According to a recent research by ILM, more than half of workers feel trapped by the rigid structure of their workplace. A whopping 74% said that they wanted more freedom and flexibility, so it’s not really surprising that homeworking is a trend that many savvy employers are considering.

So Why Is Homeworking So Popular With Employees?  

Homeworking provisions vary between businesses, but the overarching principle is that you let your staff carry out their tasks from the comfort of their own space. They might do this once or twice a week, or it might be a more permanent solution. It’s an approach that’s likely to be welcomed by those with caring responsibilities, and let’s be honest here, probably everyone else, too. After all, no one enjoys doing the commute, or being stuck in an office all day long. And for many is an opportunity to get their heads down and get some proper work done without endless interruptions. 

But There Are Benefits For Employers Too...

There are many positive takeaways from offering your employees more flexible working conditions: being able to attract top talent, retaining the right people, and offering a total reward package that motivates and drives the business forward, particularly important if you have less cash to spend than some of the larger players.

But as a business owner, you’re likely to have a few concerns. Could it really work? Will you be able to get hold of them when you need them? Could it actually be a more effective way for staff to get the job done? Or will it provide employees with the temptation to sit watching daytime TV all day, or god forbid, look for another job and go for interviews?

There’s no denying that there’s a lot to consider, if you’re to get it right.... Here's some top tips on how to get started:

5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Flexible Working:

  1. Use clear guidelines and objectives: If not a company-wide policy, make sure all managers are well versed in what rules are okay and what are not.
  2. Take the first step and trial it: Do it for a set period of time, get feedback, evaluate and make changes as required.
  3. Support your people: Make sure managers know what they can and can’t allow/ promote and make sure all are comfortable in having conversations about this with their teams.
  4. Trust is key: We build trust by delivering on what we say we will do and by sharing. So share your expectations clearly, including about how often you will be in contact and what results you expect to see. Engaged employees will instinctively use their time efficiently so let them get on with the job. But communicate properly with them and use technology effectively to keep in touch and encourage team spirit rather than just to scare about monitoring ability.
  5. Measure productivity: Silence the critics by measuring output – don’t just focus on feedback about staff well-being.

Remember too that homeworking isn’t right for everyone. Some of your staff will crave face-to-face contact, and will be able to imagine nothing worse than just staring at the same four walls all day, with only their dog for conversation.

But it’s 2017 now, and a homeworking policy is definitely something worth looking at in order to attract and retain the best possible talent...

Introducing more flexibility into your business can be a difficult shift to manage. But get it right and it could work some real magic. Need help with planning your approach? Get in touch today for a free no-obligation consultation. Call us on 0203 627 7048 or drop us a line at hello@thehrhub.co.uk

image: Canva

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