How to let your boss know you’re afraid to work because of COVID-19.

How to let your boss know you're afraid to work because of COVID-19.

[ad_1]

rssfeeds.usatoday.com

Johnny C. Taylor Jr., Special for USA TODAY
Published 7:00 a.m. ET May 5, 2020

CLOSE

Johnny C. Taylor Jr., a human resources expert, is tackling your questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world’s largest HR professional society.

The questions are submitted by readers, and Taylor’s answers below have been edited for length and clarity.

Have a question? Do you have an HR or work-related question you’d like me to answer? Submit it here.

Question: How can you talk to your boss about your fears and tell him that you don’t want to be at work because of the virus and hopefully maintain your position?  – Anonymous 

Johnny C. Taylor Jr.:  You wouldn’t believe how many readers have submitted precisely this question. 

Let me start with the answer you don’t want to hear: Your employer has a right to demand its work be done in the office. A generalized fear of COVID-19 leading you to want to continue working remotely is not enough to protect your job. Employers have a duty, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, to maintain a workplace free of serious recognized hazards. While respiratory viruses like influenza and COVID-19 are serious, no employer can protect every employee from contracting viruses in the workplace. 

Now putting the “legal” answer aside, you may consider approaching your people manager about your concerns and request accommodations to work remotely, at least temporarily until the public health crisis subsides.

Start by meeting and speaking with your boss. Share you’re worried about working in today’s climate – and be specific about any health risk you or your household members might be challenged by. 

Do you have COVID-19 or a medical condition putting you at higher risk? An at-risk family member or elderly parent at home? Children home from school or day care due to the pandemic? If so, be sure to share these facts with your employer. By detailing the problem, you’ll make it easier – and more likely – for your employer to solve it. If your employer is flexible, working from home could be a quick fix.  

I have to be honest with you. With nearly 30 million Americans collecting unemployment benefits right now, you’ll need to engage your employer very deftly.  If your employer perceives you as demanding work from home flexibility, you could risk losing your job. If, on the other hand, you make a reasonable request, it will likely work out.

Remember: It’s a time of uncertainty but we’re in it together.  

My boss’s pyramid scheme: How do I say no? Ask HR

At-risk worker: What if you are your company won’t let you work from home? Ask HR

CLOSE

If you’re working from home, here are some tips to stay productive and ensure your home office is optimized for working remotely.

USA TODAY

Question: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, my office has shut down and we are all working remotely for the foreseeable future. Normally, I’m pretty focused. However, I’m finding that it’s easier to get distracted while working from home. Any tips on how to stay organized, motivated, and on task? – Anonymous 

Taylor: Remote work isn’t for everyone. But whether they like it or not, 70% of employed Americans now find themselves working remotely. For those who haven’t before or have family to care for, switching to and staying on “work mode” while at home can be difficult. 

There’s no shortage of practical tips you might try to cultivate productivity. But before we get to those, let me start with this one: Be your own best friend.

If you notice you’re less focused, don’t beat yourself up and fall into toxic self-talk. Instead, recognize your life has likely changed a lot in a little time due to big forces beyond your control. Change takes a toll on the psyche, especially if a stay-at-home order means staying alone, so be patient and take care of yourself. 

I say this because mental health is truly foundational, and we know the stresses of this pandemic can chip away at it. If your mind isn’t right, not even the best “productivity hack” can help, so I encourage you to tend to yourself – and seek help if needed. 

With that said, here are five tips for working from home:

• Replicate your regular work schedule to the greatest extent possible. Wake up at the same time, work the same hours, stick to scheduled meetings, and take the same breaks. 

• If you haven’t already, find a quiet place that’s as distraction-free as possible. Don’t be afraid to get creative – play white noise in the background or use noise-canceling headphones. 

• If you have school-aged children, create a routine or schedule for them, and remind them when it’s OK to interrupt. 

• If you miss socializing, take a break to call your co-workers, friends, or family. 

• Err on the side of over-communication and check in with your boss or team. If it’s known to all who is supposed to do what and by when, teams can be more accountable, connected, and engaged.  

These are a few small things that can make a big difference. But, if you had to pick just one of these practical tips, focus on the first one: Replicate, replicate, replicate.

Stay well!  

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2020/05/05/how-let-your-boss-know-youre-afraid-work-because-covid-19/3075628001/

[ad_2]

Source link

Published
Categorized as Business

By Bernice Caldwell

Bernice is one of the finest authors Industry News Today portal has until now. Bernice's linguistic and well-written technique is one of the plus points that have the readers glued to her articles. Bernice currently heads the Healthcare and Services domain as her knowledge on the medical topics is immense. She has just joined the Industry News Today portal 6 Months back but the love for writing can be very well seen. She may be short on experience but it has definitely not stopped her from presenting some of the finest articles. Bernice is currently a very well-known personality on the portal to have shown her skillful writing in such a limited time span.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *