Set up recurring best practice reminders for employees 'working from home'

About Best Practice Reminders

In most countries, employers have a general 'duty of care' regarding the health and safety of employees, which applies whether employees are working in a conventional office, working from home (WFH), or remotely, as far as is ‘reasonably practicable’ to do so.

What defines 'reasonably practicable'?

This is difficult and very subjective. However, one would suspect any reasonable employer would ensure employees are aware of key WFH and/or remote working practices, especially around employee health and safety. Furthermore, the employee is reminded of these practices at regular intervals, be that daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

What are some examples?

Every organization is different however, below are examples of what your organization may wish to inform or remind its employees of when WFH or remotely:

  1. To take frequent microbreaks.
  2. Regularly check your organization's primary workforce communication tools for updates and announcements e.g. Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, WolMobile, email, etc.
  3. Ensure when working that their 'Status' in the workforce communications tool is set, e.g. ‘working, available, or online', so the team knows they can be reached.
  4. Remind your employees of good online meeting practices. For example: "Internet issues may cause a delay in meetings, so let's commit to signing in a couple minutes early to make sure everything is in working order and do our best to make sure the environment where we're taking calls with clients or team members is without distraction and quiet".
  5. Take some simple steps to reduce the risks from display screen work like:
    - avoiding awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
    - getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises
    - avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time.
  6. Recommend to employees best practice pandemic protocols when leaving their home:
    - wear long sleeves
    - tie up long hair
    - don't wear jewellery, make up, or cream
    - if you have a mask, put it on when leaving home
    - practice social distancing
    - take hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, and/or tissues with you
    - if you cough or sneeze, don't do it into your hands or air, do it into your elbow
    - do not touch your face until you have clean hands.
  7. Recommend to employees best practice pandemic protocols when entering their home:
    - clean your hands before touching anything
    - disinfect your pet's paws if you took them for a walk
    - remove your clothes and wash them
    - if you cannot disinfect everything you took outside with you, do what you can to minimize risk.
  8. Recommend to employees best practice for living with someone at risk:
    - sleep in separate beds
    - do not share towels, cutlery, plates, glasses, etc.
    - wash clothes, bed linen, and towels frequently
    - clean daily and disinfect high transit and contact surfaces
    - air out bedrooms frequently
    - follow government guidelines if you have a temperature exceeding X degrees celsius
    - do not breach any government enforced quarantine rules. Every day you breach you reset the counter.
Disclaimer:  WhosOnLocation is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any of the protocols mentioned in our examples above. They are illustrative only.

Why not just email every employee these reminders?

Whilst Google Gmail and Outlook support 'scheduling of emails' it is difficult for an organization to audit when it was sent, who received it, how many times it was sent, and more importantly to easily define the audience of the email. For example 'Only those employees not on-site', or 'Only those employees in the Marketing team', or 'Only send on a Monday and a Thursday'.

How does WhosOnLocation help you to schedule Reminders?

Best practice reminders use the free Triggers Add-on available in your WhosOnLocation subscription.

With Triggers you can define the Trigger Event, add one or many Trigger Rules that must be met before the Trigger is fired, and set your Trigger Actions which include defining an audience (recipients) to receive an email and/or an SMS (text) message.

Let's take a look at a basic Trigger:

  1. Trigger Event = Schedule your reminder to go out at a specific time of day.
  2. Trigger Rules = On specific days of the week.
  3. Trigger Actions = Send an email to all employees.

We are going to use this tutorial to set up a reminder to your employees to take their microbreaks during the day.

About Microbreaks

A microbreak is a break that lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, and is meant to be taken frequently – as often as every 10 minutes. Evidence suggests microbreaks actually reduce muscle fatigue by as much as 20-50 percent in an eight-hour day. Frequent breaks are better than less frequent longer breaks, so a 5-10 minute break after 50-60 minutes is better than a 20 minute break every 3 hours.

For example:  Michael, don't forget to take your microbreaks.

WFH_Microbreaks_1.png

This article assumes you have Triggers enabled. If not, please read our article on enabling Triggers here.

User Role required to enable Triggers: Account Owner.

Let's get started!

In this best practice reminders tutorial you will:

  1. Create a reminder, in the form of an email, that will be sent to all employees.
  2. At 9am every morning, Mon to Fri only.
  3. Reminding employees to take microbreaks.

The email we create in this tutorial is:

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Subject: Microbreak Reminder

Good morning {{ recipient.name }}. As part of our 'Working from Home' and 'Working Remotely' best practice guidelines please ensure you take your microbreaks.

