It didn’t seem that long ago that the idea of working from home would have been laughed at. If you were working, then you would need to be wherever that work was. Of course, there are plenty of jobs out there that you still need to be on the working premises in order to get the job done. But there are also plenty of jobs that you don’t need to be.
With more and more advancements being made in modern technology, it has become much easier for people to be able to connect to the software and systems that they need for their work. No matter where they are.
As a business, you are likely to think that being able to work from home is enough of a perk for your employees, but there are actually ways that you can make it a viable option for them to consider.
Make it easy to connect with your business whilst they are at home
In order to be able to work whilst they are away from the office, your employees are going to need to be able to connect to the same systems and software that they would use in the office. This means that you need to provide them with a way to connect to your company network remotely.
The most common things that they are going to need to have access to include intranet, email as well as software and systems that they can then use in order to complete tasks that are assigned to them.
It is important that this remote connection is stable and that it is going to be fit for purpose. Else your employees are going to be frustrated that they cannot connect and this could have an impact on their work too.
Be flexible in your approach
One of the biggest reasons that employees ask to work from home is because it offers them the flexibility to work alongside their other commitments, such as their families. This means that one of the most important things to do is to be as flexible as you can with your approach. Of course, you are going to want to make sure that anyone who is working from home is still doing what they can for your business, but you are going to need to be aware of the other obligations that they are going to have. This could be picking their kids up from their school, or perhaps attending any appointments that they have.
The thing that those employees would need to understand is that they would need to catch up on the time that they have missed. Chances are that this would be later on in the day or perhaps even in the evening if need be.
Offer ways for them to communicate with their colleagues
Another important thing to consider when it comes to working from home is that your employees are going to need methods to communicate with one another. Just because they are not in the same building, they are still going to need to come together and collaborate in order to complete the tasks and get projects out the door as a team.
It can be really hard to communicate with other staff members when you are someone who works from home, especially since you cannot just walk across the office and catch up. This means that if you want to make sure that those who remote work are still treated as a part of the team, then you are going to need to think of alternative methods of communicating. One great method is an employee engagement platform. This will not only allow employees to interact with one another in real-time no matter where they are working, but it will also help those who work remotely to be able to access everything that they need to do their jobs whether it’s shared files and policies or ongoing developments.
Monitor productivity and reward it as much as you can
When a staff member works from home you are going to want to know that they are still doing as much as they can with their time. This means that you are going to want to monitor their productivity the best that you can.
A simple phone call will help to catch up on what tasks they have completed during the day. However, this isn’t always possible. You could also ask for an update on their to-do list or, if you have a shared folder, inbox or document that you work from, you could use that to monitor their performance as well.
One of the hardest things to do when it comes to allowing your employees to work from home is to trust them. By our very nature, we are going to think that our staff members are not doing what they say they are doing.
When you allow an employee to work from home, you are going to need to trust in them that they are doing the exact amount of work that they say that they are. Of course, as we have already covered, there are ways that you can monitor this work level and of course, you can reward those people who are showing that they are productive. But you really need to just have some trust in your employees and that they are being 100% honest with you.
Of course, the multitude of benefits to working from home are going to be for your employee. However, that doesn’t mean that as an employer you can’t benefit either. You just need to get things right, think about it carefully and make sure that you do what you can to make working from home a viable option for your employees.