It’s expected that by 2050 more than 50% of the workforce will work from home, or do a role that involves travel, where home is used as a base. But what’s the best way of making it work?
Firstly, there are different types of home working, some people will work entirely from home, others will use their home as a base, but be out on the road.
As an employer, you must be clear about what is expected of your workers. Will they be expected to attend regular meetings with the rest of the team and / or clients. Or, if you have staff who are based in different parts of the UK, you could have a regular catch up via web conference. These should be non-negotiable and unless a member of staff is on annual leave or ill, then it should be a priority. Try and schedule these so they are either at the start or end of the working day.
Will their time be split between the office / being out with clients and working from home? Be clear as to what is expected and get into the habit of knowing what days your staff will be where. The days they will be in and out the office should be pre-agreed. Try and share online calendars.
Home working doesn’t suit everyone and there are a few things to take into consideration before introducing it for your staff.
- Will equipment need to be installed, to enable your staff member to be able to carry out their job?
- Can your staff member work for long periods on their own without supervision?
- Are your staff self-disciplined and self-motivated?
- Are they able to separate work and home life?
Managing homeworkers can be more difficult than managing office-based staff, so try and build trust between you and your staff. Be clear about how performance will be supervised and measured.
Communicate with your staff, it’s important that you still carry out one to one sessions and provide training.
As an employer, you have a duty of care to make sure that health and safety legislation is met, and you must carry out a risk assessment to check whether the proposed work area’s ventilation, temperature, lighting, space and workstation is suitable.
You also have a responsibility to make sure that you have supplied the right equipment, but it is the employees responsibility to rectify any flaws highlighted by the assessment, once that’s been passed, it is the employees responsibility for keeping it that way.
Our blog is only a rough guide to home working, and if there’s anything you have doubts over, then please check with your HR department if you have one or visit the ACAS website.