Do you wish you could work from home?

It clearly has some advantages but it can also be an isolating experience. Often, home workers will miss office banter, team camaraderie and feeling in the thick of everything and this will negatively affect their engagement and performance.

It is notoriously hard for managers to spot the signs of a worker who is struggling with the arrangement or whose engagement is plummeting. So, here are some things you can do to make sure your home workers are motivated and fully engrossed in their work:

Communicate effectively

You should frequently be in touch with the home worker – whether this is by email, daily calls or weekly video conferences – to see how they are progressing, if they are coping with the workload and if they can meet those all-important deadlines. Make sure they know what is expected of them and what needs to be achieved, without micro-managing their every move.

Get them into the office

It is important that, from time to time, they come into the office to touch base, attend meetings, participate in training, have appraisals and go to social events with their colleagues. This will make them feel connected to the workplace and a real part of the organisation.

Keep them in the loop

They may be at home, but make sure they are not ‘out of sight, out of mind’. It is important to get them involved in your team meetings so they know what is going on. If there are going to be changes, or perhaps someone is leaving or your team has made a ‘big win’, share it with them. This all helps keep them motivated and engaged.

Give them opportunities to talk

You will reap the rewards if you foster a good relationship with the worker and give them opportunities to speak. If they are finding the arrangement difficult or are struggling with certain aspects of their role, you can take steps to make things better.

Give them positive feedback

If they are doing a good job, let them know. This helps them know they are valued and keeps them striving to work hard and produce good results.

Stomp on a silo mentality

No matter how big or small your business is, you all work as one. You share the same goals and objectives, therefore if you have individuals who adopt a ‘silo’ mentality you need to remind them of what you are all trying to achieve and the direction that the business is heading. Encourage them to collaborate with their colleagues and to speak to them about their projects and how they can assist.

Think about their future

You should also think about whether there are any training or development opportunities for the home worker. This helps make them feel that you are taking their progression seriously and see them as part of the company’s future vision.

Provide them with the right tools

Make sure they have the right equipment at home to so they can perform their job smoothly and without frustrations.

Want to know more?

Find out more about home workers and what you need to consider, for example, Contracts of Employment, equipment, access to the worker’s home, confidentiality of information and health and safety.

If you need tailored advice about home working or other types of flexible working arrangements, contact your Employment Law Adviser who can give you all the guidance and support you need.

 

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