Frontliners: How Work-at-Home Policies and Business Management Can Help Better Manage Social Workers

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The pandemic has shifted the way we live our lives every day. It has demanded much from us to adapt to the current circumstances to survive and flourish. However, the pandemic is still pretty much upon us, especially in the western part of the world.

For instance, there have been 4.3 million infections in the United Kingdom alone, tallying to about 127,000 fatalities. Infections are still happening despite the growing speed of vaccinations (Oxford AstraZeneca and Pfizer BioNtech). Slowly but surely, the world is fighting against the virus. Many are in the frontlines in this ever-shifting war, and without these individuals, there would be fewer recoveries among the four million that have healthily recovered from the virus. These frontliners come in all forms, from professionals in the medical industry to brave community members who want to make homes safe from the virus. However, there is a growing problem among social workers regarding their exposure to the virus and mismanagement. Here are some ways they can avoid the virus while being managed appropriately.

The Work of Social Workers during the Pandemic

The main job of social workers is to enforce quarantine protocols and lockdowns to stem the tide of the disease. Their exposure to the virus has led to many fatalities. Further mismanagement has made them inefficient.

Currently, there are discussions to integrate social workers into the national hierarchy. This is to help them coordinate better with many cities and provinces that exist in the U.K. Although social workers are meant to cater to individuals, they have been impactful in the larger community setting. However, it is still unsure whether this would be the norm for years to come and if they would still be in charge of communities once the pandemic is over. There are many things that this hierarchy can learn from big businesses all over the world. One of them is implementing a work-at-home policy for people who have a more administrative task.

Work At Home

Big companies worldwide are implementing work-at-home policies for their employees. Companies, such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, are all applying this approach to reduce infections in their companies. There are still some who work on-site, but they only include essential personnel.

As many companies worldwide have adapted to the situation by implementing work-at-home policies, social workers should also try it using the same means. Those who have administrative tasks, such as people working in council, must stay at home to manage the frontlines from a computer desk. This can greatly decrease the number of infections. This can also reduce costs from utilities, such as electricity bills in the office, water, and other needs. However, the main problem with this kind of policy is the ability to communicate with one another in real-time.

woman working from home

Thankfully, modern technology has given us apps like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meets. Video conferencing has made the tasks of employees much easier. It has also helped individuals to be more productive. Considering that social workers have a similar structure, these channels can certainly help administrators manage those under them. Many think that this might be the way to the future, as working at home is more convenient for people who have administrative tasks. However, only time will tell whether this kind of structure would be used for years to come.

Team Managers

Another way that businesses efficiently manage their workers is through team managers. Compared with traditional managing, team managers play a more constructive role, as they make each individual in a team grow in a company instead of finding ways to make the team more efficient in their jobs. They are quite similar to life coaches. Due to the stress and difficulties that social workers experience in their job, they need team managers to be there for them.

Team managers can play a significant role in assessing the needs of each social worker. At times, being in the field can be very stressful, but this is most likely attributed to the inefficiencies of the traditional system. By having team managers, they can cater to an individual worker’s needs and be able to address them through various practices and exercises. The best part about this is that team managers are not required to be on the field all the time. Much like council workers, they can stay at home to do their jobs. They can hold video conferences for daily meetings and administer exercises and practices through online administrative tools.

Using strategies from businesses, we can make our social workers work even more efficiently while on the field. This can also be used to protect social workers from the virus. All of these implementations can make our social workers better at doing their jobs and help ease the stringent tasks given to them during this time.

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