Employers are still struggling with Working From Home. Why?
Yes, of course some employers have a business that demands that people are present, providing front line services. You can’t serve customers in a shop without being there – OK maybe you can – but this blog isn’t about that level of technology.
It’s about the basics and getting them right – most people can be enabled to work from home (or anywhere) effectively.
So why are employers still saying they are struggling? Why are some employers demanding their staff are present in an office some or all indeed of the time? And what about those employers who aren’t getting the productivity output they previously got from office based working?
The answer is two-fold – people and technology. One is about trust, the other is investment.
Trust Your People
People want to do a good job. It’s inherent within most humans to try hard do our best. So why are so many employers afraid to trust their people? Providing good role models for good working practices, showing fairness, rewarding the best behaviour and output, and making allowances for personal circumstances is all good leadership.
- Set the right policies to enable the best behaviours – set the boundaries and keep guidelines clear
- Allow managers to manage and teams to police themselves – everyone has a different working style
- Call out behaviour and actions that fall short of expectations – surface the best people as role models
- Show kindness and compassion for personal circumstances – enable employees to contribute
- Keep technology simple, flexible and secure – don’t let Digital and Technology over complicate things
It’s really important to check-in your team, not just for the day to day operational aspects. But having a meaningful conversation about how they are. What issues are they experiencing? How are their team and colleagues doing? Listen to them…
Remember people work differently. Single parents need to work flexibly, young people working from a bedroom, people on their own with no daily real-life human interactions. We are all different, complex, yet our needs are simple – if the type of work allows for this, let it go. In short trust your people to do the right thing,
Invest In The Technology
Digital and Technology has really had to step up during enforced working from home. It’s been far from perfect for many, but with a mindset of people needing to be able to work from anywhere rather than a fixed desk in the office, it becomes clearer.
Many business are often still hampered by thinking they will need an office – this also goes for many digital and technology functions. Investments have been geared around a fixed place for decades – often restricted by data connections and resilient power suppliers.
Investment in technology that is geographically fixed is finished. Investment is personal devices that are tied to desks is over. If anyone is still investing like this – stop it.
- The cloud is your friend – get away from thinking we need a private data centre – you don’t!
- All devices need to be WiFi enabled and secured at the device – invest in better WiFi infrastructure
- Bring Your Own Device – secure things with at little impact on the device as possible (it also means when you provide corporate devices it’s even simpler)
- Invest in remote asset monitoring and management – providing regular reviews and audits
What about all those investments that are tied to offices? Fixed lines? Telephony? On premise data centres? Desktops? They are dead investments – if you’re not already moving away from them, you need to start now.
When people do return to the office, they won’t be working like they did when they left – and you don’t want them too either.