Most of us love the idea of being able to have the ability to work from home. We all look forward to not having to commute and being able to stay in our trackies and ugg boots all day long.
I personally find when I am working for home that I am so much more productive than when I am in the office. Working from home really gives me time to focus without interruption to just get the job done without distractions.
At easyconsult and BRS, we encourage our team to work from home, between one to two days per week. We trust that our employees will also value this flexibility and that they too will improve their productivity. But to ensure consistency across your team and consistency within your business, we have needed to put some guidelines in place.
If you would like to allow your employees to have the ability to work from home, there are a few items you need to address:
- Ensure you have the right systems and technology in place to allow your employees to access your business online from any location
- Schedule your working week with your team. For example unless we are off site with a client, all of our team members are expected to be in the office on a Wednesday between the hours of 11am-2pm as this when we hold our team meetings, client management meetings and lunch and learn sessions etc.
- Ensure employees are clear on our expectations and that you have documented guidelines in place your team can refer to. Make sure you are clear on when it is acceptable for employees work from home and when it is not. For example, in our business working from home is not an acceptable baby-sitting option, nor is it acceptable if the employee is not well. I believe if you are not well enough to come into the office, then you should take the day to recuperate so that you are back on board the next day
- Provide clarity around what will be provided for them by the business when they work from home. For example, you may provide them with a laptop, but they need to provide their own Internet connection
- Ensure your team members are working in an environment that meets OH and S requirements
The most important tip I can give you around managing employees who work from home is to ensure you have a detailed working from home procedure in place. This needs to provide clarity around the process and your expectations, but above this it ensures you are taking a consistent approach across all of your employees.
There are always going to be some employees who will do the wrong thing in respect to working from home, and if you have a policy or procedure in place you have the ability to act on this accordingly. Don’t let the fear of ‘what if ‘ one person does the wrong thing detract from the advantages of allowing your high performing employees to work from home.
Don’t micromanage, trust your employees will do the right thing and focus on their outcomes and what they achieve. Employees want to be valued, empowered and trusted; you just need to put some guidance in place that sets the boundaries for them to do this.