Bridging the Gap Between Remote and On-site Employees



As we look into what the workplace will look like post-coronavirus, the reality for many employers may involve supporting a geographically distant workforce. Some employees may be returning to an on-site work location, while others will be working remotely longer-term, or even permanently.

Teams comprised of both remote and on-site employees may not only be the current reality—but the new normal. The expansion of remote work affects each organization uniquely, and employers can consider what actions may help bridge the gap between all employees.

The Expansion of Remote Work

Consulting firm PwC conducted a study of current use and preferences toward remote work, surveying both executives and employees impacted by their employers’ choices. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers expedited their remote work practices—often, within a matter of weeks. Results from executives surveyed found that:

  • 73% deemed their COVID-19 remote work adaption successful.
  • 55% planned to extend their work-from-home policies for at least one day a week.
  • The number of organizations that engaged in remote work increased by 39% during the pandemic.

Many employees hope to engage in remote work post-coronavirus as well, with the same survey reporting that 72% of workers would prefer to work at least two days a week remotely. The expansion of remote work means that many organizations are now transitioning from short-term remote work to a a mix of on-site and remote work for the foreseeable future in an effort to optimize employee experience and effectiveness.

Most organizations have norms in place for on-site employees and now need to adapt to a mirroring set of standards for those working remotely. Organizations should plan for a new sense of normalcy—it won’t be the same work environment that was left behind pre-coronavirus.

Meeting the Need of Both Remote and On-site Employees

The current employment market values stability, flexibility and safety. While remote employees often reap the benefits of having increased flexibility and an ability to prioritize safety, they face their own unique challenges—such as a lack of social interaction and a lack of common knowledge and information. Likewise, on-site employees seek to be part of a safe workplace, and often crave flexibility. In the current climate, organizations have challenges pleasing both on-site and remote employees. Employers can consider steps to meet the needs of all employees while standardizing business practices to help bridge any gaps.


Bridging the Gap

As employers consider how to engage both remote and non-remote employees, there are ways to help bridge the gap. When doing so, considerations include:

  • Create an open chat—Chat tools, such as channels within Microsoft Teams and Slack can facilitate dialogue open to both remote and on-site employees. Channels can be created for efficient work-related communication—or even as a way to replace water cooler conversations and help build comradery within teams.
  • Plan for remote-friendly meetings—Remote employees attending a meeting via a conference line or video platform can be just as active as those sitting in the chairs in the conference room. However, meeting leaders and participants should be deliberate about including all members. At the beginning of a meeting, be sure to introduce participants joining remotely, and ensure you give each participant a chance to share their thoughts or ideas on topics discussed during the meeting.
  • Consider all employees when conducting workplace planning—As your organization considers changes, always consider how any decisions will impact all employees, including both on-site and remote talent.
  • Be transparent about remote work expectations and decisions—There are a variety of reasons why some employees may be expected to work on-site while others are granted the opportunity to work remotely. By being transparent about the purpose and business need of any decisions, employers can facilitate a friendly and open environment for distant teams to effectively collaborate, rather than building gaps between an organization’s leaders and their base of employees. There is an array of reasons why an employee may be designated to work remotely, stay on-site or work a mix of both. Still, employers can build trust with their base of employees by displaying a level of transparency when announcing expectations.

Every organization has a unique base of employees,  and appropriate steps will vary. As your organization rolls out changes, consider how you can effectively communicate with all employees.

Communicating Effectively

Likely, the coronavirus has impacted your workplace, and each employee. As initiatives are launched and changes are announced, strategically planned communications can help receive buy-in from employees. Any workplace changes can make a significant impact on the day-to-day life of hard-working employees, and organizations should be thoughtful about how they create necessary changes.

As your organization addresses the impacts of COVID-19, ensure that your ethos for internal communications acknowledges the challenges that employees face daily—but also transparently explains the rationale for how any decisions best serve the interest of the stakeholders of your business, including employees. Employees appreciate transparency, and this acknowledgment can help establish rapport during challenging times.

Supporting All Employees

Efforts will look different for every organization, but proper measures can help bridge the gap between employees. Consider initiatives that work for your organization, and contact Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. for additional resources regarding the remote workplace.

