Duurzame inzetbaarheid bij remote werken

Sustainable employability in remote working

To prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, many people have started working from home. Although this was intended as a temporary solution, many employees now see the benefits of working from home. For many organizations though, this brings some challenges.

Duurzame inzetbaarheid bij remote werken - Hays.nl

Sustainable employability and remote working can go together. However, it is important for managers to take steps to adjust their leadership style accordingly. How can you ensure you do everything possible for your team, and prioritize their well-being when they continue to work from home?

Five tips for sustainable employability in remote working

1. Map the well-being of employees and their needs

Be obliged to working from home is a short-term response to the corona virus. But it is unrealistic to expect that 100 percent of you employees return to full-time work in the office.

How do you gain insight into the needs of employees?

Have everyone fill in a short questionnaire, focused on the employee's personal situation. This gives you a better insight of the well-being and needs of employees.

It is good to have a one-on-one conversation with employees. Do not only discuss the working conditions, but also inform on how things are going in private. Listen to the employee and discuss the needs together. Maybe they want to come to the office three times a week, or maybe just once.

2. Be flexible

During the aforementioned conversations, check whether employees worked different hours during the crisis period. For example, people with (young) children often have to work in the evening and spend some time with their children during office hours.

It is important that the boundary between work and private life does not blur too much, otherwise there is a change employees will become overworked. Determine per person whether it is possible to resume the more regular hours.

Is this not possible? Then be flexible as a manager.

Encourage them to, for example, to create a routine and take enough breaks. It is also important to keep as many fixed home working days as possible. In this way, working from home becomes something structural in the routine.

Trust contributes to sustainable employability. It is important to demonstrate your confidence in the employees when they are working remotely. Try not to check whether they are doing their job well or demanding that they only work office hours.

3. Provide a good home workplace

As an employer, you are obliged to ensure a healthy and safe workplace for employees. Also when working from home. For example, it is not desirable for employees to work on a small laptop at the kitchen table for a long period. This may have been a temporary solution, but think about employee wellbeing.

Do employees want to keep working remotely? Discuss what works well and what practical challenges they have encountered. Then try to fix it. Something as simple as providing a better headset or a good office chair can already improve the home office. This can possibly be delivered to the employees from the office. Or, as an organization, you may need to make a larger investment in terms of the network.

4. Facilitate in online (communication) tools

When some of the employees want to continue working from home, others might want to return to the office. It is important to have a communication platform (like Microsoft Teams or Zoom) and to meet regularly.  While working from home, try to avoid ‘email-fatigue’; instead pick up the phone or communicate via video. This way everyone remains part of the team.

Furthermore, a simple "good morning" or "nice weekend" app via WhatsApp is also recommended. Or use a different platform across the organization where people can share successes or ask questions, like Yammer. This prevents a feeling of isolation.

5. Keeping the team together

Being part of a team where employees work from home every day is a completely different experience than when you are in one room with colleagues at the office. It is therefore important to think about how to bring the team together.

For example,  you can encourage employees to talk to at least one colleague every day, instead of emailing. The aim here is to stimulate the type of conversations that usually take place at the coffee machine or at their desks.

It is also important to offer the team opportunities to get together. For example, consider planning a monthly team lunch or taking a walk outdoors. Or combine this with a training or workshop to stimulate development. Brainstorm with the team to come up with ideas.

Communicate openly, adopt a flexible attitude and keep an eye on the professional and social well-being of employees. This makes remote working feasible and positive, and contributes to the sustainable employability of employees

More tips for working from home

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