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Westpac Business: 5 Ways To Make Flexible WFH Arrangements Work For Everyone ”
The year is 2021 and the way we work has changed.
Even before the widespread quarantines essentially mandated a shift to working from home, people had been requesting flexible working arrangements. For parents, carers, commuters and many millennials, flexible working arrangements have been the key to maintaining positive work life balances.
Global studies show that companies that boast flexible working arrangements do better when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff. 54% of HR managers surveyed said that it helps attract potential employees to a company and 51% say it improves staff retention.
Many companies have adopted this new flexible approach, for example Adam Jacobs, co-founder of The Iconic, has implemented ‘work from home Wednesdays’ to help fight midweek monotony and inspire creative thinking. To hear from more experts who have made working from home work for them and their company, check out this article.
Whilst there are clear benefits to flexible working arrangements and, indeed, these arrangements have become both crucial and commonplace in 2020, what tends to suffer is productivity and communication.
Whether you’re an employee or you run your own business, follow these 5 tips to help find balance and create a flexible, working from home arrangement that works for everyone.
To help combat the productivity slump that comes with working from home, it’s important to set clear expectations. Make sure your employees have tasks and these tasks have reasonable due dates so your employees know how quickly you expect them to be working. When you’re working from home, there are of course going to be distractions and sometimes things don’t go to plan but, with clear expectations and outcomes, you will have a better chance of staying on track.
When people are uploading work from home they can miss out the kudos and camaraderie that would come from finishing a big project in the office atmosphere. Not getting the praise they deserve for good work can be demoralizing. Making sure everyones’ successes are celebrated is a simple way to make your staff feel valued and appreciated. Set aside time every week for coworkers to each brag about one of their colleagues who has done exceptional work on a project or whose positive attitude or help was invaluable to them throughout the week. As a manager you can also make sure you take time at the end of each week to thank your employees individually for all that they do so they feel noticed and appreciated.
When you’re working from home, the greater goal, your company’s goal can start to feel like an abstract concept. Having daily video conference meetings or check-ins can remind everyone that they are a part of a team and that their work is working towards a communal goal. There are so many great tools through which you can video conference with your team or co-workers.
While flexible working arrangements are great for reinforcing the importance of work-life balance, when you’re forced to work from home for long periods of time as we all have been during the 2020 COVID-19 quarantines, the line between work time and personal time can become hazy. Make sure you keep these boundaries clear by taking your full lunch hour. Step away from your computer, call a friend, go outside if you can – make sure you’re having a proper break in the middle of your work day so you can come back to work refreshed, relaxed and ready for the afternoon.
One of the reasons you get so much work done in the office is the fact that the office space is optimally designed for productivity. Your home space is designed for relaxation, interaction and is host to a myriad of non-work related distractions. The reality is that most of us don’t have the luxury of a home office and working from home most likely means you’re hijacking a kitchen table, corner of your bedroom or even a coffee table to use as your workspace. Do what you can to make this space your own, make sure it is clean, comfortable and engaging. Consider a candle or a plant to keep the space feeling fresh. If you’re working from home for long periods of time, you’ll want to keep your space consistent, use the same space every day and clear it at the end of each work day to mark in your mind that you are done with work and your home is your own again (check this out for some home office design hacks for inspo).
Westpac Business: 5 Ways To Make Flexible WFH Arrangements Work For Everyone