Set up recurring reminders for employees working from home

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

About best practice reminders

This is difficult and 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, whether daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

Every organization is different. 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.
  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. 
  5. Take some simple steps to reduce the risks from display screen work like getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises, or avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time.
  6. Recommend to employees best practice pandemic protocols when leaving their home, for example, social distancing, wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer. 
  7. Recommend to employees best practice pandemic protocols when entering their home, for example, washing their hands, removing and cleaning clothes.
  8. Recommend to employees best practice for living with someone at risk, for example, do not share towels, glasses, etc., do not breach any government-enforced quarantine rules, wash clothes, bed linen, and towels frequently.

MRI OnLocation is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any of the protocols mentioned in our examples above. They are illustrative only.

Scheduling reminders

Use triggers to send best practice reminders. This is an add-on that your Account Owner must enable. With triggers, you can define the event, add one or many rules that must be met before the trigger is fired, and set your trigger actions, including 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.

Trigger example - microbreak reminder

A microbreak is a break that lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes and should be taken frequently – as often as every 10 minutes.

In this trigger example, we'll show you how to create an email reminder sent to all employees at 9 am every Monday to Friday.

You need the Triggers Manager user role to set up a trigger. 

  1. Go to Locations, then select the location from the dropdown list.
  2. Select Triggers.
  3. Click Create a New Trigger.

Trigger Details tab

  1. Enter a name like Reminder to take Microbreaks.
  2. Select Active next to the Trigger Status.
  3. Under Trigger Event, select Time - Triggered at a specific time.
  4. Select a time for your reminder to go out.
  5. Click Next.

Trigger Rules tab

  1. Alongside Must match ALL of the following rules, click Create a New Rule.
  2. Select Day of the Week.
  3. Select Is the Following as the rule condition.
  4. Select Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri.
  5. Click Next.

Trigger Actions tab

  1. Click Create a New Action.
  2. Select Notification: Send an Email as the action.
  3. Select Employees.
  4. Select All Employees.
  5. Enter the message subject. In this example, we've used Microbreak Reminder.
  6. Enter your reminder message. Use the placeholders to customize the notification.

    Good morning {{ }}. 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.
  7. Click Save & Close.

Once you've sent the notification, you can see who received the email by either:

To disable the Trigger, open the trigger, then change the status to Disabled in the Trigger Details tab.

If you wish to set up a similar 'Microbreaks Reminder' for employees at other locations, you can clone the trigger to those locations.