Posted by: Emma Castillo

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6 top tips to enhance your productivity when home working

As we look back on our very first Wellness week at Oakleaf Partnership (and one month into our new flexible working policy - OPen working), I thought it timely to highlight the benefits of homeworking for employers as well as the responsibility of employees.

With increasing numbers of employees working at home or the local gym/coffee shop, there are a number of benefits for employers as well. Studies estimate that up to 4.2 million people work remotely at least part of the week.

  1. Improved employee motivation and retention– happy employees don’t quit! In addition, there are obvious improvements in health and well-being and a better work life balance. Employees who don’t have to commute all the time are less likely to come down with a cold or will work from home when feeling mildly under the weather.
  2. Increased productivity – This is largely due to fewer interruptions and less commuting time. One study has suggested that employees working from home are 13% more productive than when in the office. The time spent commuting can actually be used working, plus it cuts down on non-urgent meetings as well. A well-run homeworking policy can also save on office space if it goes hand in hand with hot desking.
  3. Agile working is great PR. It also helps attract the very best talent. Studies demonstrate that an agile working policy is just as important as comp in today’s workplace. Staff not having to be in the office five days a week means businesses can attract staff from a wider geographical area and even internationally.

Obviously, working from home suits some jobs better than others, so it’s important to get the balance right. Equally, working from home suits some personality types more than others. Some people may prefer colleague contact face to face.

Employees also have a responsibility when working from home and need to remember that home-based working deserves as much, if not more, attention than when in the office. Studies have also revealed that after a prolonged period of remote working, employees no longer viewed working from home as a privilege and therefore produced similar results to office-based staff.

Below are 3 tips to help companies manage remote workers.

Manage expectations

Implementing flexible working without actively managing the arrangement is a huge problem for many companies. Companies should set flexible working policies at the beginning of the employment contract and review practices regularly with employees to ensure mutual understanding and satisfaction, and to foster wider organisational support.

Communicate better

Many home workers may prefer to have less contact with colleagues, but this can be detrimental to team cohesion and professional development. It can also affect both company compliance and productivity. A communications strategy should be employed from the outset and followed to help bridge the gap between home and office and keep remote staff integral to the team.

Offer support

Better support for flexi workers can prevent ill will. Buy-in from all sides is essential for this. Establishing opportunities for employees to give feedback on working practices and suggest areas for improvement can give workers a sense of control over their roles. Oakleaf Partnership for example offers every employee the chance to own modern personal tech so they can work wherever and whenever they need to.

As flexible working increases, it is vital for employers to be better equipped to manage remote staff. If companies expect home workers to be more productive, or if workers expect greater levels of flexibility or support without reciprocation, either party – or both – could be left disappointed.

If you would like to find out more about Oakleaf’s OPen working policy, please read our latest article


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