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.
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.
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.
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.
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