How to make homeworking easier for you and your team

Having home working as a flexible option can deliver great options for both employer and employee but do ensure you have planned carefully on how to implement this and so to arrange a free consultation with one of our HR experts on Home Working please contact us on 0844 8797286. Here is a round up of questions we get asked around homeworking. 

I want to keep home working in place for some / all my team - what steps do I have to take to make this a permanent arrangement?

As many businesses implemented Home Working as a temporary measure to follow the Government guidelines of home working where this is possible, the arrangements made will have been with a view to this being short term. There are a few considerations to make before making this a permanent arrangements.

1. Home Working Policy

Ensure you have a clear policy that outlines homeworking where this may be fully home working or where this is a more flexible arrangement. A policy will outline considerations such as:

- How to request home working for those who may want this option in the future.

- What equipment and connectivity are needed and who will source these and maintain these.

- What are the Health & Safety requirements that must be in place.Insurance and financial considerations to set out who is responsible for what.

- Data protection and security requirements.

- Hours of work and any flexibility.

- Managing annual and sick leave

- Handling expenses.

2. Contract Amendments 

There may be a need to vary the Contract of Employment to amend the place of work to being the employees home.

3. Health & Safety Assessment

You will need to conduct a Risk Assessment of the Employees working space at home to ensure this meets Health & Safety requirements.

4. Provision of suitable work space

You will want to consider how effective your employees will be if they do not have room for a dedicated work space. For example, working from a kitchen / dining table may be a short term fix but this is not an ideal long term arrangement.

5. Communication Plan

How are you going to interact with home based workers on a more permanent basis to ensure they do not feel isolated or lose the culture created whilst working in the business premises?

6. Performance Management

How are you going to make clear the expectations when working at home in terms of either quality or volume of work? Do you have clear targets or performance indicators which allow you to manage remote workers easily?

How do I keep in sufficient contact with employees when they are continuing working from home?

A key factor in having a motivated and engaged team is that as a business you are able to create a culture that reflects your values and all interaction with your team hold these values in mind. Homeworking is a great flexible perk to offer employees but if they feel out of the loop you will lose engagement and motivation quickly.

You will need to make a more conscious effort to communicate when messages may have been picked up by just being in a collaborative space so perhaps consider

- How you communicate more formal messages?

- How you get your teams together whether remotely or in person?

- How you replace the chit chat – perhaps use of WhatsApp or Teams for more instant messages so your teams don’t lose the ‘banter’ that can keep the workplace fun.

- How can you share success and celebrate the good news?How will you manage performance, perhaps more regular but shorter 121 type meetings?

We would advise that you think carefully and creatively about the ways you can maintain that contact to maintain your culture and keep a motivated work at home force.

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Dragonfly Grounds Care Ltd

You are all doing a fantastic job guys and I just want to let you all know we would be in a real panic had it not been for the support and advice you have given us so far. I really don't know if we would have been in business at the end of this. But with your exceptional effort I feel much more confident that we can ride this storm and come out the other end. The decision we made as a business to procure your services has paid massive dividends.

Thank you from all at Dragonfly.

Dragonfly Grounds Care Ltd

Northern Accountants

Sarah and the team at Quest have provided us HR support since January 2013.

Quest Consulting Services provided us with a comprehensive employment structure with contacts and a handbook and have been on hand to help me deal with the occasional issue I have faced with team members through their telephone support service.

As our personal Consultant, Sarah provides a quality, professional and complete service which is great value for money.

Northern Accountants

Off Limits Corporate Events

Sarah has transformed our HR and has introduced systems that have taken lots of hassle away from staffing issues within our company.

We have worked with Sarah and her team for 5 years and in this time our business has grown considerably. With telephone support available for all our Managers as they need it plus Sarah and her team proactively keeping us updated on changes in legislation we are reassured that we are in safe hands.

The HR software that Quest implemented also helps us keep on top of the routine aspects of HR such as holiday bookings, recording absence, holding personnel records which then allows Sarah and her team easy access to give us relevant advice.

Our Managers have also benefited from workshops run by Sarah to help develop their skills on handling issues such as disciplinary, appraisals, recruitment etc….

The support of Quest is invaluable and provides a much more cost effective solution than employing a HR Manager in house.

Off Limits Corporate Events

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