Top tips for National Work from Home Day (UK)

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Bdaily, Andy Nolan (anolan@lifesize.com), May 20, 2016

 

Top tips for National Work from Home Day

Some businesses have seamlessly slotted flexible working initiatives into the workplace in the two years since the flexible working legislation came into action in the UK, but many are still reluctant.

Organisations are under pressure to provide benefits that appeal to a range of workers and help improve work/life balance. Offering flexible working arrangements is a great way to do this and results in happier, and ultimately more productive employees.

Flexible working goes a long way to keep staff engaged and boost productivity but, the cultural, rather than technology, change is often what holds businesses back. To address the misconception that working from home is less productive than office based work, companies should foster a culture where people are valued for the work and outcomes they produce, rather than the amount of time they spend at their desk in the office.

For those dubious about the effectiveness of an agile workforce National Work from Home Day can be a great opportunity to test the waters. Here are some top tips to ensure flexible working is a success:

1.      Create a working environment – however tempting it is to work in pyjamas, employees must designate an area of the home that is a work area – no distractions allowed. By emulating the office environment at home employees will be more productive. Constant distractions and the feeling that you’re not really at work will have a detrimental impact on productivity

2.      Stay connected – working from home can be quite isolating, so it is important not to let “out of sight, out of mind” become an excuse. Check in frequently with your team and stay connected with colleagues in the office using instant messaging and video conferencing solutions

3.      Take regular breaks – to counter the ‘slacking off’ assumptions that may exist around flexible working, employees feel the need to be visible at all times, however, just as you would at the office, it is important to take physical and mental breaks from work to keep productivity levels up

4.      Check the tech – it is fundamental that a sufficient Internet connection is established before committing to working from home. High-speed Internet makes communication easier than ever, the workplace has suddenly become an idea more than a physical location. If organisations adopt cloud-based video technology, there is no reason that an at-home worker can’t have the same productive, face-to-face experience, as if they were in the office

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