Working from Home – is here to stay so how do we get it working for you?
For many of you this is the beginning of week 343 of working from home (or at least it feels like it), or as many of the social memes will have us believe the 50th March 2020! Due to the unprecedented spead of COVID-19 it very much is the new norm, complete with it’s very own acronym – WFH.
As it turns out, the flexibility of working from home may have actually become less attractive. You now have to work from home. Finding yourself in a completely isolated workspace where you can avoid any distractions will be harder than ever.
Many have transformed the dining table, converted the spare room and recognise the major step contributor on the smart watch is, to and from the fridge. Working remotely has gone from something done by a minority of people to a predicted 43% of the workforce* now at home, with that number growing by the day.
Traditionally businesses embraced their “change champions” to help an organisation culturally adjust to new work practices. Whilst this is still the case, there is no time for people to drag their feet this time. Things have already changed, quicker than any wholesale workplace transformation we have seen in our generation, and physically your colleagues aren’t there now to give you the unprompted support we have got used to working in the same space.
By current indications, it’s a trend that’s here to stay. New social distancing rules mean workplaces are likely to remain closed for at least the next few months – and possibly much longer. And when it does end, reports suggest 72%* of us would like our employers to standardise the offer of regular remote working.
With a significantly reduced commute and increased productivity, WFH has it’s perks. Even without the office distractions, remote working provides new barriers to overcome. The line between personal & work environments are now becoming even more blurred which means, you’re always at home or worse still, always at work!
Naturally, effective WFH activity will require some adjustments. A home office or work area might need to be improved or created and equipped with a computer, printer, scanner and broadband internet connection.
Issues such as securely connecting to resources like corporate CRM systems and data stores will also need to be ironed out. Communication tools, such as video and conference call services, will need to be selected and configured.
There’s also the human element to consider. It’s likely a period of transition will be needed so staff can get used to working alone rather than alongside their regular colleagues. People will also need to find replacements for work-related social activities like conversation by the water cooler or quick coffees in the kitchen.
Clearly, there are many elements that need to be combined to make a WFH strategy a success. Because the recent shift has happened so quickly, getting this combination right is going to take some time.
Think about how your organisation can make the most of this new WFH environment. Understand the potential challenges it creates as well as the benefits it can deliver. For more information about formulating a tangible successful WFH strategy, click here for our guide to ensure you and colleagues are on the right track.