What is work from home?

Work from home (WFH) implies that an employee primarily works from the company office, and occasionally works from home, yet only for specifically designated time periods.

Employees often work from home one or two days a week, or a few days a month, provided that their manager and employer allow it.

Why should HR leaders care about WFH?

Working from home has become popular in the last decade, and has increased dramatically in recent times. In general, employees are attracted to jobs with WFH options because they allow for greater flexibility, comfort, and free time. This increase in employee well-being leads to improved:

What can HR do to improve WFH performance and productivity?

It may take a few days (or more) of practice to establish a successful work-from-home routine. HR can run a trial work from home day, to fine-tune details and deal with issues that arise. This trial run also also is the perfect time for the WFH employee to set up a workspace conducive to performing quality work.

HR leaders can raise the level of employee work performance and increase productivity through implementing these concepts:

  • Encourage employees to implement successful WFH practices. It’s important to offer guidelines to employees to help them be productive. A quiet, comfortable workspace and set break times to refresh, can help keep employees on track and motivated. And even though the employee may be working alone– showering and getting dressed can really help establish a work mindset. 
  •  Establish clear expectations and goals. Ensure that employees understand their expectations for the day(s).  Will they need to work the same hours as they do in the office? When should they be available for video conferencing, Slack, or email communication? What are their goals for the day?
  • Offer manager training. Explain your company’s WFH protocols to managers. This will allow them to clearly lay out the guidelines to employees.  
  • Supply account information. Provide employees with the necessary information (ahead of time) to login into the accounts and systems which they will be using when working from home.
  • Communicate. Integrate employee-manager video conferencing during the first half-hour of the workday, as this sets a tone of involvement and communication, and clarifies the employee’s priorities.
  • Make yourself available.Be reachable for employees and managers, to answer  questions or clarify guidelines.
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How can work from home improve company culture?

Working from home often gives employees the extra time they may be craving for self-care or family time, and the freedom to work the way they find most comfortable. It offers a break from commuting in rush-hour traffic, or a detox from an overly intense work environment. This work-life balance benefits the employee, and ultimately, the employer. It leads to a healthy work-life balance for employees and increased job-satisfaction, which in turn drives performance and engagement. Though WFH is not the only factor in job-satisfaction, it does help employees approach their jobs with renewed energy, infusing the company culture with enthusiasm and positivity.