Before Banana bread and home-schooling, work from home was something, based on my experience, that self-employed people could do but wasn’t the norm by any stretch. Going into the office 9 – 5 for those in office-based roles was the accepted way of doing things. The Pandemic turned that on it’s head and when we couldn’t do that, like Humans are very good at doing, we adapted and discovered that actually, it could be done and that staff wouldn’t just sit at home and not perform.
Whilst some employers and employees have embraced working from home, now that we are back to ‘business as usual’, some employers are looking to return to previous arrangements but in many cases the cat is out of the bag now and employees want more flexibility and an opportunity to look at alternative ways of working to achieve the holy grail of a great work/life balance.
My view for what it’s worth, is that lazy people will be lazy people whether in the office or not or the phrase ‘look busy there’s the boss’ wouldn’t have been used so much in pre ‘Joe Wicks’ days. It makes sense therefore does it not that you measure the value of an employee on their output. After all, you can have a machine in a factory but it doesn’t deliver anything for the organisation be just ‘being there’. It has to be producing.
Working from home isn’t all sunshine and roses however. If you are going to foster a culture of collaboration and prevent social isolation you can’t just courier out a bunch of laptops and hope for the best. All the normal rules apply for the safety security and comfort of staff that they did before so you need to be mindful of that. The ‘watercooler chats’ need to be created in the digital space. Monitoring how much someone is working becomes more relevant as well to prevent burnout and work-related stress.
Making sure people have the skills to work fully remotely in a digital world is important as well as making sure that they work with the company’s personal data safely and that is, of course, where we come in…
I would love to know your thoughts, are you in the all at home, all at work or a bit of both camp? Get in touch and let me know!