Throughout my career I have had fabulous leaders who have encouraged home working which offered flexibility and trust in roles that were primarily office based. I recall when a new employee joined my team and asked if she could be flexible with picking up her child. My response was, ‘do what you need to do.’
My openness to flexibility and home working is based on my belief that people work better, are more productive and can focus on their tasks more efficiently when distractions are removed. In the case of my team member, she did far more hours/work than was required due to the shared commitment and trust. In this case it was a win, win situation.
How about workers who are not motivated by home working, whose roles will be impaired by not being physically present in the office, site, yard, warehouse to name but a few. The loss of choice links to the drivers above. When there is a loss of choice or control behaviours and style may change due to stress.
In the home environment, there is likely to be other stressors too around space, territory and normal practices. In my own office the serene Zia style is going to have to flex a little. When I started my business I thought about the best working environment for me, while over the next few months it is likely as a family we all find some space to think, work and study productively.
Some factors I have found essential from my experience of home working include:
- Organise your workstation. Have everything to hand, no excuses to go and look for things during your working time.
- Minimise distractions, this may mean you need to add music to minimise other noises in the home.
- Do not mix household tasks and work. Be clear about the time you are working and the time you can do other tasks and stick to it.
- Get out. Be sure to exercise and move around as there are less opportunities to walk to talk to colleagues in an office environment.
- Open the window, notice the new environment from noises of birds singing, kids playing, lawn movers and the breeze of fresh air.
- Maintain normal working hours and have a reward when you finish work.
- Keep in touch with colleagues regularly, especially if you are a leader.
- If you are sick, take a sick day. This helps you fully recover faster and get back to full productivity.
When normality resumes, what will you continue from your home working experiences? There is an opportunity to notice how you develop over this time though observations about your own style and that of others.
Stay safe, stay well!