2020 started with a crash course for all of us on Work-From-Home (WFH). We all now know the advantages: Productivity gains, savings on office space, better work-life balance etc.
WFH is growing-rapidly. Praises for it are all over the web. Big names such as Facebook, Twitter, Shopify and Walmart are promoting remote working.
So, it should be fantastic. Have you ever wondered why humankind missed such a hugely beneficial idea so far? The reason is simple. Like everything else in life, WFH has both advantages and disadvantages.
Challenges of WFH
Remote working can also be problematic in many ways.
- Staff training and performance management are complicated.
- It increases information security risks.
- Communication and collaboration with team members are more challenging.
Interestingly Yahoo, Bank of America, Aetna and IBM tried WFH before the pandemic struck. The experiment did not succeed. So, they decided to revert to working from the office. Low productivity was one of the reasons.
Amidst all the excitement around WFH, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, told us not to “over-celebrate” WFH. We got to appreciate why.
But, as the pandemic still on a rampage, WFH is the only option for many companies. So, you have to make it work.
Therefore, let us look at the critical components of an effective WFH system.
1. Develop a Policy
WFH is a significant shift from our normal style of working. The methods of planning, communicating, performing and supervising the work are different. Each employee has a different perception about it.
For everyone to understand how the new system works, you must develop a policy first. The
policy guidelines will inform the employees and supervisors on what is expected of them and what they should or should not do. It will protect the employees and the company.
2. Train Employees
Remote working implies that there is minimal supervision. So, productivity depends on employee skill and commitment. So, it is necessary to train and upskill employees.
3. Collaborative Work Systems
Companies can use collaborative tools and techniques to improve productivity. Kanban systems, project management tools like Trello and semi-formal communication platform such as Slack are good examples. You can access more details on the collaborative tools here.
Future Options Consulting offers HR management and policy development services. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.