With more and more UK businesses telling staff to work from home in an attempt to reduce the impact of the coronavirus, what could these changes have on their operations and society as a whole?
The benefits of home working are well documented, staff have the autonomy to manage their own time and juggle commitments, which enhances wellbeing and productivity and in turn reduces negative working practices such as presenteeism.
From a wider perspective, the impact on environmental sustainability and green targets are also benefits to consider.
Here are some tops tips for your organisation to make the most of your distributed capabilities whilst promoting a positive working culture today:
- Consider your wording in communications – ‘Remote working’ can insinuate these staff are non-essential or that there is a negative connotation to the practice, it can also make colleagues seem unreachable and disconnected; try distributed, distance or home working.
- Look at your processes – What internal processes do you need to alter? Think about processes which need to be moved/documented online that perhaps are not currently. Styles of working may also need to be amended, i.e. staff that use office telephony may need to be reimbursed if using personal phones or revert to communication via email or online instead.
- Communicate effectively – Office decisions are often ‘in the moment’, document everything from discussions to action plans, to ensure staff can understand the actions required, the why of decisions and the thought processes used – Keep everyone in the loop and on the same page.
- Find the right tools – Test collaborative tools that your organisation can use to stay connected. Videoconferencing, online messaging, cloud storage and project tracking are some of the many programmes you can use to make sure your business continues to succeed outside of the office environment.
- Give assistance to allow for effective working & a better environment – Providing the physical capability to work away from the office such as equipment (laptops/phones) and/or support for those using their own hardware (IT/Access/Secure software support) is key business continuity planning. You could consider paying a stipend or loan (to be gradually repaid) for long-term distance workers to give them the flexibility to create a productive/personalised working setup.
- Set the tone from the top – Ensure staff know that in working after from the office their prospects will not be harmed/impacted – If senior management in the organisation are on board, this promotes a more positive culture. Similarly, leaders breeding trust is important, you wouldn’t hire people you can’t trust to do their job, so you should assume they will put in as much effort as normal regardless of working location.
It’s important to remember that, in this ever-changing world, organisations need to continue to evolve or will be succeeded by those that are embracing change and finding new and innovative ways of working – if a distributed workforce wasn’t part of your office culture before, adapting and adopting one going forward could enhance and future proof your business.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein.
We are interested in continuing this conversation with you so please feel free to contact us to discuss what we doing within the Financial Wellbeing space and how it can benefit you and your organisation.
Email us: [email protected], visit our website morrinsonwellbeing.co.uk or give us a call on 020 7516 5773