All but eight states have issued executive orders telling residents to stay home through the COVID-19 pandemic. Some governors are allowing exceptions for essential workers, and since most construction careers are considered absolutely necessary, you will probably be granted an exception to remain on the job if you are in this industry. But many construction firms are facing new challenges, like how to keep their employees healthy through a public health crisis like this, while also making sure that project deadlines and contractual obligations are still being met. Here are some of the strategies that business owners are using to protect employees and keep their workflow moving forward.
Promoting Remote-Friendly Policies
Reducing the number of person-to-person interactions isn’t going to be easy for many construction companies where personal interactions are often necessary. Making sure that workers are safe is always a main priority for good construction leadership, so many executives are investing in innovative ways to keep everyone connected. Here are some of the tools construction leaders find useful.
- Microsoft Teams – From workplace chat and video meetings to file storage and application integration, construction companies are incorporating products like this to provide more remote work opportunities through COVID-19.
- Zoom – A reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars.
- WebEx – Great options for web conferencing and videoconferencing applications.
Create a Sense of Community
The long-term success of a remote workforce is dependent upon ongoing support and making sure that virtual employees feel trusted and valued when they aren’t onsite. One way that organizations are showing employees that they are trusted is by allowing them to take their laptops and devices home so they can work efficiently with unfettered access to resources and tools like cloud-based solutions, project information, and intranet. You can also help employees feel valued by reimbursing some of the related expenses for upgrading their home office equipment. Managers should focus on providing feedback and recognition to staff members who are telecommuting. Virtual forums and social networking sites are effective tools for motivating your workforce and keeping everybody connected.
Support Your Team’s Mental Health
Staying connected with your team is beneficial to everyone’s morale and will alleviate some general anxiety that they may have during this crisis. Check in with your team members about what they are doing to stay healthy during this time. Support their mental health through offering Teledoc services. You may also consider other wellness benefits such as a membership to an audiobook subscription or offer to provide the Calm app or other mindfulness/meditation apps. Some firms are coming up with their own “tip sheet” with helpful resources to share with their team to support their mental health and general well-being.
Investing in virtual communication tools similar to the ones that we mentioned here is a good place to start if you want to stay connected through COVID-19. Then, you can turn your focus toward managing remote workers and creating a strong sense of community.
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