Motor Vehicle Accident Reporting

A motor vehicle accident can be a stressful experience for everyone involved. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and confused after a collision, but it is important that you stay calm. crash accident

There are a number of critical post-crash steps you need to keep in mind—steps that can help get your insurance in order or even save a life. Remember to do the following:

  • Step 1: Stop your vehicle. If you are involved in an accident and don’t stop, you may be subject to criminal prosecution.
  • Step 2: Call the authorities if any of the following scenarios occur:

i. You or someone else is injured
ii. You suspect one of the other drivers may be guilty of a criminal offense (such as driving under
the influence of drugs or alcohol)
iii. There is significant damage to property or the vehicles
iv. Any of the vehicles involved in the crash are not drivable
v. You suspect you are the victim of a staged accident

  • Step 3: Follow the instructions given to you by the 911 operator. Police or emergency personnel will arrive as soon as possible. Do not try to move anyone injured in the accident, as you may aggravate their injuries.
  • Step 4: If it is safe to do so, get out of your car. If you have access to a digital camera or cellphone, take pictures of the scene.
  • Step 5: When it is safe, move your vehicle to the side of the road and out of traffic. If your vehicle cannot be driven, turn on your hazard lights or use cones, warning triangles or flares, as appropriate.
  • Step 6: Use this form to record as much information about the accident as possible.
  • Step 7: Call Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. as soon as possible after the accident. Inform your insurer of what happened and ask for next steps.

Remember, as difficult as it may seem, it is important that you remain claim. Refrain from arguing with other drivers and passengers. What’s more, do not voluntarily assume liability or take responsibility, sign statements regarding fault or promise to pay for damage at the scene of the accident



New entrants looking to conduct interstate operations within the United States need to pass a safety audit before being legally registered with the US Department of Transportation (DOT).

Use the following chart to make sure you have all the documentation necessary to pass your safety audit. For a more detailed look, check out the FMCSA Guidebook


  • MCS-90 on file to show proof of insurance; MCS-90B for passenger carriers


  • Access to current copy of FMCSRs
  • DOT number displayed on vehicle
  • Accident register (for previous 12-month period) and accident reports for recordable accidents (retained for past three years) involving the following:
          1. Fatalities
          2. Injuries treated away from the scene
          3. Towaway due to disabling damage


  • Driver application, completely and accurately filled out
  • Ten-year employment history for CDL drivers
  • Previous employer history (past three years)
  • Previous employer drug and alcohol check (past two years)
  • Current medical card/certificate
  • Copy of CDL or road test for non-CDL drivers
  • Annual driving record from state agency (three-year history)
  • Annual review of driving record
  • Annual certification of violations, completed by driver


  • Pre-employment—must have negative results before driving (controlled substances only)
  • Random program—test drivers at a minimum annual percentage rate of 10% of the number of drivers for alcohol testing, and 50% for controlled substances testing. Provide annual and semi-annual summaries.
  • Post-accident—must be alcohol-tested if citation received within eight hours of crash and must be drug tested if received within 32 hours of crash. Include statement on file of why tests were late or not conducted. After eight hours, cease all testing attempts for alcohol. After 32 hours, cease all attempts for drug testing.
  • Reasonable suspicion—training for supervisors, with 60 minutes for controlled substances and 60 minutes for alcohol
  • Return to duty—must have negative result before driving again if driver receives positive test result
  • Follow-up—minimum of six tests must be conducted in the first 12 months, and the driver may also be subject to follow-up tests during the 48 months of safety-sensitive duty following the first 12-month period
  • Referrals—required to provide two if driver is terminated for positive test result
  • Recordkeeping requirements—maintain records of alcohol misuse and controlled substances use prevention programs in a secure location with controlled access. If requested by the FMCSA, records must be made available within two business days. Keep records of positive results and refusals for five years; records of collection for two years; negative/canceled drug tests and alcohol tests <0.02 for one year


  • Last six months of logbooks and supporting documents on file
  • 11-hour, 14-hour, 60/70-hour rule, false logs and 11 required entries on log sheets
  • 100 air-mile radius drivers must have six months of time records showing the following:
  • Report and release times
  • Total hours worked (must be 12 hours or fewer)
  • Must be off duty for minimum of 10 hours
  • 150 air-mile radius drivers (non-CDL) must have six months of time records showing the following:
  • Report and release times
  • Total hours worked (maximum 11 hours driving)
  • May not drive after 14th hour after coming on duty in period of seven consecutive days or after 16th hour after coming on duty in period of seven consecutive days.


