Water cooler talk isn't just forthe office; managers should use check-in time to ask about remoteworkers' personal life, families and hobbies to keep up morale.(Photo: Shutterstock)

It's laudable that companies are now letting more employees workfrom home to lessen the threat from COVID-19 – but for the nextpandemic, they should upskill employees ahead of time to work morecollaboratively.

Corporate trainer VitalSmarts surveyed more than 1,000 adults, roughlyhalf executives and managers, and the other half employees, on whattheir organizations are doing to mitigate the outbreak. A third ofthe respondents say their organization has a plan in place they areconfident about and 43 percent have a basic plan—even if it is"hastily assembled."

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.