Apr 14, 2017

5 Best Practices to Working From Home

5 Best Practices to Working From Home



The option to work from home has become increasingly common these days. A wealth of studies, research and surveys have been conducted to discover the benefits of offering such flexibility to your employees. It has been found that working from home would make employees happier as it lowers stress and boosts morale, that it drives employee efficiency and increase productivity rate.

However, did you know that if this option is not managed properly, it could backfire and cause the employees to feel more isolated, discontented or less valued? (Read “Studies Revealed Working From Home Isn’t As Good As You Think”). More importantly, any mismanagement of the work from home option will cause collateral damages to the company. Hence, well-defined expectations and guidelines are important to ensure working from home is a positive experience for all parties.


Best practices HR can take to manage employees who work from home:


1. Set Clear Expectations


The first step is to identify and hire talents who are self-starters and possess the will to work diligently even if given the work from home option. Expectations should be communicated clearly to these employees including job responsibilities, guidelines and key performance goals. Include important information such as what strategies to take in the event that a disruption occurs (Internet connectivity issue, problem backing up files etc.) during work hours.

2. Communicate Frequently


Employees who work from home are more often alone and do not receive the human contact and support from colleagues as much as they require. Communication is the best way to ensure that your employees won’t be at risk of fatigue or feel left out. As they continue to work remotely, it is crucial to communicate with them regularly. Consider setting up weekly or at least monthly video conferencing to increase interaction and to build a close, supportive relationship with them despite the distance.

3. Include Everyone In Corporate Activities


Corporate events such as teambuilding activities or company trips bring people together and promote teamwork. Employees who work from home should never be excluded in such corporate events as such events would foster better teamwork between them and the ones stationed in the office. In the event that the employees are physically unable to attend the event, you can utilise online communication tools, organise games or trivia quizzes online or even allow employees to attend the event virtually using live video streaming.

4. Make Use Of Technology


Technology has changed our way of life including the way we work. However, in order to allow your employees to work from home in an efficient manner, there are some basic tools in which you need to acquire. Ensure that your employee is allocated with a computer or a smartphone, an access to a reliable Internet connection back home, a secure remote access to the company’s internal network and databases and easy access to work emails or corporate messaging systems on their computers and smartphones.

5. Trust Them


Employees who prefer to work from home enjoys the flexibility that comes with it and tend to be independent. Most importantly, they appreciate being trusted to work independently and would respond poorly to managers who are micromanaging them all the time. Neuroscientific studies have shown that when people feel trusted they produce more oxytocin in their brain. Generally, oxytocin is a type of hormone popularly known as the bonding chemical. Hence, the more oxytocin they produce the more trustworthy they would become.

As more and more employees crave for a work-life balance and demand flexible arrangements in the workplace, working from home is no longer an option that companies can simply ignore. Managing work from home may be challenging but technology has made it easier and more efficient in many ways. It really depends on whether companies want to embrace this option and learn to steer it well. What better way to do so than to start implementing some of these simple but efficient practices to overcome the challenges and boost a satisfying remote working experience?

Source:
Image - Forbes

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