Home working challenges

It was reported this month that an employee gave up a rewarding job with a salary of £80,500 after being forced to return to the office full-time. The company had been operating on a hybrid working model consisting of three days working from home and two days in the office – a balance described as ‘perfect’.

The business imposed an office-return mandate, and the employee resigned, stating that she would accept a lower salary elsewhere if it meant she could maintain a strong work/life balance through hybrid working. LinkedIn recently reported that more than a third of UK workers would quit their job if their employer demanded they return to the office full-time.

Home working has many benefits for both the employer and employee, yet it also has its challenges. If the challenges are not managed or managed correctly, they can impact on how the employee performs in their role.

Some of these challenges can impact performance such as:

  • Technical or equipment issues.
  • Unintentional reduced supervision and direction.
  • Communication can become more ambiguous and unclear as the use of email, online platforms and text messaging becomes the norm.
  • Creativity and idea sharing can become restricted as the debate, discussion and idea sharing gained from face to face, and spontaneous interactions are harder to conduct or even may no longer take place.
  • Blurred lines result, between work and personal life which can affect an employee’s wellbeing.

Whilst working from home has advantages for giving greater flexibility for balancing home and work life, having a structured day provides that clarity around when an employee should be working and when they can spend time with their family or doing personal things. Without structure it can be easy for the day to slide with not all tasks having been completed. A structure also helps to ensure that long hours are prevented as the employee is aware of having completed a day’s work.

Home working is not always suitable –  some roles and tasks are better face to face, such as those that require creativity, brainstorming or problem solving. Whilst working from home provides many benefits, spontaneous conversations and discussions that take place within the workplace cannot be replicated. It is vital that to continue to communicate clearly defined performance measures and to ensure that the company’s culture and team interaction is maintained when home or hybrid working models are followed.

If you would like more information about this subject please contact us at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk

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