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Returning to Work Safely
Top recommendations from OSHA and the CDC for preventing the spread of respiratory illness in your workplace.
As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to make its impact around the world, the nature of the workplace is changing. For the first time, many jobs that were not previously considered to be hazardous are being re-evaluated. Employers must determine the risk of employees contracting and spreading COVID-19, the dangerous respiratory illness that is caused by the coronavirus. Whether you are welcoming your workers back from telecommuting or have been given permission to reopen from your local government, you should have procedures in place that aim to prevent an emergence of COVID-19 in your workplace.
The following guidance, based on recommendations provided by OSHA and the CDC, can help employers reopen their business and ensure workers return safely during the ongoing pandemic. Employers should also stay up to date with requirements from their local governments and adhere to evolving mitigation measures as experts continue to learn more about COVID-19. By determining level of risk, implementing hazard controls, and conducting training on new procedures, workers can be protected from being exposed to illness in the workplace.
Remote team communication is never simple, and that’s especially true when the state of remote work remains so indefinite. After months of virtual meetings, most businesses have figured out how to operate efficiently. But there’s a new challenge, regardless of the size or nature of your operation: How do we go about keeping people engaged without burning them out?
There’s no easy answer here. But by prioritizing an awareness of your team members’ personalities and behavioral drives, you can keep remote meetings both fresh and efficient. And in doing so, you can keep people both sane and well-informed.
Engaging all remote team participants
Remote meetings take on many forms and the goals for them may vary. But whether it’s a daily team stand-up, a presentation for 50-plus remote workers, or something in between, there’s one essential consideration: the behavioral drives of your remote team. Generally speaking, these drives will vary, and you need to account for them all as best you can.
Team members with higher formality drives might want to see a meeting agenda in advance. You can offer them one via Slack, email, or by way of bullet points within the event details. Your priority should just be to ensure everyone can adequately prepare. Other drives take differently to remote meetings, as well. For example:
- Highly dominant individuals may find it harder to exert influence.
- More extraverted team members will relish the opportunity to engage, even informally.
- Those with lower patience drives will seek variety in terms of meeting agenda.
To cater to different drives, you can utilize short virtual icebreakers. Just be cognizant of the line between fun and fluff. A more social profile will enjoy a conversational icebreaker, while a four-square rubric satisfies analytical itches. In each case, you boost engagement without letting the meetings feel stodgy.
Many remote teams are still feeling their way toward that middle ground. It’s undeniably tricky to establish a sweet spot between necessary video conferencing between distributed teams and check-ins that drain people. But by understanding each of your team members’ strongest drives (i.e., who is suffering most from the lack of face-to-face interaction?), you adjust accordingly.