COVID-19 & How to Successfully Work from Home
Many employers are now taking precautionary measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as the number of confirmed cases grows. The option to work from home is fast becoming a reality for many workers who are set up to work remotely. This may be an adjustment for a lot of employees who are used to the hustle and bustle of the office environment. The prospect that many employees may soon get to experience the challenges of working from home seems to be causing some concern for some businesses and indeed employees alike.
Employers will look to limit the impact on working from home on their business. The good news for both parties is that, with practice and the right processes in place, it can be both efficient and rewarding. At BrightPay we have a few simple tips that you can do to make a productive and seamless transition for your employees.
Take Precautionary Measures
It would be advisable to devise an appropriate strategy to protect yourself, your clients and your staff members. Where possible, many businesses are giving their employees the option to work from home to reduce the number of employees in the office and to limit contact amongst employees.
Encourage Better Hygiene
It goes without saying that businesses need to reinforce the message to wash your hands. The NHS has COVID-19 posters available to put up throughout the workplace. A gentle reminder to all employees will do no harm.
Statutory Sick Pay & COVID-19
Employers need to understand how the statutory sick pay (SSP) rules should be applied for employees who are not necessarily sick, but who must self-isolate. HMRC have advised that if you need to take time off work to self-isolate due to Covid-19, the first 3 waiting days that normally apply for SSP will be disregarded and you will be entitled to receive SSP from the first day.
As this is a unique case and BrightPay 2019/20 is programmed to take into account the usual 3 waiting days, an override should be performed in BrightPay by simply marking the previous 3 days on the employee's calendar as sick leave. The SSP to be applied will then be from their first actual day of self-isolation/sick leave. Find out more
BrightPay 2020/21 will be programmed to automate Covid-19 related SSP and as a result, this override will not be necessary. Find out more
Communicating with Staff
It is important to keep the lines of communication open between employees and managers to collaboratively plan for situations that may require working from an alternative location or from home. Many businesses have moved staff meetings online by using teleconferencing applications like Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Communicating with Clients
Most businesses have also moved their face-to-face meetings with clients to online meetings. Video calls offer visible advantages including increased productivity and more flexibility for both parties. Not only does this form of communication reduce the spread of COVID-19 but it also avoids participants having to spend time travelling to meet each other. Thanks to the increase in face-to-face interaction with video communications, there remains the potential to hold much stronger and trusting relationships with each of your customers. GoToWebinar, Zoom, Join.me and Google Hangouts are fantastic tools to keep the line of communication open with your clients.
Operating your Payroll from Home
BrightPay can easily facilitate the option to work from home and run your payroll as normal. While BrightPay remains a desktop solution, the software can be installed at ten different locations on ten different PCs or laptops. BrightPay payroll files can be accessed remotely through cloud environments like a shared server, Google Drive or Dropbox. This flexibility will allow users to continue to operate their payroll as normal. In addition, you can log into your BrightPay Connect account to view your payroll information at any time.
Keeping Your Business Open
The spread of COVID-19 is set to continue to rise over the coming weeks. It does seem inevitable that more and more businesses will implement a work from home policy where possible. For some businesses, simple steps can be established to keep operations humming along.
Stay safe from all at BrightPay!