While not all jobs can be done from home, advances in technology have made this more viable than ever before. Video conferencing, real-time shared document editing, and high-speed internet mean that collaboration is no longer confined to just the office.
When people utilise flexible working, they accomplish just as much as they would under more traditional practices, if not more.
If you want to get more of your employees working from home in 2018, then my below tips should help.
Work to remove any stigma surrounding working from home
Removing stigma to working from home is perhaps the most crucial part of establishing more flexible working practices. It is essential that your employees feel comfortable with the idea of working from home. They cannot feel as if they will be punished,
held back, or looked down upon for choosing to work from home. This can be done by giving direct encouragement to employees, or even leading by example if possible.
In turn this will help to dissolve any pre-conceptions that may be held that people who work from home aren’t contributing as much as their colleagues in an office. You can use software and collaboration platforms to enable workers to share an up-to-date
status of where they are with their projects and what they are working on.
All employees, no matter where they are based, need to be available. It is therefore crucial that employees keep shared calendars updated and clearly indicate when they would be available to receive a video call or attend a video conference.
Keep your employees properly equipped
It is important all your employees feel they have the right tools to do their jobs properly, whether in the office or at home. Your employees can only produce top quality work if they have all the equipment they need to be at their best, which includes peripherals
such as keyboards, speakerphones and headsets. For example, an accountant that deals with spreadsheets daily could benefit from a mouse with sideways scrolling and advanced tracking features, which would make navigating spreadsheets exceptionally easy.
Many of these peripherals are portable, and can be taken home to maximise productivity when you’re in a different location. It may also be critical to ensure employees have high speed internet connections, to increase productivity and maintain stability
during video conferences, with similar connectivity infrastructure that a company has. It will also be a benefit in their spare time too!
Make sure your home company allows you to access any of your network remotely. This can be as simple as getting your IT team to authorise access.
Of course, the financial service industry offers a broad spectrum of careers. For those traders who work in the investment bank it maybe that it is more difficult to work from home than peers in the accounting industry or asset management sector, because
you need access to different technologies or the Bloomberg computers. However, you can review internal policies by considering a rota, whereby employees are more frequently swapping jobs between time zones, rather than a specific market, for example.
Keep working from home professional
There are many ways of creating a professional environment within the home. First, it is important employees set up a dedicated office space. This includes a tidy desk and a comfortable chair. A divider can be a great way of separating the professional area
from the rest of the home, also acting as a good background for a video call. A high-quality webcam is essential for any work from home employee, so they can take part in video conferences when away from the office, whilst still maintaining professional standards. This
will help to ensure video calls are less frustrating – and that you are clearly seen and understood.
For employees who work remotely most of the time, it is still important that they visit the physical workspace on an occasional basis. While video calls help to build rapport better than other forms of digital interactions, it is important they spend quality
time in person with their colleagues. Whether you are rolling out flexible working policies for the first time, or you are considering making them looser – it’s important to note that it can be a continual learning process. Ensure that you are asking for constant
employee feedback so that workers don’t become frustrated by any new polices. This ensures we continue to share best practice and that your organisation maintains innovative polices that keep flexible working and employee wellbeing top of the agenda.