What are some recommendations for making work hours more flexible to facilitate remote work?
Remote working is likely to continue in some form for the long-term. You should hence familiarize your organization with the standard protocols and procedures for remote working. Consider the following steps:
- Try a multi-day remote working trial run with a small pilot group before extending the opportunity to more staff.
- Train your managers on leading remote teams — and setting expectations for staff performance.
- In turn, train staff on best practices for remote working — and ensure they have the necessary resources to do so (e.g. a personal computer, essential stationery)
- Ensure reliable communication channels exist for team communications (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Slack).
- Make sure that staff regularly check-in with their managers.
Do recognize that you will need to respect your employees' private spaces and family obligations. Limit all communication to within work hours where possible. Also recognize that not all employees will have optimal home environments for remote work, and that you should pro-actively help them adapt to remote working conditions.
What are the appropriate social distancing guidelines for the workplace?
The physical worksite should be marked with six-foot guides to allow staff, customers and visitors to easily adhere to recommended guidelines for distancing.
How can I manage common areas such as the cafeteria?
Please see the guidance provided from the Iowa Governor's Proclamation of Disaster Emergency and the guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health.
How long should I quarantine?
If you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, the CDC recommends staying home and away from others for 14 days as the best way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. In addition, the CDC has released two alternative options to a full 14-day quarantine for exposed persons who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic:
Quarantine Alternative – Option 1: Quarantine can end after Day 10 (e.g., Day 11) without testing for COVID-19 if there are no symptoms or other clinical evidence of COVID-19 during the entire 10 days and up to the time at which separating from others is discontinued.
Quarantine Alternative – Option 2: Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative for COVID-19 AND if there were no symptoms during the seven days. The specimen may be collected and tested on or after Day 5 of quarantine but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7 (e.g., Day 8). Quarantine must continue through Day 7 and/or until the negative test result is reported/received.
After ending quarantine:
- Continue to monitor for symptoms through Day 14.
- Adhere to transmission prevention strategies through Day 14, including wearing a mask or face covering, social distancing, frequently washing hands and limiting activities/outings.
- If symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate and separate from others and contact a health care provider or the Polk County Health Department.
Now that I'm working from home, what are some ways to maintain a balance of work and personal time?
Finding work-life balance is all about prioritization. Planning and scheduling, time management, communication tools, and productivity techniques help you manage your workday so you can complete the tasks on your to-do list quicker. Some helpful tips on managing your day include:
- Clearly communicate your online and offline hours
- Get ready for work as though you're going to the office
- If possible, work from a clutter-free space in your home specifically dedicated to work
- Take frequent breaks to recharge: walks, personal chores and having proper meals can all be leveraged to give you a break