With Work From Home Week upon us (15th – 21st January) and with 58% of employees on flexible working contracts in 2017*, working from home is certainly a trend on the rise.
There are a plethora of benefits for both employers and employees to working from home including a reduction in commuting time, decreased amount of sick days taken, increased productivity and a significant saving in office rent. However, the lack of supervision is a large drawback for employers offering working from home to its employees.
Consequently, we have collated advice from a range of experts who provide their top tips on how to make the most out of working from home to benefit both employers and employees.
1. Communication is key
Nigel Purse, Founder of The Oxford Group, believes communication is crucial to making working from home a success for your business. Before offering remote working to employees, clear communication methods need to be set. How often you will speak and if this will be expected to be via the phone or Skype need to be clearly indicated to all participating. Frequent communication will prevent duplication of tasks and avoid mistakes occurring from a lack of communication.
2. Establish clear objectives
Working from home can cause issues if task aims are not communicated effectively. Karen Meager and John McLachlan, co-founders of Monkey Puzzle Training, suggest that if an individual is not fully briefed on a task then mistakes are highly likely, which can be costly for a business as time and money is wasted. Also confusion can be demotivating for employees and can lead to them becoming easily distracted at home since they are not enjoying their work.
3. Prioritise a healthy work-life balance
A recent survey by London-based law firm Brookman Solicitors (www.brookman.co.uk) has interestingly unveiled that 63% of individuals surveyed planned to improve or change an aspect of their life in 2018, with many referring to improving their work-life balance. When working from home the boundaries between ‘home’ and ‘work’ can easily become blurred, so separate the two as best as you can. This could be achieved through having a set-apart office for work or working in coffee shops or libraries. This separation helps your mind realise it is time to work and creates a more productive environment which can boost your concentration.
4. Stay motivated
Often working from home can cause loneliness and lead to demotivation, impacting negatively on productivity. The lack of human interaction can make an employee feel disconnected from the business. Susanne Jacobs, author of Drivers suggests the best way to combat this and stay motivated is through focusing on your sense of purpose. Remember your strengths and break down a goal into achievable smaller tasks to help retain your sense of purpose and productivity.
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