Working from home – making it work for employers and employees
As the well-known phrase goes, “Work should be something you do, not somewhere you go.” Allowing employees to work from home is a measure now being undertaken by many companies, at least to some degree. Technology is rapidly making the completely virtual office a realistic proposition, and allowing the transition to happen almost seamlessly.
Working from home can clearly offer benefits to both parties, but the shift to home working is not always plain sailing. Here are some dos and don’ts for both employers and employees, so that expectations are clear, everyone stays productive and the true benefits can ultimately be realised:
• Allow your staff to work from home! Even if just on occasion - This will clearly depend on the type of business you are in, but for most office based employees, the ability to work from home is a huge benefit. This also means you can offer it as such - and remove that privilege if it is abused
• Create a culture of trust - If you have employed someone, surely they can be trusted to do their work, even if they’re not visible in the office. Extending the hand of trust means a lot to employees, and it also puts you in a position of strength. By creating a flexible working structure, the onus then transfers to the employee to deliver results, wherever they happen to be
• Deploy effective home office technology - A market leading VPN solution or, even better Citrix, ensures that working from home doesn’t mean losing access to the technologies that you normally need to get the job done. It also ensure employees aren’t restricted in their duties in any way
• Don’t let the odd abuse of trust ruin it for the rest of the team - Sure, it happens occasionally. Weed out the individuals, if there are any, who are not using the benefit in the spirit it was offered, but don’t assume everyone is doing the same. Most of those who work from home are often more efficient than when they are at work
• Set yourself up with an office - Ideally your office should be in a completely separate room, with a door you can close. And if you have kids, you might want to lock the door! Get yourself set up with a good desk, office chair, large screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, webcam, speakers, headset, landline telephone and docking station if you have a laptop
• Explain the situation to your family – Your family has to understand that working from home means exactly that - working. It doesn’t mean you are free and available because you happen to be at home, and they certainly can’t treat life as such
• Take a lunchtime break. Try and stick to the same routine as you might in an office. It’s often tempting to just scoff a quick sandwich at your desk and work all the way through, but you may as well take advantage of being at home by taking an hour for a sit-down lunch, watching some TV, doing some ironing, going for a stroll - whatever takes your fancy
• Don’t exclude yourself – Don’t remove yourself from office based email aliases or hunt groups. You may think you’d prefer to be spared the irritating “Please remember to clear out the fridge” or “Can XYZ please move their car” emails but when you do get to see your colleagues face to face, you may well find your reserves of small talk are quickly exhausted. Keep up with the office humdrum wherever you can - and remember, it works both ways too!
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Dirk Paessler .