After navigating the “work from home” reality for more than a year now, you would think that employees would be chomping at the bit to return to the days of being together at the office, seeing colleagues, chatting at the water cooler, and listening to podcasts during their daily commute. Well, it turns out that isn’t actually the case.
While lots of people have been enjoying the benefits of a more flexible schedule, less commute time (which is translating to more family time) and finding new ways to connect virtually, working from home is by no means perfect. We are also seeing an increase in employee burnout, interpersonal conflicts, and examples of weakening corporate culture.
So, what is an organization to do? Here are 4 considerations to the current WFH dilemma.
WFH vs Work from Anywhere vs Hybrid
There are so many different permutations, computations, and ways to configure where your workforce works. Finding the right solution will be a mix of employer needs, industry needs and employee needs. The days of one size fits all are over and for small to medium sized organizations, you have the flexibility to create different scenarios, designed with the various needs of employees in mind. The trick in this case is to have a discussion with the employee and look for a balance between what you need and what they need to make it work.
Communication is key
That conversation you had with the employee about what would work for where they work? Keep having it! Overcommunicate your company position on where people work and what is expected from them and you will eliminate confusion. The more you communicate, the more people will understand what is available and how it works.
Not always going to get it right
Creating a hybrid schedule for an employee? Make sure any arrangement is temporary and be sure to build in a regular conversation to make sure that it is working for both of you! Decisions are made at a point in time, with the information we have available to us. The world is evolving at a very fast pace and there will be times when you will need to revisit decisions made and evaluate whether things are still working. If they are, great! If they aren’t, now is the time to learn from it and adjust.
Provide the tools
Working (or at least trying to!) at a dining room table with a laptop and a folding chair is not conducive to productivity. If you are going to have people working from home on a regular basis, provide them with the tools to do the job properly, just as you would if they were based in the office. Cloud based technology, a second monitor, a good chair – these all make a difference in our ability to do a good job. It is an easy fix and reaps big returns.
Your Engaged HR Assignment:
The work from home option is here to stay. Consider having regular conversations on how to make it effective and see the benefits in employee retention and engagement. Need help figuring this out? We are at your desks at home, ready to assist you!
Looking to learn more about other HR topics? Check out our Art of HR series!