Manager's checklist for supporting remote work

Queensland Government agencies are encouraging employees not involved in critical frontline service delivery to work flexibly (e.g. working remotely), in response to the latest social distancing principles and health advice around the COVID-19 health pandemic.

Working remotely works best when managers and employees communicate clearly about performance, timeframes and deliverables. By setting clear expectations and common ground rules, you can establish new norms and ways of working as a remote team.

Managers can use this checklist to help establish a foundation for effective remote working, continued productivity and high-quality service delivery.

1. Assess technology needs and workstation setup

  • Interactive communication:
    • Agree how the team will communicate interactively. There is benefit in using video conferencing facilities, as these platforms support engagement and social connection between you and your team members.
    • Test and confirm everyone have access to and proficiency with the technology.
  • Platform to share documents:
    • Agree on the platform you are going to use to share documents (e.g. Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, network drives).
    • Ensure all team members know how to access, upload and retrieve documents.
  • Technical support:
    • Ensure employees know how to access the appropriate technical support.
  • Phone set up:
    • Check employees have set up call forwarding and how to access their voicemail from home, if available.
  • Workstation setup:

2. Review work schedules and processes

  • Hours of work:
    • Inform employees that existing employment award conditions and entitlements continue to apply, while working flexibly and remotely.
    • Hold discussions with each employee to agree on the hours they will work to ensure they are balancing their home and family responsibilities, while productive work continues.
    • Consider and agree on flexible start and finish times that support each employee to continue to work productively. Find out how you and your team can work flexibly during COVID-19.
    • Advise employees that business processes regarding timesheets (or other) should continue as per normal arrangements.
  • Business continuity:
    • Ensure someone is always available during business hours and available for stakeholder and client needs.

3. Develop a team work plan

  • Set goals:
    • Identify and agree on the team’s strategic priorities during this time.
  • Identify responsibilities and tasks:
    • Identify the work your team and your customers/collaborators can perform remotely.
    • Develop strategies to manage the impacts on business delivery.
  • Plan for continuity:
    • Upskill all team members in all essential work to ensure business continuity in the team.
  • Plan for collaboration:
    • Decide as a team how you will communicate with others (including customers) outside of your team.
    • Identify what approaches and platforms best meet stakeholder needs?

4. Set performance standards

  • Productivity:
    • Remind team members that the same standards of productivity and quality of work apply as when they are present in the office, including attending scheduled meetings.
  • A clear focus:
    • Set daily and/or weekly goals for completion at the individual and team level, and monitor progress.
    • Communicate your expectations around timeframes for delivering agreed work and engagement with you and the rest of your team.
  • Team meetings:
    • Connect with your team regularly (e.g. twice a week via videoconference) so everyone can update each other on what they are working on. This will enable you to keep track of work outputs, solve problems and provide advice and guidance.
  • Individual check-ins:
    • Arrange weekly one-on-one meetings with each team member to discuss the employee’s work progress and wellbeing.

5. More information