Do you have people working from home already, or do people ask for this? Is it something you’ve thought about, but are worried about the potential implications? Are you unsure of how you can manage people if you can’t see them?
There are of course jobs that can’t be done from home, but there are many that could. If your employees work in front of a computer all day, is there any reason why they have to travel to an office every day, or could that work be carried out at home if they were provided with the correct equipment?
Of course you still require the work to be done, and it must be done on time. However you may be able to change the way people work without compromising your organisation’s service and quality. Enabling working from home can significantly improve people’s wellbeing and allow them some flexibility to manage their work and home commitments, whilst still delivering what you need from them. You may even find therefore, that with improved wellbeing and flexibility comes increased engagement and productivity. Manage any problems when and if they arise, rather than anticipate that they will automatically happen.
If you do allow home working, it’s important to plan how people will keep in touch with colleagues and the wider business. Perhaps you allow only some home working, with the remainder in the office, or ask for at least one day per week to be worked from the office, to ensure collaboration still takes place. It also helps avoid any feelings of isolation that home working may unintentionally foster.
Lastly, consider health and safety of any home workers. Ideally you should ensure their home workspace is set up in the same way as office workspaces and that they take regular breaks.