Maximising Opportunities, Minimising Risks: Home Working

Maximising Opportunities, Minimising Risks: Implementing Home Working in Your Business

Next up… flexible / home workingFlexible working really lacks throughout the Block Management sector, there are very few companies that offer it, yet it’s one of the main things candidates are looking for. In light of COVID-19, we now find ourselves in a position to test it out. You may also find that this could actually work for you long term.
So, if you’re one of the employers yet to try out home working but now have plans to get your employees to work from home, what’s the key to making it work? Here are our top tips…
Ensure your team are equipped with the tools and resources they’ll need
We all have software, cloud storage or server / hard drive systems and phone systems that we use on a daily basis at work. The first step to take when moving towards home working is to ensure these are accessible by your employees from home.
More and more companies have moved to cloud-based systems and/or work laptops. If you’re one of these – your job is easy as it’s likely your employees already have access to the systems you have from home simply by logging on online. If your systems aren’t cloud-based, it’ll be just as easy for you, you just need to look at whether these can be downloaded onto your employees’ laptops. You could put a process in place in-line with GDPR to ensure information isn’t being downloaded to personal laptops.
With regards to phone systems, look to see whether you can divert these to your employees’ work phones and set your expectations with who is responsible for picking up calls and how you plan to pass on messages to other colleagues.
Block out some time the day before you decide to roll out home working and go through how to access everything with your team to ensure when they’re working from home the following day, there are no issues with being able to access what they’ll need to be able to work effectively.
Set expectations, boundaries and measurable goals – tracking productivity
Some employers that haven’t implemented home working before may be nervous about whether their employees are actually going to get the work done. If this is you, if they’ve not given you a reason to not trust the fact they’ll get it done, then remain open to the possibility that this could work for you. During this process, it would be very useful if you went in with the mindset that it is going to work. You may also find that this reduces any anxiety and stress around the subject of home working for you, if you just allow yourself to be ok with it.
If you communicate your boundaries and expectations with your team, for example, you still expect them to start and finish work at the same time and to achieve what they would during a working week in the office, coupled with the mindset that this is going to work, then you’ll be absolutely fine.
You can set measurables and use task trackers, asking your employees to input the tasks they are going to complete each day and then check in to see that they’ve been ticked off. You may already have a system that you use, Asana is a really easy, effective free example of this. (  
If you have any morning meetings or catch-ups with your employees, these can still continue to happen. You can carry these out over Skype and still check in with your employees during the day. You can be upfront with your employees about wanting to check in with them throughout the day and schedule these. It’ll also provide your employees with scheduled times to ask any questions that they may have.
Lead your team to victory and success
As a Manager or Business owner, you’ll be used to employees turning to you to know how to act. If you are positive, encouraging and supportive about the home working structure, then your team will follow suit. Be mindful of the language you use and how you voice your views because this could influence your team.
As we’ve said before, remain open-minded and go in with the mindset that it’s going to be a successful trial run and is a really great opportunity to test whether home working is something that could work for the business long term. You may also find that whilst focusing on putting your employees’ minds at ease, you’ll be doing the same for yourself.
Bring curiosity and view it as a learning opportunity
Allow yourself to figure it out as you go. This is a great learning opportunity and you might just find yourself questioning why you’ve not implemented home working sooner. You could see your employees’ productivity levels increase, more efficient working with less office distractions, resulting in more satisfied clients and higher job satisfaction for your employees.
If you’re mindful that this is new to you and bring curiosity, you’ll be able to come up with solutions to anything that you may need to overcome during the process with ease. Be solutions-focused and you may find that you even enjoy the opportunity to improve your current processes and way of working.
Now’s your chance if you’re an employee!
We started this blog by acknowledging that very few companies currently offer home working yet it’s something so many candidates want. If you’re an employee, now is your chance to prove that home working is something that your employers will benefit from. Remain focused, stay present and achieve everything you’re capable of achieving in the office, from home. As an employer, you could communicate this to your team to increase drive and morale. Communicate the possibility that this could be rolled out on a more permanent basis if it’s a successful trial.
You may find yourselves outside of your comfort zone and they say this is where you learn most. Bring awareness to how well these new methods of working compare to what you’ve historically implemented and whether you’ve achieved better results.
Written by Zoe Southwell, Client Development Manager. 
Let us know how you get on, we’re interested to know the benefits you’ve seen from implementing home working!
If you’re after any more tips on how you’re able to continue to hire, please give us a call on 0203 900 0401.
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