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Working From Home | HR Hot Topic

6th March 2017 HR and H&S

Working from Home

Technology has never made it easier to work remotely and yet Yahoo has banned employees from working from home, so why is it that, although there has been an increase in employees working remotely from home that it is not the “norm”?

Flexible Working

Flexible working is not just about changing the hours and days that employees work the location is also a consideration.

Changes to legislation now mean that any employee with 26 weeks service can request to work flexibly. Serious consideration should be given to whether working from home would be an option for your business.

There are many benefits to having employees that work from home:

  • A larger pool of talent from which you can recruit;
  • Ability to provide your service to Clients in any location;
  • Improved work/life balance for employees;
  • Greater employee retention;
  • Fewer requirements for office space and other amenities;
  • Reduced sickness absence.

Considerations:

  • Managing performance and tackling poor performance;
  • Increased security of information risk;
  • Provision of costly equipment;
  • Difficulties implementing training and development;
  • Decreased employee engagement;
  • Employees should be insured to cover home working;
  • Communication;

Communication

Whilst you cannot forget the obvious benefits of digital communications, it has always been important to know and understand your staff and involve them in the Organisational strategies, for this communication is key but is it achievable in the same way via remote working?

Can you replace face to face communication? Body language is invaluable in terms of interpreting an employee’s engagement and understanding, reducing the potential of misunderstandings.

Trust

Trust is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when allowing employees to work from home. Employees and their managers should be clear on the expectations of the role. A homeworking policy will help to set out procedures and keep things running smoothly.

Health and Safety

Employers still have the same duty of care in terms of the health and safety of their home workers as they do for their office based staff.

HSE Research has shown that “companies employing home workers felt that addressing the health, safety and welfare of home workers contributes to a higher level of commitment and makes them feel valued. It also helps to ensure safe working practices and avoids the potential costs of interruptions to work output from ill-health or injury”.

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To find out what other organisations are doing, join our debate on Thursday 23rd March 2017 to discuss the pros and cons of working from home.

If you would like to discuss this or any HR related issues please contact a member of the team on 01206 262117 or email dkillick@svcgroup.co.uk.