In this unprecedented time of COVID-19, we are focusing our efforts to keep people safe and well - at work, at home, and in our communities.
For many colleagues, reporting to their usual place of work remains essential; our health care colleagues at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, who are on the front line of COVID-19, as well as our people who work across our facilities and operations, continuing to reliably supply our global customers.
But with physical distancing a key tool in the fight against COVID-19, increasing numbers of eligible employees are working from home, in line with government instructions, with managers directed to ensure their business continuity plans continue to put people first.
The right tools to work remotely
Working remotely must be agreed by department management - including assurance that an employee has the right tools to carry out their role.
All desktops and laptops are now capable to securely connect to the corporate network from home. Additional tools include Skype for Business, which is available on company laptops and includes phone and video conferencing facilities and other collaboration features.
If unsure, employees are recommended to discuss their individual remote work requirements with their Information Security Analyst (ISA).
How to work safely from home
With those tools in place, it is essential that before working from home that employees take the following steps:
- Obtain department management approval that you can work remotely.
- Take measures to ensure your remote working arrangements provide a safe, secure, and healthy working environment.
- Whether working from home or in your normal place of work, observe recommended sanitization protocols and recommendations on physical distancing.
- In a virtual workplace, we don’t walk around as much, so make sure you step away from your computer and stretch periodically.
Three top tips for leading virtual teams
To help our people adjust to virtual workplaces, the Human Resources’ Leadership Development Division has been looking at global best practices to develop a webinar called Leading Virtual Teams.
- Ensure productivity doesn’t drop – employees want to stay busy regardless of their work location. An easy solution is to start the day with a Skype for Business video meetings to discuss the plan for the day. Also, dressing in normal work attire when working from home will send a powerful message to your brain that it’s time to work.
- It’s easy to skip collaboration opportunities since employees are not in one location, but it is still important to hold brainstorming sessions, project updates, or reviews virtually. Doing so will ensure everyone stays connected and focused on key tasks. And don’t forget to celebrate quality work, especially when it’s done virtually.
- It’s important to ensure everyone’s wellbeing. When we don’t see each other every day, it’s easy to lose focus on each other’s health and wellbeing. Schedule a five-minute individual video call to check on people and ensure they are doing well.
Continuing as normal
If anyone would like to continue their professional development during this period, the Leadership Center will be offering many of its one-day professional development programs in a virtual format, to specifically address virtual workplace best practices. This is a great time to continue your development, even at home.
Regardless of working location, Saudi Aramco is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of every colleague, their families, and their community. By following proper guidelines, including individual actions on hygiene, safety, and social distancing, we will all be doing our best to protect ourselves and each other.