Here are some of the top tips from our Flexible Working team and from practitioners across the sector. 

Tip sheets

Tricky conversations during COVID-19

Lack of face to face contact during COVID-19 can make incidents harder to resolve and escalate faster. Use this tip sheet for some practical steps to handling tricky conversations.

Online recruitment

COVID-19 is changing how people live, work and go about their lives, including how we recruit. Use this tip sheet for some practical tips to recruiting online.

Onboarding remotely

Use this tip sheet for onboarding new employees during COVID-19. Early planning and a structured approach will set you and your new employee up for success.

Meeting or email?

‘Online meeting fatigue’ is one of the most reported issues to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Use this tip sheet to decide when to bring people together and when you can use other ways to communicate.

Keeping your team productive and engaged during COVID-19

Keeping your team productive and engaged during COVID-19 is a challenge. This tip sheet explains how managers can set up their team for success.

Using technology well during COVID-19

This tip sheet can help you know the options for using technology to collaborate and connect.

Managing for outcomes with a remote, flexible workforce

We often hear about managing for outcomes, but what does it mean? Use this tip sheet to sharpen your understanding and put it into practice.

Coaching virtually

Maintaining business continuity during COVID-19 means you need to adapt your management style. Use this tip sheet to understand how you can take a more tactical approach to managing your team.

Staying connected when working virtually

Suggestions from the sector include:

  • Get together as a team once or twice a week and celebrate the fact that we can successfully work while still caring for sick pets, small children and elderly parents/relatives. This can open our horizons and makes us richer. Success can be celebrated with words. Talk about how great the ideas are, post something on Yammer, or share with everyone. Also talk about the future, that helps people with picturing brighter times. And plan, this will help to provide a sense of security. 
  • Have a daily virtual stand meeting/virtual huddle (15-20 minutes) in the mornings with video turned on - the visual check in can help as much as the call. The team can talk about what they are working on and what their blockers are.   
  • Have a daily 10am ‘coffee’ chat that is open to anybody who wants a social chat. 
  • Arrange a themed catch up for the end of each week to create a bit of fun and engage in a non -work focussed way. (i.e. Easter hat parade where everyone must make a hat from things at home). 
  • Randomly call a team member to have a chat, just to see how they are.
  • Use the buddy system.
  • Have a free chat before daily team meetings.  This promotes conversation between team members and sets the mood of the meeting. 
  • Have a virtual lunch, with different themes i.e. formal Thursday.
  • On Friday have virtual drinks and a chat up.
  • Arrange a 20 minute daily social chat/check in via video call. Talk generally about how the day has been, how everyone is feeling and have a laugh. It can help to replace the lunchroom chat.
  • Ask your team (in weekly check-in) to hold up a red, yellow or green object at the start. Could be a toy or pen, whatever is nearby. No need to explain how they are feeling, but just a way of showing how everyone is going. 

Guidance on workplace health and safety and working from home

Suggestions from the sector include:

  • Invite your safety expert into weekly check in meetings to share health safety tips. Then everyone can join in with their own tips, i.e.: sitting outside, searching for online courses, helping someone less advantaged than you, limiting time spent watching the news.
  • Put cords out of your way and repeat basic safety tips with team regularly. Ask team members to lead the safety meetings.
  • Schedule breaks such as lunch and five minute stand-up every two hours. One of the challenges is the back to back meetings with no break which would be available in the workplace such as walking to the meeting room or getting a coffee in the kitchen. This could lead to burn out due to always being on.
  • End team meetings five mins before the hour, so that everyone can have a five-minute break/stand-up/walk around the house.
  • Have a wellbeing chat each week as part of your team meeting. Talk about how each person is feeling, especially reflecting on the week. 
  • A manager could video call individual team members to check in.
  • Have a stand-up meeting, while listening do simple exercises such as squats, standing on one leg, stretching etc. This is easy to do, and it forces you to move while still being able to participate. 
  • Have daily Skype catch ups where wellbeing questions are asked each day and discuss together. You could also ask your team to come up with daily mantras.
  • Use Survey Monkey to do an anonymous 'Pulse Check' on staff who might generally be a little quiet. You could check on stress levels, engagement levels, what is working well and what isn't working well.  This can provide insight for managers. (note: the Commission recommends being incredibly careful with data privacy and integrity – make sure no one can be identified from their responses).

SafeWork NSW has some great guides we recommend consulting: