As working parents, my partner and I watched Professor Robert Kelly's recent BBC interview (see video) and found it both hilarious and relatable . We can both relate to taking an important call with a child in the background, pulling stern faces in the vain hope that it will result in silence for the call.
It got me thinking about the benefits many companies are missing out on by not having flexible working arrangements...and also the perils that can hamper productiviy when working from home!
Furthermore, A national study from the Australia Institute has found employees are essentially "giving away" $110 billion in free labour every year, with full-time staff putting in an extra six hours of unpaid overtime a week, and part-timers working an additional three.
Forecast of employment trends by the World Economic Forum called flexible work, including virtual teams, “one of the biggest drivers of transformation” in the workplace, while a Gallup poll found that 37 percent of respondents have already worked virtually.
Companies in the 21st century need to consider flexible working solutions not only to attract and retain top talent – but also to have happier, more productive employees. This also results in getting more “bang for buck” from your workforce.
Interestingly another report concluded that fewer distractions (for the disciplined remote worker) can lead to higher efficiency. The numbers: some 30 percent said that telecommuting allowed them to accomplish more in less time, while 24 percent of those surveyed said they were able to accomplish more in about the same amount of time.
In light of flexible working conditions becoming more and more frequent in the workplace – here are a few key tips and guidelines to follow for good practice when working from home:
Set up - Have a good home office set up - not only for ergonomics/safety/well being, but for concentration and to be able to get into a 'work mode'. Make sure you have the best technology to enable you to do the best job possible. Note that fewer distractions (for the disciplined remote worker) can lead to higher efficiency. The numbers: some 30 percent said that telecommuting allowed them to accomplish more in less time, while 24 percent of those surveyed said they were able to accomplish more in about the same amount of time.
Have a plan and focus - Some find it difficult to work in their home, the work station/home office helps, but always make sure you have a to-do list and a plan of what you want to achieve so you can stay focused and not get distracted by things like social media, the tv or what's in the fridge.
Quiet zone - If you have kids, make sure you can make calls (or skype as in video) with peace and quiet. this helps with your concentration.
Time out - Health and well-being is important wherever you work. Make sure you plans breaks: fit in exercise, walk around when taking calls, eat healthy snacks and keep hydrated.
Switch off - Stick to your hours. Flexible work does not mean working more hours than required.
If managed properly, working form home arrangements can provide great results for employees and businesses. Some of our clients in Adelaide are working with us to employ fantastic talent on a flexible/output-driven basis.
We’d be keen to hear your experiences working in flexible (or inflexible) arrangements - and if you have a similar experience you can relate to.