help create a process to make it hard for them to dismiss you. As a human resources expert, I almost always find employee terminations or separations from organizations are the result of the employee being viewed as not contributing to the organization. But that’s not always the employee’s fault. Many times this is management’s fault, because they failed to furnish key guidance or measurable metrics designed to enable employees to perform successfully.

If your organization has failed in this area, make it a point to do it yourself. Develop key measurements and a daily schedule that you can share with your leadership that validates why they need you.

In our next article, we explore the above five tips further: workspace boundaries, the ability to concentrate, self-organization, productivity, and focus and fitness, in order to better help you to succeed as a remote employee. With the right approach, it can be done.

 

Mark Griffin is founder and chief consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 25 years of HR experience.

Are you or your organization struggling to navigate these tumultuous times? Contact us by e-mail  here.

Learn more about Mark’s journey in HR by watching this short video. And follow him on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience.   Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.    Want to make High Performance HR Systems including Employee Relations a reality in your organization?  Contact Mark and make it happen.

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Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience.   Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.    Want to make High Performance HR Systems including Employee Relations a reality in your organization?  Contact Mark and make it happen.

 

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Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience.   Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.    Want to make High Performance HR Systems including Employee Relations a reality in your organization?  Contact Mark and make it happen.

 

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Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience.   Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.    Want to make High Performance HR Systems including Employee Relations a reality in your organization?  Contact Mark and make it happen.

 

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Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience.   Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.    Want to make High Performance HR Systems including Employee Relations a reality in your organization?  Contact Mark and make it happen.

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Protect Your Mission ~ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre PA

Protect Your Mission ~ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre PA


HR practices that can best help your “Kingdom-Minded” organization and business protect its mission in today’s hostile world.

Clarks Summit University
538 Venard Road
Clarks Summit, PA 18411

Tuesday May 12, 2020
8AM-Noon

Presenter Mark Griffin has seen it all in his more than 25 years of Human Resources experience gained by working with a wide range of organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to Christian Colleges, Ministries and Churches.

Presenter Randall Wenger Esq. has a myriad of experiences from all his years of working on religious liberty cases in Pennsylvania including the Conestoga Wood Specialties case that resulted in a landmark victory in the US Supreme Court for religious liberty and the sanctity of life. Randy understands the pressures and dangers that are facing those who want to run their businesses and organizations in line with their Christian values.

Let Mark and Randy help you by sharing their experiences in helping a variety of organizations manage their beliefs in the reality of today’s workplace.

Leading an organization with Christ-centered values makes organizational sense.

Mark will share why he believes Christ-centered organizations experience:

  • Lower absenteeism
  • Higher quality products
  • Fewer employee morale issues
  • Safer work environments
  • Better perceptions by customers and vendors

Mark will also share how he helps organizations develop HR practices that reflect their core values and still build a high performance organization.

Topics to be Covered

  • Legislative and policy dangers
  • Current state of religious liberty in court
  • Creating a high performance culture through practical HR competency development
  • Where most organizations go wrong engaging employees
  • Setting expectations
  • HR tools for creating success
  • Employee policy manuals
  • Codes of Conduct
  • Employee relations and communications
  • Performance management
  • Counseling and discipline procedures
  • Terminations
  • An overview of labor laws

Click Here For Tickets

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About The Pennsylvania Family Institute

The Mission of the Pennsylvania Family Institute is to strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society. It is  the only full-time professionally staffed non-profit organization representing family values—your values—in the state capitol. It encourages responsible citizenship and involvement in civic affairs to promote respect for life, family, marriage and religious liberty.

About The Presenters

 

Randall L. Wenger, Esq.

Randall L. Wenger, Esq.
COO & Chief Counsel

Randall Wenger is Chief Counsel of the Independence Law Center in Harrisburg, a pro-bono law center affiliated with the Pennsylvania Family Institute and dedicated to maintaining those liberties that have made America great and free. He has litigated in federal courts all around the county, and his cases have included the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, bodily privacy, and pro-life issues. In addition to his role with the Independence Law Center, he is COO of the Pennsylvania Family Institute.

Randall has an economics degree from the University of Chicago and earned his J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Lancaster County, and he and his wife Tina have seven children.

 

Jeremy Samek, Esq. Senior Counsel, Independence Law Center

 

Jeremy Samek, Esq.
Senior Counsel, Independence Law Center

Jeremy Samek serves as Senior Counsel with the Independence Law Center. Since joining the ILC, Samek’s legal efforts have focused on the protection of religious liberty, protecting human life, strengthening the family, and the elimination of human trafficking. Samek believes that religious liberty is the cornerstone of all freedoms.

