Tone deaf ministers and government when it comes to working from home!
Are you kidding me! What have the millions of home workers been doing for the past 18 Months? Sitting on their Peletons, having coffee meetings, being ladies who lunch, going to the pub with the lads! Really….. in my experience, having had 500 amazing people working from home for more than a year showed me several things:
People are more often on time for work
Sickness levels reduce dramatically especially in the peak sickness early winter months
On balance most staff are happier with their blend of work and home.
More family time
Less cost to travel
Better fitness regime
but and there are some big buts:
1. Sadly some people cheat. Yes that’s a strong word but there are a few rotten apples. Make sure there is some monitoring in place and make it clear that cheating is gross misconduct and a sackable offence. Balance that with tons of support and help.
2. For some, their home environment is not conducive to work. They share space, dont have a desk etc. Poor internet connections. Talk to your teams, see what the business can do to help.
3. Loneliness is a real mental challenge for some. Keep lines of communication open, have team calls, fun things to do etc.Train mental health first aiders to be a listening ear. Link with external organisations set up to help.
4. Some meetings and work activities are better face to face! We are social beings, we like social interaction. Collaboration is hard on video conferences. Mix it up!
Ignore the blokes bleating in about returning offices in my view they are mostly 1980’s dinosaurs.