By Claire West
As the nation is swept by heavy snowfall, thousands of UK workers are forced to stay at home as travel disruptions make it impossible to get to work. However as the rest of the nation's workforce battles on to work, many bosses and colleagues can't help wondering whether their employees are ignoring their calls, updating their Facebook status or missing deadlines.
Are they really working from home, or are they just 'Snow Skivers'?
Although most of those who are forced to stay at home are genuinely working, , tell-tale signs of those using the weather as an excuse to play in the snow include not answering phone calls, high levels of background noise, updating social networking sites and missing deadlines. Employers keen to maintain high productivity levels from employees working remotely will be relieved to know there are ways to keeping employees on the right piste.
Monster, the leading provider of online careers and recruitment resources, offers advice to employers on how to manage employees who aren't able to make it in to the office.
Isabelle Ratinaud, Marketing Director at Monster.co.uk advises: "If staff members are required to work from home then it's important to provide clear guidelines on what is expected from them. Make sure that you have an agenda for the day and agree deadlines upfront so that actions don't start slipping. Working from home can be quite isolating, so ensure you keep in contact through mails and phone conversations.
"There may be tasks which are difficult to carry out at home so helping employees adapt their responsibilities where necessary will help avoid any potential issues or missed deadlines.."
Top tips on working from home
* Make sure your staff are clear on their responsibilities for the day. Having a detailed to-do list can help focus employees on what they need to achieve.
* Organise periodic conference calls for your team. It's important to keep levels of communication high, and arranging a call between all your team members will mean that everyone is clear about actions that need to be completed by the end of the day.
* Reallocate responsibilities to ensure that staff working from home are given tasks which they can successfully complete away from the office.
* Help your employees set up remote access to the server network. Having the right tools is half the battle to making sure employees can work effectively.
* Ensure you provide your employees with a full list of contact details for colleagues and clients.