The Reality of Working From Home
When you imagine working from home, does it look a little like your home? It probably does – after all it may be the only reference point you have.
But how much do you know about the living circumstances of your team? Home is now their place of work, sanctioned by you, and you have a duty of care to every employee to ensure they are coping as well as they can in the ‘new normal’.
If you ask them ‘Are you OK?’, the almost inevitable answer is yes. Equally, if you launch into the Spanish Inquisition, it’s only going to add to the stress for those people already struggling with Working From Home for the first time.
So here’s just a short (and far from exhaustive) list of things you need to consider:
If your employee lives alone:
· Was the contact they had with people at work the main human contact they usually had?
· Do they belong to a gym, go to the pub, belong to clubs and societies which is where they usually meet their friends?
· Even if they’re happy living alone, do they resent the fact that their home has now also become their workplace and there’s no ‘escape’?
If your employee lives with other people, possibly family but maybe not:
· Is their accommodation big enough to provide a separate space to work in?
· Are they living with people who are out of work or furloughed so always around, with time on their hands?
· Are they, or their partner, trying to home school their children?
· Do they have pets that are likely to participate in zoom calls?
· Was going to the office a respite from a busy home environment?
And considering their health:
· Does your employee have underlying health conditions?
· Are they fearful for their lives with the almost exclusively bad news about the virus?
· If they have a propensity towards mental health problems, is this crisis, and their inability to access alternative locations, likely to make the situation worse?
· Are you, as a business, expecting them to achieve the same results as they would have done in their office environment?
· Even if goals are reduced, if they can’t achieve them, are they fearful for their jobs and income?
· Are zoom calls horrendous for them because people can see their ‘private space’?
Employers can’t change the imperative to work from home. That will only be removed when we have the ‘all clear’ from Government but there are certain factors that could help employers understand if, and where, their people need help without having to rely on them ‘fessing up’.
But what are those factors? And how do you measure them without adding to the anxiety of people who aren’t coping?
As an assessment business, Great People Inside is used to creating assessments for the recruitment of new people and the development of existing employees and teams. Although the size of the challenge is unprecedented, the essential work of analysing and developing your WFH team hasn’t changed – it’s what we do, all day, every day.
And because we customise assessments for specific purposes, we’ve developed a series of new assessments, informed by extensive, independent research, over many years, into the characteristics required for people to successfully work from home.
These assessments are hugely relevant to the current global situation and will allow you not only to undertake a ‘health check’ on all of your people (not singling out those you think are struggling), but to respond to what it tells you. With our Partners, we can offer individualised online development, provided by subject experts, to help your people cope with a situation that is far from their ‘old normal’.
Our new assessments are:
The Remote Employee assessment helps you discover if your current employees have the skills needed to be productive and motivated when working remotely.
The Remote Manager assessment provides key information on the efficiency of managers leading a remote team, assesses their ability to manage different work styles and create vision, motivation and momentum in a remote team.
The Remote Team assessment provides important information regarding the efficiency of a team when working remotely. It shows the way members interact with one another and, at the same time, presents the optimal conditions in which that team can reach the highest level of productivity.
The VUCA Manager assessment identifies leadership potential in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environment. By measuring capacity and potential, it highlights an individual’s strengths and development gaps relative to the leadership needs of the organisation.
Is your team working remotely? Do you know that they’re coping OK with the isolation? Would you like to know?
Contact Great People Inside on [email protected] or call us on 01494 573572 and let us help you maximise the impact you have on your organisation AND your people.