Working from Home (WFH) is supposed to allow for greater work-life balance, but a dilemma for Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) lies in appropriately gaging the impact on productivity — the difference between performing like a professional or acting as an amateur.Sam Palazzolo, Principal Officer @ The Javelin Institute
A poll from TINYpulse.com concludes that remote workers score 8.10/10 in happiness while workers in offices become stuck on 7.42/10 — figure the town traffic drains the happiness from most workforces. 91 percent of workers feel more productive if they are allowed to work remotely. You know where they’re originating from in this work from home (WFH) dilemma, right?
The CHRO Dilemma: Are You Sure WFH Will Work?
So, you find yourself saving commute time — this is really a great-moment! However what about watching those lovely faces in your office? How are you going to communicate with everyone, let alone get the job done? Work from home looks nice for creative or research functions. But, leadership and management have another consideration. They possess communicating, meetings, delegation and even more meetings to take care of day in and day out. Employees will need to know that leadership is there and merely a Zoom-meeting away.
‘Hope’ Just Might Be a Strategy!
The significant bone of contention against work from home is hope. Employees will need to work under active oversight. You approved work in the your home for a single employee and the next thing you notice will be that a left handed office. Even if you are ok with this, who knows your star employee is slugging it upon the sofa, eating waffles and watching his or her favorite show, cooped in their pajamas. While your employee sits glued to your television set, super pressing missions are turning up within her laptop.
Even if your employee will not fancy waffles or even TV much — a very unlikely combination — there are opportunities they have each day in their schedule that’s very different from everyone. You cannot effectively lead them and can’t telephone them to get emergency meetings, or will you?
I don’t need to sound cliché, but technology has altered communication – for better, and for worse! Ten years ago in 2012, communicating might have been an impediment to getting things done. Most of us know and experience how the video-conference and connectivity worked back then. A standard office landscape had you shooting mails and communication via conversations at the coffee station. You discover what the day looks like, with that quick coffee meeting!
52% of remote workers communicate with their leaders once or twice as often in a day when things were face-to-face. Now, many of them (34%) maintain that communication is now limited to just once each week — and let’s not get started on the quality of that communication! 10% of the workforce believe that the exact distance might make the heart grow fonder and retain the communication to one time a month. And you can find just 3% of phantom presence employees who do not ever ‘show up.’
There’s a Catch Most CHROs Recognize
So, you save yourself time, maybe the hands-free parent or a caregiver for relatives. And work from home keeps you off from the chatter diversion and that particularly nosy boss. So, what could be the catch? If you believe some experts, the practice of rolling out of bed and right to your work may throw your daily schedule off-balance. You might wind up cooking dinner during that all too important meeting. And you may also be forcing some to burn the midnight hour — working till 3 am. People working at home regularly spend their dinners multi-tasking and checking work emails.
You get out of bed, take a bath, change and are set to work at home, the clock shows 9 o’clock and with a to do list , you know that the 7 o’clock bash is really in the cards. However, your iPhone beeps, there’s a notification, just one more call/text/email can be maddening.
So, it’s 7:30pm and you get straight back to work, nothing has been lost, just shorter breaks to follow along and your coworkers might find you in that evening party. But, most will continue to work — after all, you’re home home, right? Frankly, you overlook your professional contact. Your family though decides to show up and reveal their masterpieces from school. Today that is an adorable diversion, however, a negative for the productivity at work.
Some occupations require you to be in the office. You cannot be the remote working server or medical professional. Understand the nature of this job and how remote working can have an impact on its own everyday implementation. So, what exactly are your experiences with remote working? We’ve seen how CHROs benefit from structuring work from home to benefit their workforce’s daily life in remote versus the office.