A microbreak is a break that lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, and is meant to be taken frequently – as often as every 10 minutes. Evidence suggests microbreaks actually reduce muscle fatigue by as much as 20-50 percent in an eight-hour day. Frequent breaks are better than less frequent longer breaks, so a 5-10 minute break after 50-60 minutes is better than a 20 minute break every 3 hours.

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User Role required to access these settings: Triggers Manager.
  1. Go to Tools > Locations.

    WFH_Microbreaks_2.png
  2. Click View next to your location.

    WFH_Microbreaks_3.png
  3. Select Triggers from the left-hand menu.

    WFH_Microbreaks_4.png
  4. Select the green Create a New Trigger button.

    WFH_Microbreaks_5.png
  5. Complete Trigger Details

    - Trigger Name: Enter a name like: “Reminder to take Microbreaks”

    - Trigger Status: Set to ‘Active’

    - Trigger Event: Select ‘Time - Triggered at a specific time’

    - Select a time Type: Select ‘A specific time’

    - Enter a Time: Select a time for your reminder to go out.

    - Select Next.

    WFH_Microbreaks_6.png
  6. Setup Trigger Rules

    Alongside: Must match ALL of the following rules:

    - Create a New Rule: Select the green 'Create a New Rule' button

    Select a Rule: Select ‘Day of the Week’

    - Select a Condition: Select ‘Is the following’

    - Place your mouse in the last box and select: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri

    - Select Next.

    WFH_Microbreaks_7.png
  7. Complete Trigger Actions

    - Create a New Action: Select the green 'Create a New Action' button

    - Select an Action: Select ‘Notification – Send an Email – Send an email to one or many recipients’.

    - Select a Recipent Type: Select 'Employees'’

    - Select Below: Select ‘All Employees’

    - Message Subject: Enter a subject name like ‘Microbreak Reminder'.

    - Message box: Enter your reminder message.

    - Select Save & Close

    WFH_Microbreaks_8.png

About Placeholders

The content in the first line of the example message, within the brackets, in the above image {{ recipient.name }}, is referred to as a Placeholder

To insert this placeholder select the blue Placeholder button, select the ‘Recipient Details’ button and then select the green Insert button alongside the Placeholder titled: {{ recipient.name }}.

Did you know?

You can set the reminder to go out at different frequencies.

In step 6 above, when defining the Trigger Rules we selected our Rule to be ‘Day of the Week’ and the Condition: to be ‘Is the following’ and the options to be Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri.

You could make the Condition to be ‘Is the following’ and the options to be 'Mon' only or 'Mon' and 'Thu' only or any other combination.

F.A.Q

Can I see a report on who received the email?

Yes. There two ways:

View when Trigger was Fired

  1. Go the list of Triggers.
  2. Go to the blue View Columns button and add the ‘Fired’ option unless it’s already visible.
  3. In your list of Triggers you will now see a new column header titled ‘Fired’.
  4. Scroll down to this specific Trigger and select the hyperlink in this column to see ‘fired and sent’ logs.

OR....

You can review sending logs in the Notification Summary. View logs under Reporting > Notification Summary.

Can we disable the Trigger anytime?

Yes. 

  1. Open the Trigger.
  2. In the first tab titled: Trigger Details select Disabled.
  3. Select Save & Close.

Tips and Tricks

Whitelist msg@whosonlocation.com

Every email, like the visitor arrival notification, or microbreaks reminder are sent from the email address msg@whosonlocation.com.  Whilst not necessarily required, we do recommend your IT team add this email address to your company's whitelist.

Click here for instructions.

About the Email Signature

In the footer of every email is, what we refer to as, the 'Email Signature'. See the example signature below (in red box). The email signature serves as an indicator to your employees that the Microbreaks Reminder (or any other message you create) is legitimately from your organization.

WFH_Microbreaks_9.png

Every account has what is called the 'Account level' email signature. This default email signature can be personalized by the Account Owner. Unless the Account Owner or an Administrator wishes to set up a unique email signature for a location, the 'Account level' default will apply.

To personalize the default 'Account level' email signature

User Role required to edit the Account level signature: Account Owner.
  1. Go to Tools > Account.
  2. Select Branding from the left-hand menu.
  3. Select the Email Signature tab.
  4. Edit and select Save & Close.

Does every location need to use the 'Account Level' default email signature?

No. The email signature can also be personalized for each location by an Administrator.

  1. Go to Tools > Locations.
  2. Select the green View button located alongside the location you wish to customise.
  3. Select Automation & Occupancy from the left-hand menu.
  4. Select the Email Signature tab.
  5. Edit and select Save.

Anytime you wish to use the Account Level email signature; simply select the red Reset to Default button in step 5 above then Save.

Please Note: If you wish to setup a similar 'Microbreaks Reminder' for employees at other locations you can clone the trigger to those locations. Click here for more details.
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