Working from home…again? Here’s some reminders and things to consider.

Here we are again..  During the past couple of years many companies have made a permanent move to employees being home-based, whilst others are working in a hybrid way.

There’s no doubt that WFH can be productive and beneficial. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on working from home, some people love it, they enjoy the flexibility and have really found their rhythm without the distraction of colleagues. Whilst some find the buzz of the office a more motivating environment, experience trouble setting boundaries at home and find the whole thing a strain on their wellbeing. Where do you sit?

So, how can you stay focused when, if you’re like me, you find yourself working from your dining room table? If you have the added responsibility of people management, then it gets even more complex. We’ve compiled some tips and things to consider…

Keep your schedule. 
Whilst WFH might have the advantage of an extra half hour in bed, lots of people work in a team environment and by randomly changing your start and finish time it makes it difficult for others to plan in meetings and calls.  Hold yourself accountable, keep your on-line diary updated, plan in team regular team comms and set your teams one to ones now for the next 6 months.  Let people know if they can just hop online with you to chat, and equally the “do not disturb” function can be very useful! Communicate with your team if you are changing times in your working day. 

I’ve been delivering an on-line workshop and have had a very persistent delivery person, constantly hitting our seemingly very loud doorbell! (sorry again, if you were on-line with me!). Whilst I believe that seeing into others “real” lives has encouraged the human side of business relationships, and I do love virtually meeting my client’s pets, either planned or unplanned! It can also form a distraction, do you need a sign to stop family members coming in to ask you an oh so important question during a call?

Without the visual cues of others taking breaks, getting their lunch and packing up for the day
, there’s a danger that you or your team may not take their breaks or even finish work anywhere near on time.  Additionally, In the office you might wander to get a drink and stop for a chat.  Time spent away from your desk is important,  you might decide whilst WFH a short walk with the dog is the way to spend your break, it’s up to you, but please do factor it in.  Simple check in’s and seeing who is still on-line after normal working hours can prompt important conversations.

If you struggle to turn off after work time, especially if your home office is not a room with a  door you can close at the end of the work day, can you turn off your email notifications or simply pack everything away for the night?  There is a link here to behavioural profiling and how specific behavioural types have anxiety or guilt at not being perceived as working as hard from  home.  I can tell you that all the studies coming out state the opposite is true, and in fact people are working longer hours. This is why we need to focus on Wellbeing and give clear permission to turn off after normal working times.  Do you know who is at risk of this in your team and how to start that conversation?

If any of this rings true as business owners and team managers, I am running the following half day workshops, they can also serve as excellent teambuilding sessions to really get everyone involved and start 2022 the right way, with everyone on the same page.

  • Developing effective hybrid working policy and practices
  • Remote management skills for people managers
  • Developing your EVP – attracting talent in a difficult marketplace
  • Creating awareness of Wellbeing activities in your team
  • Behavioural profiling and working from home style

Rachel Hough, Director of Operations

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