People working from home are on the increase doing office type or roles involving travelling where the home is base.
- Homeworkers admit they have a better work life balance
- Homeworking is a good adjustments for disabled workers to carry on with thier role
- Some people work entirely from home and some only occasionally as there is a different degree of homeworking
- Employers will consider whether home working is suitable for their employees
Homeworking can present some different challenges for both employees and employers. For managers it includes finding different ways of managing their staff while they are not in the main place of work. For employees they may have to overcome things that might includes overcoming feelings of isolation and trying to manage the boundaries between home life and work.
What is homeworking?
Homeworking covers a number of arrangements?
- Some staff may work at home occasionally and would perfer to work in the office
- Some home workers might like to have 2 days in the office and 3 days at home or dealing customers
- Some home workers work entirely and they only go into the office occasionally for meetings.
A flexible form of working, that depending on the agreement can be used in conjunction with another method of working. Other arrangements include part time working, flexible working or working core hours.
Things an employer should consider:
There are some roles that are acceptable for home working and some that are not. Many employers benefit from cost savings. Other factors to take into consideration include:
- Face to face management
- Team working
- Equipment is it cost effective to install in the home
Homeworking for many is seen as an attractive option but it does not suit everyone. They must be able to cope with working on their own with very little supervision.
They need to be:
- Self motivated and disciplined
- Confident working on their own and without supervision
- To keep home life and work life separate
It can be difficult to manage homeworkers.
These are some areas that managers should consider:
- Training so all staff can have the same training so they can do the job effectively
- Communicating effectively
- Having an agreement of how you measure performance
- Trying to build up trust between the manager and the homeworker
A lack of trust can unfortunately be a huge barrier. It can be particularly challenging for those employers that prefer face to face communication. Managers should make employees aware what is expected of them and how they can share information.
Performance reviews should be consistent with office based employees. Regular face to face reviews will help make time to raise any concerns from either parties.
Health and safety
Employers have a duty of care to their employees. It is the responsibility of the employer to carry out a risk assessment checking lighting, temperature, ventilation, space, chair and the computer.
The employer is also responsible for supplying equipment but any flaws in the home must be rectified by the employee.