image 4 Ways to Make Working from Home A Success
Created by helen on 6/10/2020 4:26:53 PM

I doubt there is anyone in the UK who hasn’t been affected by COVID-19 in some shape or form. As week four of isolation begins, many people have been made redundant or furloughed, and for those of us lucky enough to retain our jobs, an unexpected ‘working from home’ revolution has taken place.

For the new working from home community, the past few weeks have seen a never-ending cascade of social media telling us what we should be doing to stay on top of our jobs; home-school our children; develop our creative streaks and get all those long-standing DIY jobs done.  Whilst it comes from a good place, this overload of information has probably caused more harm and anxiety than good.

When I step into a company in my role as HR Professional, one of the first tasks is usually to sift through the ‘noise’ and find out exactly what the challenges are from the boardroom to the shop floor. In the current climate, there are of course many challenges, but now the first few weeks of finding our ‘new norm’ are over, I would urge managers to consider focusing on these 4 tasks to maximise their employees productivity, start taking a long term view to their employees' wellbeing and ensure their teams come back even stronger than before.

1. Focus on output not input.

Working from home requires trust, and the challenge with being thrust into lockdown means it may well not have been in place before the lockdown occurred. Therefore this is an opportunity for managers to form new relationships and put new boundaries in place.

Ask employees for transparency about their workload and the challenges they’re facing. Reassure them they won’t be judged for sharing their struggles, we are ALL facing these difficult circumstances together. Have open and honest conversations about their capacity to find a work pattern and schedule that works for them and their family, as well as the business.

Focus on output rather than input. They may not be able to work a standard 9-5 and by looking at the quality of work they deliver rather than the hours they have worked, you will take the first step towards a positive working from home culture.

2. Say more.

The impact of confinement along with a complete disruption of activity and normal routines has seen the removal of a vital social lifeline for many people.As a manager you have a moral and legal responsibility for the teams’ mental health and wellbeing and it’s more important than ever that you consciously find time to talk to them.

Schedule the team a time to chat, enjoy some banter, play a game or set a fun challenge. Also, check-in individually with team members, find out what is working and what is not, ask them what their personal challenges have been and ask what you can do to help.

If you are managing large remote teams why not consider splitting them into smaller ‘buddy groups’ to check in on each other regularly and feedback any concerns.

Brush up on your mental health awareness, what to look out for and what to do if you are worried about a colleague and share this information. There’s a lot of good advice on the Mind Website.

3. Health and Safety at home.

The first few weeks of lockdown are over, hopefully, all the immediate tech issues are resolved, and people are getting used to the new norm. Whilst the Health and Safety regulations for employees working from home for the short term, aren’t quite as stringent as office-based, they are still important. Now is the time to take a long-term view, the last thing you need when work returns to normal is a long line of employees struggling with back pain or other issues.

If you have a lot of employees, you might consider running an online health and safety session. At the very least you should be sharing advice for staff to read, making sure they have understood it and supporting them with any issues during your check-in.  

Most important is making sure workstations are well aligned for optimal posture. Good lighting, wrist supports, suitable desk area and cable safety are all important along with encouraging teams to regularly get up and move about to give their eyes and body a break!

It will be impossible for employers to provide the perfect workstation environment for every employee in these circumstances, but with a bit of creativity, employees should be able to find a solution that makes it safe for them. For more information read the article on HSE.

4. Learn More

As Albert Einstein famously said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity’, and there is no denying that this situation is a catalyst for change. We have accelerated forward to a way of working that the world envisaged happening in another 20 or 30 years’ time. The focus has to rapidly move from driving productivity to seeking out the potential of each employee to keep up with the change.

On an individual level, this is a chance for managers and employees to step out of their comfort zones and grow in ways they have never considered before.

Managers have the opportunity to develop new techniques to support their teams, more trust, new ways of working, better problem solving, improved communication and time management skills. If ever there is a time to cut through the unnecessary clutter and time-wasting in an office environment, this is it.

Team members may also have the opportunity to step up to the plate to skill share or support each other particularly if colleagues are off sick. What new skills can they learn to bring something new to the team or to fill a requirement? Managers could be bold enough to ask what team members would like to learn or improve on, sign them up for an online course or encourage skill sharing with their colleagues. The team that returns to work in 3 or 4 month’s time could be stronger and better skilled than ever before.

I hope these 4 suggestions help you cut through and prioritise some of the many demands that you are faced with at the moment, to enable you to think about how to make this experience more positive for your business and your teams.

I’m always happy to help, so do reach out and let me know about any challenges you are facing, HR or otherwise, in your business or how you are managing to see this as a chance for growth.

The comment feature is locked by administrator.
Sort by:

why our clients think we're great

"Morgen HR began working with us in 2008 on a weekly basis and has provided solutions to long outstanding problems. They are great to work with and have taken on all staff issues, ensuring that they are dealt with professionally and at the same time, freeing up the partners time."

More Testimonials