From the 30th June 2014 every employee was given the statutory right to request flexible working after 26 weeks of employment service. Before this, the right only applied to parents of children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child was disabled) and certain carers. This flexibility has offered more of us the chance to work from home, and avoid the daily commute.
The big question now though, is how does this actually affect us? Different research draws different conclusions, however the majority highlight that if working from home is approached in the right way, it will make the employee and the business more productive. But not everyone will be suited to working from home, certain roles cannot be completed remotely and more importantly, it doesn’t suit some of us. So what are the key traits that make a successful home worker
Even though you’re not going into the office, you’re going into your home office. Making a conscious effort to dress for work will get you in the right frame of mind, detaching you from you ‘home’ life and mentally transitioning you into your ‘work’ life. Additionally, if you’re participating in a video collaboration with colleagues or clients it’s important to be dressed as if you were meeting them face-to-face. So while pyjamas might be a comfier option, visually - both to you and to others – research suggests it can be a real distraction.
- Good communication
- Smart worker
One way to work smart is to make sure that you have an allocated office or work place within the home that you’ve established with the inhabitants – whether it’s housemates, family or your pet dog. This will ensure this setting is seen as a working environment by everyone, including you. However you also need to make sure you switch off at the end of the day. This doesn’t just mean switch off your phone, your computer and whatever other devices you have, but also mentally switch off. Go for a walk for ten minutes and come back to your house as your home, not your office.
Once you start home working you’ll need to remain organised. This means booking in regular face-time with team members and managers, and not letting collaboration with your organisation slip.
Flexible working is fast becoming a valued alternative to the typical 9 to 5 office hours, so it’s crucial that if you are keen to request flexible working hours from your employer, that you take the time to evaluate how you can ensure you will be a successful homeworker.
By Marco Landi, President EMEA at Polycom