We are certainly in some difficult times and working from home has become the new norm and it looks set for some time.
But is your business actually ready?
Employees are are feeling very overwhelmed by the current situation and worry about the future. And why wouldn’t you be? Small businesses are struggling to stay alive with fears that unemployment could soar as high as 20% in coming weeks.
Additionally, most employees are not used to working from home and adjusting to a new routine. Together these can cause stress.
What are the rules? What are some of the expectations as an employee, and by an employer?
Here’s a few common questions to help you navigate working from home and what you should know.
What are the biggest challenges faced by employees working from home?
Emerging mental health problems and managers capacity and experience to deal with them
- 80% of mental health issues at work due to work or a combination of work and other
- 43% of employees not comfortable discussing issues
- 34% of managers find it difficult to identify issues
- 30% of managers don’t know what to do
What about health and safety?
The health and safety of employees must also be assured when they are working are outside of the office.
- Employers have an obligation to make sure an Employee’s home office environment is safe
- Work with your staff to ensure they have an area at home where they can complete their work safely and if possible, provide support such as a Laptop, PC as well as furniture to support a safe working environment
What do businesses need to do?
In addition to having strong policies and procedures in place, you should:
- Role model behaviours for employees
- Practice self-care
- Monitor employee anxiety and stress
How do I keep my employee happy and productive?
- Ensure Employees are doing meaningful work
- Ensure the outcomes produced by employees are valued more than the ways in which they are achieved – trust your employee to do the right thing
- Align their work to their strengths and ensure they have the resources they need to succeed
- Set them goals with measures and milestones to ensure they keep on track and remain focused
- Establish a regular 1 on 1 check in process with employees to monitor progress of goals and to provide support when needed
- Establish virtual team meetings to keep groups in contact with each other and to share team progress information
What policy and procedures should I have in place?
Now is a good time to review and update your Workplace Health and Safety policy.
Additionally, it’s imperative you create or obtain a Working from Home Policy and WHS checklist.
These items will ensure your employees are happy, healthy and productive while making sure you are upholding your legal obligations as an employer.
For any more info, or to obtain any of the documents above, please contact:
0412 606 552