As we all start to ease back into the office, a question you may have already been asked by some of your existing staff members and indeed starting to have the conversations with your management team is - are we going to give staff the option of working from home a few days a week?
Where do you start setting out a fair criteria that enhances not damages the business, keeps your staff and your customers happy whilst co-ordinating teams and keeping morale high when people aren’t consistently in the same office at the same time? Quite a challenge!
Here are a few tips and some criteria to think about which will help you build a plan of action that you should be able to use going forwards.
1. Do they have the skills?
Do they have the ability to achieve key outputs targets, such as sales calls targets, proposals out, projects completed.
Have they just joined the business and need training, or have they been in the business for a while and are equipped with all the necessary skills to be able to work on certain days from home? If they are not meeting their targets, identify why and then a strategy should be created to teach those skills in the oworkplace environment where they can be asisted and mentored by Managers and peers. This can be reviewed on an agreed timescale.
You can assess them by: are they achieving the numbers on outputs & inputs?
2. Do they have the tools?
Do they have a quiet and uninterrupted work space, are they contactable all the time and do they have all tools for the job? E.g fast enough wifi, suitable computer. Are customers aware when speaking to them via zoom etc that they are working from home. If so does it look professional?
You can assess them by: being always visible / able to take transfers and answering calls. You could ask for feedback from customers regarding their experience when dealing with staff.
Tip: If space is an issue while they work from home, they can use a fake backdrop to hide clutter.
3. Are they mentally equipped?
This is a really important one. Do they have the self-motivation and mental agility to carry out all the tasks required? Working from home does seem more appealing to some staff in the summer months - working from a laptop in the garden. However, during the colder and darker months, could it have a negative effect on some of your staff’s mental health?
You can assess them by: Achieving targets and ability to bring complete projects, tasks, bring new customers on, account management etc.
Tip: Employee engagement surveys are also a very useful tool to gain feedback from staff.
4. Have they received all the training? Or do they require more training?
This ties in with tip number 1. Some training can be completed online, while other training (part of your on boarding process for example) is better face to face in the office. Only you will know what will work best with your organisation. Online training will have its advantages because you can train all your staff whether they are in the office or at home simultaneously.
You can assess this by: Training needs should be highlighted with their Manager and scheduled asap.
It’s clear that working from home will be woven into the fabric of the world of work going forwards. Many candidates we are currently speaking to will ask about WFH as one of their first questions when weighing up a new job opportunity. The days of commuting five days a week are behind us, unless of course you enjoy coming into the office all week (which many people do!)
The trend seems to be at present is people want to strike a balance between both and want to spend 2 or 3 days in the office and 2 or 3 days working from home. That way they are present for important meetings, check in with Managers and other members of staff whilst using the other 2 days to maybe start that bit earlier because they’re not commuting and work around errands at home.
By using the above tips it will help you form your company’s criteria to work from home, which needs to be fair to all members of staff, whilst making sure everyone is just as productive as they were before, and if possible more.
One method is to use an employee engagement survey - these can be invaluable in finding out the true feedback and feelings of you staff. If you’re not sure where to start with one - we’d be happy to have chat and see how we can help you with this, simply email us as firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or call us for a chat in the office - 0116 254 5411.