Working Differently from Home
Advance Workplace Associates initiative, The Advanced Workplace Institute (AWI), part of Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), has released a set of tools to help organisations manage dispersed workforces in response to advice from the UK government for employees to work from home.
The government of the United Kingdom has reported more than 1,500 coronavirus cases and 55 deaths from the disease.
Notwithstanding, the actual number of cases is estimated to be between 35,000 and 50,000, which makes it even more imperative for employers to follow the government's most recent advice for everyone to avoid unnecessary social contact and to work from home wherever possible.
Working from home can present many challenges and the following points may help employees, as well as their employers, adjust to their new working environment.
10 things to do differently
- Spend time socialising with colleagues when you’re apart – stay in touch with what’s going on in their lives to build cohesion and closeness.
- Make your activities visible to colleagues – they can’t see you physically, so make sure they know what you’re doing and if you need support.
- Jointly agree how to run virtual meetings and always use video to see how people are and how they react – we need more feedback when we are apart.
- Take responsibility for maintaining relationships – find out what colleagues need & share what you need – don’t leave it to chance.
- Overtly demonstrate you can be trusted by delivering on your promises – trustworthiness is more difficult to judge when you’re apart.
- Go out of your way to make information available to people – it’s harder to track information down when you’re working apart.
- Critically review your own communication style – without visual cues and careful listening, we overlook what helps or hinders others being their best.
- Make sure people know about your expertise – virtual teams have fewer opportunities to demonstrate/learn about each other’s knowledge and skills.
- Understand each other’s personalities and preferences – work on accommodating differences and not letting distance divide you.
- Offer emotional support and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Andrew Mawson, Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) founder, advises:
"There is a lot we take for granted when we're in the office. When we're working away, we need to consciously develop new leadership and workership practices.
"Once the ‘honeymoon period’ of home working is over, teams and leaders will need to develop new practices, acquire new skills and make new agreements with family and people they share their homes with in order to remain productive and focused during this challenging time. Organisations should see this time as an opportunity to upskill their workforces to be effective working away. The world of work is never going to be the same again."
AWI is running a FREE online session which will take place on 26 March 2020 at 4pm GMT. To register, visit: https://www.advanced-workplace.com/awa/services/advanced-workplace-institute/events/shifting-office-based-populations-to-home-working-effectively/.
To download AWI’s guide to ‘MANAGING THE AGILE WORKFORCE’, please visit: https://www.advanced-workplace.com/awa/services/advanced-workplace-institute/working-away/.