The Latest News on COVID-19 Crisis, Remote Workforce and Social Distancing
How to Remotely Start New Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis
Since 1986, the employee must physically submit the original documents as evidence
In a usual month, more than 5 million Americans will work in new jobs. They notified their previous employer and are ready to join the new employer.
What happens when the office they are going to work at is physically closed due to COVID-19? The new employer may have agreed on remote control — perhaps even have sent a new computer and any other work equipment to the employees ’home. Thousands of organizations – in the private and public sectors – ask employees to work remotely from home for several weeks or months. Thanks to high-speed Internet, webcams and a wide selection of capable communication platforms and project management software, many employees see this as an opportunity to get rid of long trips to work and be more efficient without leaving home.
But what about that one form of employment that requires a new employee to meet in person with someone? Remember the I-9 form, which is used to document the right to work for an employee in the United States? Since 1986, the employee must physically submit the original documents as evidence: the US passport or a combination of a driver’s license and social security card, etc. This cannot be done virtually, and by law it must be completed no later than the third day after the employee starts work for a fee (the first section of I-9 should be completed by the first day). What to do if the office is closed and the staff is not available personally? A new employee needs work and income so they cannot wait for the virus to pass.
Fortunately, there are I-9 Compliance solutions, such as those provided by Tracker Corp. “We’ve created a workaround for the I-9 form predicament,” says chairman Julie Pearl.
4 ways you can give your remote workforce a sense of togetherness
Remote work is on the increase now. And as more and more companies promote people to work from home, they quickly discover that telework is fraught with difficulties. Remote employees can easily feel isolated, and when most of your workforce is distributed, it can be difficult to maintain a strong corporate culture. Collaboration, morale and belonging can be hit.
Fortunately, although the sudden influx of remote workers is new, remote work alone is not. Work flexibility was one of LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends in 2019, and has become more common in the last decade. Many companies have managed remote teams for many years and have found ways to overcome difficulties and create strong and inclusive cultures.
Here’s how some of these companies made remote employees feel like they were part of a close-knit team – no matter how far away they were from each other.
GitLab stimulates remote team members to take virtual coffee breaks and even pairs them for random video calls
Meetings should not be held in person. GitLab, a web-based repository manager and the world’s largest completely remote workforce, seeks to recreate the fun and team spirit in its team’s office culture through video calls.
GitLab uses one tactic – a virtual coffee break, when team members can take a break and chat with each other through a video call. Employees are promoted to spend several hours each week on these calls with the goal, as stated on the company’s website, to create “a more comfortable, well-rounded environment” for work.
Help Scout conducts thematic “troop talks” every month and encourages employees to do video tours of their workplace at home
Customer support service Help Scout believes that planning and efforts are key to building a strong, remote culture. One strategy it uses is the monthly “Troop Talk,” which brings together groups of 10 or more employees using Zoom.
For the first time, Help Scout experimented with Troop Talks in 2014, but found that these calls were accompanied by awkward silence or random conversations between people. To make sure everything went smoothly, they introduced more structure and planning.
Today, the head of the company’s human resources department chooses the topic for each conversation, for example, a party with recipes (sharing your favorite recipes) and bon-app-etite (discussing the phone application you can’t live without). Then a date is set, giving employees time to think about what they want to say. During the call, everyone takes turns talking and sharing.
Coronavirus: Overcoming the Loneliness of Social Distancing
Many employers require their employees to work from home and stop the spread of coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. Cities are on quarantine. But, unable to communicate with colleagues or visit restaurants, schools, parks, churches or temples with family and friends, many of us will feel lonely.
How to Be Alone, but Not Lonely, Despite the Coronavirus
Social distance is an important way to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. But for many people, staying away from other people – especially during times of stress and uncertainty – can feel lonely. Clint Schuff began working remotely about a year ago after following his wife from Los Angeles to the Bay Area to work. He said he learned how to prioritize while staying in touch, planning video chats and online meetings over morning coffee. (Read on)
Coronavirus and the Isolation Paradox
All over the world, people are asked to work from home, universities are switching to virtual classes, and large gatherings are being canceled. These are key strategies to prevent transmission, but they can lead to social and mental disorders: reinforce our sense of isolation from each other and make us forget that we are together.
Although social distancing is necessary to restrain the spread of coronavirus, it can also contribute to poor health in the long run. Physical isolation will be required for many people who have or have been exposed to Covid-19, but it is important that we do not allow such measures to also cause social and emotional isolation. (Read on)
The Coronavirus-Required Quarantines and Social Distancing Aren’t Easy When You Live Alone
Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, all people need some connection with others. Compulsory privacy can keep us safe, but makes us more anxious. Social isolation due to work from home may be good news in terms of containing the virus, but bad news in terms of easing our anxiety. (Read on)
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