What Managers Can do to Help Keep their Employees Safe, Sane and Productive


Tony Mangan



Before this “new normal”, most staff worked alongside colleagues, or if not, they had access to others as part of their job, for example, meeting customers.

If people worked from home, it was often by choice. It may have been a requirement of a new job, or they transitioned gradually to working remotely. It was rarely a sudden move.

The growth of “co-working spaces” and “hot-desks” seemed to provide an ideal solution to many, where they could work remotely, yet retain a stimulating work environment. This also helped ensure home- and work-life were separated.

However, as a result of the pandemic, working from home has suddenly been thrust on many people, and most were ill-prepared. Not only that, but this may continue for the foreseeable future. Some companies have informed their staff they will not be returning to their offices this year. Even after that, the future is far from certain.


Here are some simple, quickly implementable solutions to successfully employing staff at home..


Schedule daily check-ins.

Check-ins may be either individually or in teams. The meeting time should be fixed and regular. This ensures staff and employer have a structure, all are well-prepared and focused, and there should be time for staff and manager to ask questions and give and receive feedback.


Use a variety of technologies.

Email may work very well, but a mix of phone calls and video conferencing may also suit the situation. They may be individual or team based. A mixture of technologies should be used, depending on the project or circumstance. Much of our communication is non-verbal, so visual communication should be strongly considered. Online, or actual face-to-face communication should be used as regularly as possible. This has the added benefit of encouraging staff to dress appropriately which helps maintain a professional environment and improves personal bonds. Where meeting staff face-to-face a safe location should be chosen following current HSE and WHO guidelines.


Maintain social interactions.

We are not just workers, but human beings. The social aspects of work play a large part in how we learn and get satisfaction from our work. Employers should ensure that staff have the opportunity to interact socially and informally. This may be by setting aside a few minutes before meetings to chat informally, or by having pizzas delivered to all the team simultaneously, perhaps on the last Friday of the month, or when there is a special occasion, such as birthdays. These can be fun and a great icebreaker. Communication between staff and managers should not be all work related.


Ask employees how remote working is going with them.

This may throw up issues that management would not be aware of. Everyone is different. Employers should be encouraging and helpful and should ask them for their suggestions.


Set boundaries between working and non-working hours.

The flexibility and limitations of work hours should be agreed, and communication should be only sent at these times. If staff are working outside these hours or are working excessively, management should confront the issue. It can lead to burn-out or unhealthy competition between staff where workers feel obliged to send communication very early or late, or at weekends to impress their manager. Staff deserve a healthy work-life balance.

Successfully managed remote working may provide benefits far beyond our previous bricks and mortar approach to business. It may be a win-win for employers and employees.


If you need help or advice with creating workplace wellness for your workers, get in touch below.

Caring for Pregnant Employees

Caring for Pregnant Employees GEMMA COLLINS DOYLE EHS Consultant EazySAFE Pregnancy can be one of the most vulnerable times of a woman’s life. So, it’s important that when a woman is at work, she can feel safe, protected and as comfortable as possible. Legislation: To help ensure this is the case, there is legislation that [...]

Managing public safety in light of COVID-19

Managing public safety in light of COVID-19 TONY MANGAN EHS Consultant EazySAFE COVID-19 is upon us and it is everyone’s responsibility to keep each other safe. Employers are responsible for the health and wellbeing of their staff and of everyone in their workplace. This includes contractors, part-time staff, suppliers, visitors and the public. In this [...]

Breastfeeding at Work – Advice for Employers.

Breastfeeding at Work. Advice for Employers. LISA QUINN O'FLAHERTY Solicitor Fitzsimons Redmond The purpose of a Pregnant Employee (New & Expectant Mothers) Risk Assessment is to examine the work activities carried out by employees and determine the suitability of the activities with regard to pregnant employees while their body changes. When a mother returns to [...]

COVID-19 Protocols and the Importance of Risk Assessments for Return to Work

Covid-19 Protocols and the importance of Risk Assessments for Return to Work TONY MANGAN EHS Consultant EazySAFE A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm in terms of human injury or ill health, such as work materials, equipment, work methods or practices, poor work design or exposure to harmful agents such as chemicals, [...]

Restriction Fatigue

Restriction Fatigue How We Can Promote Wellbeing Through the Hardest of Times. ALAN WHITE Wellness Consultant EazySAFE As we live through another six weeks of restrictions it’s difficult to imagine how we can promote wellbeing when the mood of the whole country is one of frustration and fatigue. More of us are being asked to [...]

Workplace air quality – A risk mitigating strategy for spread of airborne viruses

Workplace air quality – A risk mitigating strategy for spread of airborne viruses DAVID CRUISE Marketing Manager Camfil On the 6th of July 2020, 239 leading scientists from over 32 different countries signed a research document to say that Covid-19 was an airborne virus. So what did this mean? Well, focussing on hand hygiene, social [...]