Jeremy received his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2006, where he served as an articles editor for the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. He earned his B.A. from Liberty University, magna cum laude in 2003.  Jeremy and his wife have five children.

 

Mark A Griffin

Mark A. Griffin, MBA
President and Founder In HIS Name HR LLC

Mark is a human resources professional with 25-plus years of experience in both public (Quaker Oats Company, Kodak Inc., Merck Inc.) and private companies (Woolrich, Conestoga Wood Specialties, Valco Companies Inc.), Mark is passionate about building high-performance workplaces by utilizing best practices while leading organizations with strong values.

Speaker, accomplished HR consultant, and the author of How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations and College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation, Mark A. Griffin encourages leaders to build values-led organizations during these increasingly complex times.  Mark and his wife live in Lancaster PA and have two adult children.

COVID-19 & HR: Preparing For a Potential Pandemic


In the past several weeks the coronavirus COVID-19 has experienced exponential growth, and not only in Wuhan, China, where it is thought to have originated. Cases have been identified in at least 52 countries internationally, including 59 in the United States. And, in mid-February 2020, one Harvard professor, Marc Lipsitch, of the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told The Wall Street Journal that he predicts that in the event of a pandemic, “40–70% of people worldwide are likely to be infected in the coming year,” admitting that not all carriers may be symptomatic.

As of 28 February, the WHO reports that more than 83,647 cases have been identified, and more than 2,858 deaths have occurred.  The JAMA Network is currently reporting a 2.3% death rate based on survivability of victims.

First and foremost, we need to take steps to protect not just the safety of our employees, clients, and customers but their families as well.

COVID-19 Symptoms & Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), patients with confirmed novel coronavirus infections (2019-nCoV) are reported to experience mild to severe respiratory illness, with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure, based upon the estimated incubation period of MERS viruses. However, Reuters indicates that the Chinese Provincial Government now reports that the COVID-19 incubation period could range as long as 27 days. As individuals not exhibiting symptoms can still be carrying it, precaution is certainly in order.

Prevention & Education

Promoting a clean environment and advocating for employee wellness is imperative, as prevention is key to stopping the spread. Employees need to be reminded to wash their hands—and wash them well—and to sanitize often. Provide them good guidance on healthy workplace habits.

It may sound like basic common sense, but many people are not alert to simple hygiene practices, such as covering their nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing and using a hand sanitizer afterward, to prevent the spread of germs. Help employees access the important steps necessary, such as the CDC’s guide to flu prevention. Even discouraging the practice of shaking hands can help. (It has been reported that Japan’s risk of spreading the disease is lower because of their cultural practice of bowing instead of hand-shaking.)

Data shows that people who are healthy and active have a much greater chance of survival, if infected. This is a call to people to start or continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle as it relates to nutrition and cardiovascular exercise.

 Employee Relations

Brush up on your current absenteeism policies concerning both exempt and non-exempt employees. What do your policies require you, as an employer, to do regarding time off? Go further and investigate your local, state and federal compliance regulations as well. Are you large enough to have to comply with FMLA?

Be prepared to answer questions from people who could be quarantined or prevented medically from returning to work. This is where it gets problematic. Will they be paid? Unpaid? Eligible for PTO or sick time compensation? Naturally, this depends on your organization, its policies, and the rules that govern your local, state and federal employment. Now is the time to prepare, to get ahead of these questions, instead of waiting to react when under the pressure of a potential pandemic.

Employees Returning from Highly Infected Areas

What should you do if you suspect an employee  or a member of their family has traveled to where the coronavirus is prevalent? We recommend that you have the employee check in with a physician prior to returning to work and provide you with a return-to-work statement, clearing them to return to full duty. The last thing you want is someone to enter the workplace who has been exposed and could potentially spread the virus to your other employees. This will mitigate concerns expressed by other employees and help stave off any rumors or innuendo.

In Closing

The sudden speed and geographic spread of this virus has caught the world off-guard. As HR professionals, these are the times when gaps in our policies and procedures become evident. The idea is to prepare as much as possible rather than reacting under pressure.

We opened this posting by reminding you to not panic, and we would like to close with that reminder. If you feel you or your leadership team is not equipped to face this current crisis, don’t wait—contact us today. We are here to support you.

Organizational Core Values

Organizational Core Values


All organizations have Core Values.  Few organizations memorialize them; almost none manage them.

Organizations tend to be meshed together by a unique blend of personal and corporate values. These values are important to its employees, leaders and stakeholders.

What exactly is a Core Value? A Core Value from our human resources perspective is one that reflects the heart of your organization. It is what makes your organization tick; it defines your organization. It is how your vendors view your behavior toward them; it is your culture when dealing with customers.

It is what employees tell their neighbors and friends when they ask what it is like to work at your organization.

One of the most important aspects of Core Values is where they come from. Core Values need to be shared across the organization, but they also need to have a reference point. Your Core Values should include a statement highlighting that reference point.

Example:

We are a family-owned and operated organization. As such, we respect each other and collectively support the following Values in the way in which we do business and treat each other both internally and externally to the organization.

Efficiency: We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!

Individual Responsibility: We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises and we always endeavor to use good judgment.

Quality: We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.

Ownership: We own our decisions, we own our mistakes, we own our achievements.

If you have not yet defined what your Core Values are, it may be time for you to solidify an agreement on which Core Values are important to your organization. This should be done with care, because, by now, leaders and employees have created their own values, and they are not always aligned with the owners or senior managers.

In the development of Core Values for a seasoned organization, the process should be shared, not just top down. Brainstorming should include several layers of employees and are often best done in focus group format, where groups of employees nominate a representative to meet with the facilitator, and the ensuing Core Values should be agreed upon and understood.

Naturally, there are some Core Values that are nonnegotiable, such as Trust or Integrity but the core value, the true heart of the organization, is what is valued collectively by employees, and is not necessarily always what the top leaders think or want.

How many Core Values do you need?

Some organizations have as many as ten Core Values. We believe that ten Core Values is too many. Instead, we recommend three to five Core Values. Fewer Core Values not only ensures that these are your true core principles but, also makes it easier for your employees to remember them easily. It is also easier to manage within your HR processes.

Below is a laundry list of the Core Values we have compiled that we find most valuable, to enable you to best select what is truly most important to your organization.

Accountability — We are responsible for our actions, which, in turn, influence our customers, vendors and coworkers. We hold ourselves and each other to a high standard of accountability.

Balance — We create a work environment that promotes healthy lifestyles and celebrates family-work balance for employees.

Biblical Principles — We are a company founded on Biblical principles, therefore, all we do we entrust in God.

Civic Responsibility — We honor our coworkers and our communities by our motivation, knowledge and ability to actively participate in our communities as volunteers and leaders.

Compassion — We show kindness for others by helping those who are in need.

Courage — We face difficult situations with confidence and determination, standing up for our convictions, even when some of the decisions we make are right, but not popular.

Commitment — We are committed to ourselves, our vendors, and our customers; it is through commitment that we will all achieve.

Community — We are committed to the communities in which we do business and our employees live, work and love.

Consistency — We pride ourselves on our reputation for consistency.

Diversity — We respect diversity of race, gender, thought, interests, and ideas.

Efficiency — We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!

Empowerment — We create an atmosphere that allows others to achieve through their unique contributions.

Fairness — We pride ourselves on having a work environment that emulates fairness. We treat people equally and make decisions without influence from favoritism or prejudice.

Fun — Work does not need to be painful or joyless.

Honesty — We believe in consistently seeking and speaking the truth in the workplace. We believe in a workplace devoid of lying, cheating, stealing, or any other forms of deception.

Individual Responsibility — We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises, and we always use good judgment.

Industriousness — We realize the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of putting forth efforts to achieve our goals; we celebrate our team’s unique abilities to contribute to prospering our organization.

Innovation — We create before others do!

Integrity — Without integrity, we are nothing!

Justice — We consider the perspectives of others and demonstrate the courage to be consistently fair while treating all with equal dignity and respect.

Leadership — We lead with conviction and understanding.

Ownership — We own our decisions; we own our mistakes; we own our achievements.

Passion — We love what we do, and our heart goes into our work.

Quality — We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.

Respect — We maintain a work style of trust in all our interactions.
or
Respect — We value our vendors, our customers and ourselves; we treat others as we would want ourselves to be treated.

Risk Taking — We take calculated risks, learn from our mistakes, and grow in our successes.

Safety — We are accountable for our personal safety and helping our coworkers maintain a safe environment.

Service Excellence — We provide best in class service to our internal and external customers every day.

The best Core Value is one that you and your teams identify and create together.  Please post below what your experiences have been with Core Values and share a list of those values that you think are integral to every organization.