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How to Transition Temps to Remote Work

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These are unprecedented times. Many businesses need to ramp up with more temporary workers—workers from restaurant, hospitality, entertainment, and travel industries that are ready and willing to work—but will need them to work remotely, in jobs not traditionally designed to do from home.

The good news is that you can do it with the right staffing firm. Call center and customer support, administrative support, and even some manufacturing jobs can be performed remotely. It just takes a little bit of strategic due diligence to make the switch. As a member of the American Staffing Association (ASA), we have new tools developed every day that can help make completely new challenges like these manageable.

Our Director of Staffing Services Claire Reese recommends starting with these three steps:

1. Create a process.

Who will work remotely, and how will they do it? Regulations in this area are changing rapidly, so it’s essential to work with a reputable staffing partner that’s in the know. OSHA provides updated guidance, as does the CDC. We’ve also written this guide on asking office workers to work from home, which can be applied to temporary office workers in many instances. The bottom line is that CDC guidance specifically urges clients and their staffing firms to discuss the importance of sick employees staying home and how to encourage and support those who do.

2. Define responsibilities.

Your current employment and joint employer contracts may not adequately reflect the situation we’re facing right now. You may need to work with your staffing firm to amend established or proposed agreements to outline responsibilities in newly remote work arrangements. For instance, who is responsible for reimbursing assigned employees for the use of their own computers or personal devices while working remotely? Who must safeguard processes and systems to ensure assigned employees don’t mishandle confidential or trade secret information while working from home? A reputable staffing firm will have those answers for you.

3. Make a plan for communication.

Communication is critically important when transitioning any worker to remote work. But right now—when workers are feeling uneasy, confused, and ill-informed—and especially for temporary employees who don’t know much about your organization or how you normally operate, the stakes are even higher. Great staffing firms communicate early and often with their workers and can guide you through the process. Find out how temporary employees will be given instruction when it comes to orientation and onboarding, payroll and work assignments, and daily or weekly check-ins. And, again, decide with your staffing partner who will be responsible for communicating with the temps so that they remain in the loop and feel secure with their purpose and place on the team.

You’re facing decisions you’ve never faced before, but that doesn’t mean you need to go it alone. If you’re ramping up on temporary staffing for the first time or need to change how your temps work, feel free to contact us for support.