Events over the last 6 months have forced businesses into having more staff working from home, but has it been beneficial to employees and employers and how will it look in the future?
Obviously, I don’t have a crystal ball, but the common answer at the moment seems to be; ‘I’m not sure’. There are some employees that like it and some that don’t. There are some that are more productive and there are some that are less. Some roles and job types translate easily into a home environment and others are impossible to do so. The response seems to be the same from many businesses. The reality is there’s not enough data available over a long enough period of time that will give us an clear idea of what will be the best working model moving forward, for both employees and employers.
What will certainly happen is that companies will look at and try various models of home working…probably with varying levels of success and will make judgements based on that.
One model of home working will not necessarily work for another, even if they are in the same industry. The best balance will surely be achieved if the people you have within your business are aiming for a common goal. The businesses that are best set up to make home working an advantage for them will be the ones that are able to create the best culture around delivering on the key outputs of the business, provide the best incentives, create a work life balance that is effective, provide effective upskilling and development and most importantly, are able to do this whilst increasing staff engagement as well as adding to the profitability of the business.
The last point mentioned is critical and cannot be overlooked, because if a working from home model is not effective for businesses, they simply won’t do it, or will do it begrudgingly. This puts the responsibility of successful home working on employers and employees alike.
In our next ‘is working from home here to stay’ article, we will look at what type of policies and tools can help to make home working effective for employers and employees.