When COVID-19 first came on the scene, companies did whatever they had to do to stay in business while following quarantine guidelines. For many, that meant closing offices and sending employees home to work.
Workers pivoted and adapted in remarkable ways to navigate the quickly changing circumstances, but of course, there were challenges. Full households, kids out of school, and caretaking responsibilities they usually didn’t have to contend with during the workday quickly morphed into the new normal.
Flexibility became imperative as employees grappled with trying to find the balance between home and work. Fortunately, the flexible nature of remote work was exactly what many workers needed.
Navigating a Remote Future
While the timeline of the pandemic and its eventual impact on the future of work remains uncertain, we do know one thing: it seems to have been a tipping point for flexible and remote work.
As companies realized the benefits of working remotely and saw how important flexibility was to employees during these unprecedented times, more and more decided to incorporate remote work into their long-term plans. Other businesses, like Google, Sony Music, Amazon corporate, and Viacom, have followed suit and extended their work-from-home policies until at least 2021.
This is fantastic news for employees hoping to make their work-from-home arrangements permanent. But what about everything else? Nothing is back to normal yet in non-work life—school districts are proposing online or hybrid schedules, extracurricular activities are up in the air, and many businesses remain closed or with limited services.
With unconventional school hours, online classes, and ever-changing schedules for even the most basic of appointments, it’s clear that workers still need all the flexibility they can get. So how do you keep your boss updated on every little schedule change without sounding like you’re dropping the ball?
How to Keep Your Boss in the Loop
Communication within remote teams is essential for staying in touch on tasks, priorities, and shifting schedules, especially during the pandemic. And while it may feel awkward to talk to your boss about every single one of your schedule changes, chances are that they understand what’s going on. After all, they’re going through the pandemic, too, and are likely experiencing some (if not all) of the same challenges.
5 Tips for Writing an Update for Your Boss
The below tips on how to keep your boss updated on schedule changes when you’re working from home will help you communicate your needs without rocking the boat.
- Keep the updates short and to-the-point.
- Use your judgment. Is your manager supportive when discussing personal issues?
- Include details that may impact your work schedule and output for the week.
- Send this weekly at most—only when there are changes your manager really needs to know about.
- Link to or attach any applicable documents, shared project files, etc.
Email Template: Update to Your Boss
Use this email template as a guide as you plan out how to keep your boss in the loop amid work schedule and home life changes when you’re working from home.
Subject: Updates: work and life this week
Hello, [Manager’s Name],
I hope you’re staying well! I want to share a few updates related to COVID and work this week—please let me know if you have any questions.
Life and Work
- My schedule Thursday will shift a bit due to a change in childcare, so I’ll work earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon and evening. If anything comes up when I’m not at my desk, you can reach me at 555-555-5555.
- My child’s school has announced 100% remote learning for this fall. My partner and I are working to figure out what this will look like as it relates to work. More to come!
Priority Tasks and Project This Week
- Priority #1
- Priority #2
- Priority #3
Progress and Wins
- I finally got Cindy Smith at ABC Corp on the phone, and we’re set to move forward with a content partnership.
- It looks like I’ll be able to wrap up the marketing affiliates project by the end of next week.
Looking forward to catching up at our next one-on-one meeting!
If you’re providing your boss with proactive, valuable, straightforward information in an easy-to-digest format, there’s really no such thing as too much communication when you’re working from home. Sending your manager a weekly update with any relevant schedule changes will set expectations on the front end and help you avoid any misunderstandings.
Get Advice and Resources
One of the most sought-after benefits of remote work is the flexibility to find a work-life balance that takes into account all parts of your life. As COVID-19 continues to drive companies toward a long-term remote work model, learning how to keep your boss in the loop on your schedule changes will smooth the transition for everyone.
For advice and resources as you navigate working during the pandemic, head to the FlexJobs blog for job search support, success stories, career information, and more. Looking for more tips? Subscribe to our newsletter.
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