During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic many organisations are recommending – and some experimenting– that their staff works from home. But, for many organizations and its employees, it may be their first experience of working from home, enforced upon them by turn of events. And, owing to month lasting lock down measures, it may be the longest period of time working away from their usual office set up.
Even as an organization is able to fulfil and use the work from home policies, it is important to prepare its employees for the change and assist them navigate the challenges of an unaccustomed situation. Ensuring that adequate infrastructure support, documentation, security instructions are in place enables both employees and managers to have a successful and hassle-free work from home experience. Sure there are and will be certain difficulties cropping up at times, but they will help the company to know what works, what doesn’t, which is the best way to go about and which isn’t and throw light on the areas of improvement.
As we are into one month of work from home, we recently surveyed close to 400 Vindhya employees who are working from home. The good news is the most gave working from home option big thumbs up:
In addition to this, many were supportive of work from home option that they agreed to recommend it going further. 61% expressed willingness to continue working from home meaning that it is here to stay.
What‘s the biggest benefit?
Wondering why people are supportive of working from home. We give you top 5 benefits. Having the benefit of working from your own place, saving yourself from never-ending traffic and commuting difficulties, and the obvious reason of staying and spending time with family, are the major benefits, says the survey.
Employees in their 20s and early 30s want to pay attention to many things at a time and working from home lets them do that, in many aspects of life. Having a flexible schedule gives the employees a freedom to juggle between work and family thereby achieving a good work-life balance.
What’s the biggest concern?
Knowing and identifying the problem means the battle is half won. While it is important to know what the benefits of working from home are, understanding the areas of concerns can’t be overlooked. Knowing the problematic areas prepares the employers or managers to analyse, solve and avoid them occurring again and hampering the productivity. Here’s the rundown of the biggest challenge that employees face.
Communication gap topped the list as expected. Nothing can equal the experience of having face-to-face conversation when it comes to team meeting and training sessions. Managers have to leverage latest technologies that assist in having a group voice call or video call that is as good as having a face to face discussion in the office. Telegram, Google meet, Zoom is some of the widely used communication channels. Do note that distractions at home did gain quite an amount of clicks.
What are the major distractions at home?
Distraction can be anything. It is mainly due to being and working in an environment different to what you are used to, resulting in priorities getting muddled. To understand it better, we gave options and look what are the potential distractions.
Interesting note, loneliness and boredom topped the chart portraying it as a serious challenge. Going from being busy in office, with friends, to being alone (applicable for employees staying in a rented PG). Lockdown, Social distancing and worries about ongoing pandemic could possibly add pressure here when someone is alone.
We also wished to understand what they consider as the biggest benefit in working out of office. Let’s see.
Now, it is evident that important factor that they miss is, team work and immediate communication with team and managers that helps in getting trained and clearing doubts on the spot. The same has been mentioned as the biggest challenge when working from home. Again, reaching for and using the appropriate communication tools will be helpful in minimizing the effect of this challenge to a greater extent.
Motivation is easier for teams that are working together as one can see the efforts put in. When it comes to customer service, advisors who speak to customers can go through various emotions depending on the conversations they have with the customers. It is important to motivate, uplift, calm down them to help them achieve the task they are set out to. It may be achieving sales numbers or payment collection, but staying positive and motivated does wonders. Motivation becomes tricky when team is working from different locations. Managers must ensure the team is well connected through video conferencing or mobile calls make it a scheduled call every day to have a casual conversation. A dose of confidence to the team that managers are there for them anytime and impress upon them that, together, they can ace the working from home.
Going by the scenario, it is highly possible that working from home option may continue for some more months. Both employees’ and employers’ approach towards it determines the effect and impact it may have in the long run. Identify the advantages and disadvantages early, work on them, and when work from home becomes a regular option, it would be a piece of cake for all.