  • File must display the following:
  • Company unit #
  • Vehicle make, year, model
  • VIN #
  • Tire size
  • Bills and receipts for repairs and documentation of preventive maintenance
  • Maintenance record/log for each vehicle
  • Copy of federal annual inspection
  • Copies of roadside inspections (mail originals to issuing governmental agency)
  • Pre-trip/post-trip inspections
  • Driver vehicle inspection reports—last 90 days on file
  • Qualifications on file of ANY persons conducting annual inspections (in-house or outside)
  • Brake inspector qualifications on file for employees doing brake work. Not required for those who only inspect brakes and have passed the air brake knowledge and skills test for CDL.
  • Ninety-day push-out window checks for buses/motor coaches


This checklist is vital for DOT new entrant safety audit – but it can get overwhelming. At Anastasi Insurance Agency, we are here to walk you through processes like this. If you have any questions, please contact us.

How to Interact with an OSHA Inspector

The best way to avoid paying fines for violating Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standards is to always be prepared for an inspection. Since an OSHA inspector has no obligation to inform an employer of the inspection ahead of time, the visit will usually be unannounced.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression

However, companies in industries with particular hazards and companies who have previously experienced a death in the workplace are most vulnerable to an OSHA inspection. Planning for an assessment before it happens will make it go more smoothly, allow you to be in control and create a positive impression on the OSHA officer, all of which will result in fewer citations.

To be fully prepared, it is important to decide in advance who will be designated to do the following:

  • Greet the inspector
  • Guide the inspector during the walk-around of your facility
  • Document and photograph any alleged violations

Make sure you have your OSHA logs for the previous five years, if required to keep one, organized and ready for inspector review, in case he or she requests it. Failure to produce these, or any other document, requested by the OSHA inspector could result in hefty fines.

When an OSHA Inspector Arrives

  • Greet the officer cordially, but ask to see the individual’s credentials right away if he or she does not immediately present them. It is not enough that the officer produces credentials – be sure to verify them by calling the nearest federal or state OSHA office.
  • Notify your designated inspection team of the officer’s arrival and gather them for an opening conference with the compliance officer. You have the right to know why the inspector is visiting your facility, so if he or she does not specify, be sure to politely ask. Also, establish whether the inspection is to cover the entire facility or only the areas involving a particular complaint.
  • Have the designated employer representative lead the OSHA officer during the inspection. If requested by employees, a selected representative may also attend the walk-through on their behalf. Ensure that the inspector minimizes any work interruptions during the inspection.
  • Show only the sections of the facility that the officer came to inspect. Be aware that if an officer sees a violation of OSHA standards in open view, he can legally expand the inspection beyond the previously established boundaries.
  • Correct any apparent violations detected by the officer immediately and on the spot. The officer will record this and take your good faith actions into account when assessing citations and fines.
  • Be courteous and professional, but only produce documents or information when they are requested, and respectfully insist that the inspector not wander off alone.
  • Note all of the inspector’s observations and take photos of the alleged violations. Do not argue with the officer on-site as to whether something is in violation of OSHA standards.
  • The compliance officer will conduct a closing conference. At this point, he will give you a list of all unsafe or unhealthy conditions found during the inspection. The officer will tell you which violations he will recommend as citations, and this is your opportunity to discuss how much time you would need to correct these hazardous conditions. However, it is not appropriate to ask about fines or penalties at this time, as only the OSHA area director has the authority to assign penalties after receiving the officer’s full report.

How Are Fines Assessed?

After receiving a citation, you can either accept it or contest it (in full or in part). After accepting the citation you will be required to pay the fine and correct the problem. Be sure to research the differences in OSHA policies if your state has its own OSHA-approved system.

Fines are assessed at different levels. Theses fines are imposed per violation. For example, even though a serious violation will cost your company up to $12,934, you could have five serious violations, each one costing you $12,934 for a total of over $64,000. In addition, each day a violation remains uncorrected may be considered a separate violation. The table below provides a summary of possible OSHA penalties.

Contact Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. for more information on how you can keep your OSHA log organized, be prepared for an inspection and avoid further assessments.