In the current global climate and with recent UK government guidelines, more and more organisations are allowing and needing their people to work from home.
Of course, depending on the role, many are unable to, but for those that can, there are both positives and negatives.
Generally speaking, employees working from home enjoy the fact that they can wave goodbye to their daily commute allowing for more free time and although some organisations advise that you dress for work to instil a continuation of routine, some employees take great delight from the fact that they can work in their sweats!
Productivity is a big consideration for any employer. However, employers could find that their employees can get a lot more done as there are fewer distractions from other work colleagues.
Brownie points can be won with your employees if they can work from home when they need to i.e. for childcare reasons, an important delivery or for contractors to get into their home for emergency works.
Also, implementing a work from home policy will widen not only your talent pool, let’s face it finding the right fit for a role is challenging at the best of times but at the same time will open up positions for potentially star candidates from a more diverse background.
Of course, depending on the type of work you are dealing with, there are the potholes of security. The regulations surrounding General Data Protection Regulation has meant that many organisations have had to tighten up their security measures with regards to data and how that is handled. So there needs to be consideration given as to whether there are enough measures in place when someone is working from home, or indeed remotely from a coffee shop say.
Do you trust your employees to actually get any work done whilst they are working away from the office? This is a big issue for many employers, but empowering your people, and showing that you trust them to carry their duties will help productivity.
And then there’s communication and interaction. Working remotely can be isolating and the most important channels of communication that of connectedness are lost. Keeping up ways of communicating is so important as many employees enjoy the social aspect of working life but miss out on this workplace socialisation.
It’s likely now, more than ever, that many organisations will be considering contingencies to keep their businesses running, such as working from home so rather than it being a trend, it’s going to be the norm.
The Survey Initiative has over 20 years experience in employee research, so if you would like to know more about employee engagement for in-house employees, or remote workers, or both, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (we are all working from home, so email is best right now!)